Denis Villeneuve Is Already Plotting ‘Dune: Part Three’: ‘There Are Words on Paper’

The news that Warner Bros. has delayed “Dune: Part Two” to March 2024 means that fans will have to wait a bit longer to see Denis Villeneuve and company return to the world of Frank Herbert’s beloved sci-fi novels. However, the director is already thinking ahead to his next trip to the planet Arrakis.

In a new interview with Empire, Villeneuve reiterated his long-held hopes to make a trilogy of “Dune” movies. While “Dune: Part Two” will complete the story of the original novel, a potential third film would draw heavily from Herbert’s sequel “Dune Messiah.” The filmmaker explained that subsequent books in the series deconstructed the notion that Paul Atreides (played by Timothée Chalamet in the films) was a messianic hero — an idea that Villeneuve is keen to explore in a film.

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“If I succeed in making a trilogy, that would be the dream,” Villeneuve said. “’Dune Messiah’ was written in reaction to the fact that people perceived Paul Atreides as a hero. Which is not what he wanted to do. My adaptation is closer to his idea that it’s actually a warning.”

Villeneuve’s “Dune” movies were billed as a two-part adaptation, so a third film is not guaranteed. But the director revealed that he has already started making plans in the event that “Dune: Part Two” becomes a big enough box office hit to merit another sequel.

“I will say, there are words on paper,” he said.

Regardless of whether a third film materializes, fans will have plenty to look forward to in “Dune: Part Two.” Villeneuve recently appeared at CinemaCon and teased that his sequel is a more “action-packed, epic war movie, much more bulk, much more dance.”

In addition to seeing Zendaya take center stage as Fremen princess Chani after making a brief appearance in “Part One,” the film features franchise newcomers Florence Pugh, Austin Butler, Léa Seydoux and Christopher Walken along with the returns of Chalamet, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Rebecca Ferguson, and Dave Bautista.

“Dune: Part Two” is now scheduled to open in theaters on March 15, 2024.

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