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Denis Villeneuve Says ‘Dune 3’ Script Is ‘Almost Finished,’ but ‘For My Mental Sanity I Might Do Something’ Else In Between

Denis Villeneuve participated in a “Dune: Part Two” press conference in South Korea and went on record saying the upcoming “Part Two” is a “much better” movie than his 2021 original. The sequel, arriving in theaters in March 2024, once again stars Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya and picks up the story of Paul Atreides as he leads the Fremen in a battle against the villainous Harkonnen empire.

“For me, this film is much better than Part One,” Villeneuve said. “There’s something more alive in it. There’s a relationship to the characters. I was trying to reach for an intensity and a quality of emotions that I didn’t reach with Part One and that I did reach with Part Two. I’m not saying the film is perfect, but I’m much more happy with Part Two than I was with Part One. I can not wait to share it with the fans and the moviegoers.”

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Considering the first “Dune” movie was a box office hit with $402 million (despite being released on a streaming at the same time) and an awards darling with 10 Oscar nominations, including best picture, and six wins (original score, sound, film editing, cinematography, production design and visual effects), it’s quite notable Villeneuve is going on record calling the upcoming sequel a better movie.

The director has also gone on record expressing interest in making a third “Dune” movie, one based on Frank Herbert’s follow-up novel “Dune Messiah.” Back in August, Villeneuve told Empire magazine: “If I succeed in making a trilogy, that would be the dream. I will say, there are words on paper [for a third film].”

Speaking to South Korean press, Villeneuve said “Dune Messiah” is “being written right now. The screenplay is almost finished but it is not finished. It will take a little time…There’s a dream of making a third movie…it would make absolute sense to me.”

Villeneuve noted how he went immediately from making the first “Dune” movie into making the second and “there was no gap.” He doesn’t want to do the same thing in going from “Dune: Part Two” directly into “Dune Messiah,” plus the existence of a third “Dune” film probably depends on the box office of “Part Two” anyway.

“I don’t know exactly when I will go back to Arrakis,” Villeneuve said. “I might make a detour before just to go away from the sun. For my mental sanity I might do something in between, but my dream would be to go a last time on this planet that I love.”

In a recent interview with Total Film magazine, Villeneuve touted the 2024 sequel as “more muscular” than the first installment.

“The first movie was more meditative and contemplative. We were following a young man discovering a new planet, a new culture,” Villeneuve said. “The second movie…it’s more of an action film than the first part. It’s more muscular.”

Warner Bros. and Legendary recently bumped up the “Dune: Part Two” release date to March 1, 2024. The sequel was originally set to open on Nov. 3, but it was pushed to March 15, 2024, amid the Hollywood strikes so that the cast could promote the film. The new date is two weeks earlier.

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