Dune: Part Two‘s recent delay isn’t stopping director Denis Villeneuve from working on a third film based on Dune Messiah, the second book in Frank Herbert’s titular science-fiction series.
The director, speaking to Empire, said that his dream is to make a trilogy out of Dune, pulling in the story of Messiah to complete it. “If I succeed in making a trilogy, that would be the dream,” he said. He goes on to explain that Herbert wrote the third book because people perceived Paul Atreides, played by Timothée Chalamet, as a hero, “Which is not what he wanted to do,” the director said. “My adaptation [of Dune] is closer to his idea that it’s actually a warning.”
This third Dune film is only theoretical at the moment, despite Villeneuve having “words on paper” for it. Much like with the first movie, Warner Bros. and Legendary are waiting to see how Dune: Part Two does at the box office before they greenlight a third film in the franchise. However, that seems like a bit of a foregone conclusion given how lauded Dune was when it came out, how it conquered the box office during the pandemic, and the hype surrounding the second film’s trailers. There’s also the studio’s desire to make Dune into a franchise, as evidenced by the still ongoing work on the prequel series Dune: The Sisterhood, despite setbacks with the director and star leaving earlier this year.
Were Dune: Part Three made, though, the universe would go on without Villeneuve’s directorial input. The director said a third film would be his last, as he has no plans to adapt the plethora of continuation novels from Herbert and, eventually, his son. “After that the books become more… esoteric,” he said. That’s his nice way of saying that things start to suck.