With Dune hitting screens for the first time this week, debuting for select audiences, the excitement has already started to build for if and when we will get Dune 2 in the works. Such is the nature of the big-money movie business. When one highly-anticipated flick comes out we are already itching for the next one. That is just the way of the world with major franchises and budding ones as well. Dune director Denis Villeneuve was able to give an update about this week in an interview with iO9/Gizmodo (via ComicBook.com) when he said that he was already working on the next script and felt very confident that it would have the firm go-ahead sooner than later.
In the interview, Denis Villeneuve talked about some of the different machinations that needed to happen for Dune 2 to get off the ground. While he seemed confident, it still isn’t a sure thing at this point. He did express confidence that once things were to begin in motion, the timeline would really speed up around getting the movie made and starting to film. He said, “You still need to make sets and costumes, we are talking about months…But if there’s enthusiasm and the movie is greenlit, sooner than later I will say that I will be ready to shoot 2022 for sure…I am ready to go and I would say that I would love to bring it to the screen as soon as possible.”
For a movie that isn’t technically in production right now, that is about as positive one can be on a potential outcome. That being said, that Dune 2 hasn’t been given the clear green light at this point should have fans more than a little concerned. Often, with franchises and movies this big, with so much name recognition considering the popularity of the original book series, not having a set-in-stone plan for the follow-up could have folks just a little on edge. We already know that this first movie only deals with about half of the story of the first book by Frank Herbert. One would have thought that the next one would already be rolling along to bring the story to a conclusion.
And while big-budget films like a Dune 2 have many hurdles to clear, sometimes those are easier when the entire timeline is planned out in advance and not contingent on the performance of the first movie. Villeneuve had expressed some concern that the sequel would hinge on the box office numbers of this first one and the goalposts on that kind of success could move over time.
Early reactions to Dune were somewhat mixed on a granular level, but it is performing well early on a macro level. The Rotten Tomatoes score is sitting at 85% through 34 reviews after debuting at the Venice Film Festival this week for a select audience. Most critics seemed to think it does service to what fans will want to see from the characters and the story though some complained that it struggled with pacing at times. That could be forgiven considering the size and scope of the source material.
What news we get about Dune 2 movie forward remains to be seen. Like Denis Villeneuve, we might have to sit and stare at the box office numbers to begin feeling a sense of comfort around the sequels’ chances. Dune is set to officially hit theaters on October 22nd of this year.