Dune 3 In The Works?

By Jason Collins | 2 weeks ago

dune 3

We previously discussed the official announcement of Dune 2, which Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures approved a week before the release of a 2021’s remake of the first film. Initially, the film’s director, Denis Villeneuve, wanted to do Dune: Part One and Dune: Part Two back-to-back, but that option wasn’t available to him at the time. Now, following the overwhelmingly positive reviews of the first film and the approval of the second, the director Denis Villeneuve is asking: why stop there? Here’s what he has to say about what would happen in Dune 3.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Dune director Denis Villeneuve wants to make at least three Dune films. If he gets his way, Dune 3 would be an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune Messiah. The first Dune film covered the first half of Frank Herbert’s original novel, and Dune: Part Two is set to tackle the rest of the narrative of the first book. However, Villeneuve believes that adapting Dune Messiah, the second Dune novel, is crucial to conveying the entire Paul Atreides saga.

Admittedly, Frank Herbert wrote six Dune novels, including the original Dune, now split into two film adaptations. Their titles include Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God-Emperor of Dune, and Heretics of Dune. Herbert’s son, Brian Herbert, has since teamed up with Kevin J. Anderson to create a series of prequels, sequels, and spin-offs, notably expanding the Dune universe. Of course, the vast majority of that material isn’t precisely adaptation-worthy, but Dune: Part Two will conclude the narrative of the first novel, while the cinematic adaptation of Dune Messiah as Dune 3 would complete the Paul Atreides saga, given that the very next novel, Children of Dune, centers around Paul’s son, Leto II.

dune 3 sandworms

And in all honesty, adapting anything further than Dune 3 probably wouldn’t be a straightforward endeavor, even with modern CGI technology. As most Herbet readers know, the Dune narrative gets stranger with every book, and by the end of Children of Dune, Leto II Atreides transforms into a human-sandworm hybrid, which becomes the titular character of God-Emperor of Dune. The sheer complexity of future narratives could pose problematic for adaptation without having to either flood the cutting room floor with material or split the individual narratives into several feature-length releases.  

Even the original Dune novel was previously referred to as hard to fully adapt, and it’s the least complex book in the series. Dune 3 will be a greater challenge yet. The hardships of such adaptations were evident by the shortcomings of David Lynch’s Dune adaptation from 1984. Villeneuve did a pretty solid job since his version attracted massive audiences and excellent ratings. Sure, part of those could be credited to 1984’s Dune – a film that developed a cult following over the years, despite lackluster release and box office performance. In fact, the film was one of the biggest box-office flops in the history of cinema.

Fortunately, Villeneuve’s version of the film fared much better and warranted a sequel release, Dune: Part Two, with a scheduled release date for October 20, 2023. Additionally, Legendary Pictures announces a spin-off web series, Dune: The Sisterhood, which will serve as a prequel to Villeneuve’s Dune. For now the director is only talking about Dune 3, but it won’t be too surprising when that gets greenlit as well.