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Denis Villeneuve Wants to Make ‘Dune’ Trilogy That Includes Adaptation of ‘Dune Messiah’

Villeneuve has ambitions to turn his envisioning of the Frank Herbert novels into an epic three-parter.



Warner Bros.

Denis Villeneuve agreed to make an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s famously unadaptable — if attempts by David Lynch and Alejandro Jodorowsky are any indication — “Dune” on the condition he could split the book into two parts. While part two has yet to be greenlit by Warner Bros., Villeneuve has expressed confidence in the movie getting made.

In fact, he’s even mapped out a plan for a “Dune” trilogy that will include an adaptation of Herbert’s 1969 sequel novel “Dune Messiah.” As he explained to CBC Radio Canadavia Collider — he and screenwriter Jon Spaihts are already at work on the sequel, and Villeneuve still has plenty more “Dune” stories to tell.

He said, “There is ‘Dune’s second book, ‘The Messiah of Dune,’ which could make an extraordinary film. I always saw that there could be a trilogy; after that, we’ll see. It’s years of work; I can’t think of going further than that.”

Villeneuve also talked about certain changes that had to be made for the film version, such as the fact that Baron Vladimir Harkonnen’s (Stellan Skarsgård) nephew Feyd-Rathua Harkonnen won’t be appearing in the first part.

“The book is so rich. There are so many fantastic details about the different cultures. In order to preserve and have the time to bring that to the screen, we had to make important choices,” he said.

As Villeneuve recently told Total Film, “We have been hearing in the past few decades that it’s not possible to adapt this book, and that it’s an impossible task. I think that in the back of the mind of the studio, it’s still the same! The first thing was to prove that there was a beautiful, popular movie that can exist, and I think that I proved that — everybody at Warner Bros and Legendary, they are 100 percent behind the project. They feel that it would need a really bad outcome at the box office to not have a ‘Dune: Part Two,’ because they love the movie. They are proud of the movie, so they want the movie to move forward. And they still did half of it. So, you know, I’m very optimistic.”

“Dune” launches October 22 in theaters and HBO Max. The film will have its world premiere September 3 at the Venice Film Festival.

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