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‘Dune: Part 2’ Is Only the Beginning, Says Screenwriter: ‘We Might Not Be Done in This Universe’

Ahead of production on "Dune: Part Two," writer Jon Spaihts teased there are more "tantalizing strands" to unpack for future "Dune" adaptations.

DUNE, from left: producer Tanya Lapointe, director Denis Villeneuve, on set, 2021. ph: Chiabella James / Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

“Dune” producer Tanya Lapointe and director Denis Villeneuve on set

©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Dune: Part Two” has already made waves during pre-production, with Florence Pugh and Austin Butler being eyed to join the cast, as well as returning star Javier Bardem hinting at a sandworm showdown for his sci-fi hero. The film is expected to begin production by the end of this summer from Legendary Entertainment.

But that might not be all we see from the “Dune” universe in the coming years. Writer Jon Spaihts, who is also nominated alongside Villeneuve and Eric Roth for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 94th Academy Awards, revealed to The Playlist that while the “Dune: Part Two” script is set, he is already thinking of a third film installment as well as the planned HBO Max spin-off series, “Dune: The Sisterhood.”

Based on the Frank Herbert novels, the “Dune” series spans six books, with a seventh partially completed before Herbert’s death.

“‘Dune Messiah’ is the next book, and it’s one of three books with ‘Dune,’ ‘Dune Messiah,’ and ‘Children of Dune,’ that covers the lives of the characters we meet in the first novel,” Spaihts said. “Subsequently, there’s a giant leap in time and the series gets stranger and more epic as it carries on. But ‘Dune Messiah’ picks up years after the close of ‘Dune,’ and yes, Denis [Villeneuve] has talked seriously about making that film as well, as a conclusion of the trilogy.”

Spaihts added, “‘Dune Messiah’ is a very interesting book, which in some ways, deconstructs ‘Dune’ and plays as a cautionary tale, even more than ‘Dune’ does, about the dangers of blending religion and politics, the hazards of following charismatic leaders, and the dangerous struggle that’s always alive between the individual and institutions.”

Spaihts revealed that he will be following a “few tantalizing strands that lead into the future” for upcoming “Dune” projects. “We might not be done in this universe, despite the fact that the ending of ‘Dune’ as a novel, which will be the ending of the second film, is a very satisfying conclusion,” Spaihts added. “There are a number of ways in which the book also sounds ominous notes, and there are hints of foreboding about what made be yet to come.”

As for spinoff “Dune: The Sisterhood,” Spaihts noted that the series is “carrying on” and “alive and well,” even after he parted ways with the project to focus on “Dune: Part Two.”

“I’m not allowed to talk about it very much,” Spaihts admitted. “I ended up getting moved off of it to work, not just on ‘Dune: Part Two,’ but to investigate other cinematic prospects in the ‘Dune’ universe, which we are still talking about and which, again, I’m not allowed to say very much about. But it is a very rich world in which to play, and I think it is ripe with opportunities for storytelling in every direction.”

“Dune: Part Two” is expected to be released in theaters October 20, 2023.

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