Dune 3 Is in Development — And It Could Arrive Sooner Than We Think

May thy trilogy reach a third movie.

Warner Bros.
Dune: Part Two

Denis Villeneuve is a busy man. The filmmaker has spent years crafting the blockbusters that would become Dune: Part One and Dune: Part Two, but the fate of the third part of the potential trilogy, Dune: Messiah, had been up in the air. Villeneuve had expressed interest in completing the trilogy, but it was unclear if he (or Legendary Entertainment) would want to return to Arrakis so soon.

Now, however, we have confirmation that Villeneuve’s Dune: Messiah will come to theaters and be watched dozens of times by superfans. Legendary confirmed to Variety that Dune: Messiah is in development, ending a long period of speculation about whether we’d see Villeneuve’s trilogy conclude on the silver screen. Villeneuve said he’d envisioned his version of Dune as a trilogy as early as 2021, and now that vision will come to fruition.

Dune 3 isn’t the only sci-fi project Villeneuve is now working on. According to Deadline, Villeneuve and Legendary Entertainment will adapt journalist Annie Jacobsen’s new book Nuclear War: A Scenario, which attempts to game out a hypothetical global nuclear conflict based on interviews with military leaders and policymakers. Deadline claims Nuclear War will come after Dune: Messiah, meaning Villeneuve won’t take a break from Paul Atreides and friends to work on something else.

Dune: Messiah will see Paul Atreides take his violent revenge to the stars.

Warner Bros.

Villeneuve's choice of Dune: Messiah as his next film is interesting, as the book picks up 12 years after the events of Dune. There had been some talk about letting the actors age naturally, but given the convincing special effects the series has used so far, a little thing like time shouldn’t prevent the trilogy from being finished before the actors’ schedules get busy and the public starts to lose interest. Either the actors will be aged up, or the story’s timeline will be condensed.

Considering Dune: Part One and Dune: Part Two were both delayed multiple months for various reasons, there’s no point in speculating on a specific release date. However, if this is really Villeneuve’s next project, then fans can expect a wait similar to the gap between Part One and Part Two. That would place Dune: Messiah in 2027.

That may still be quite the wait, but considering Villeneuve already has other irons in the fire, Dune: Messiah looks like it will arrive much faster than fans anticipated. That should come as welcome news for fans, who can start counting the days before Paul and his army leave Arrakis and take to the stars.

Dune: Part Two is playing in theaters.

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