Will There Be a Dune 3? It's Not Official, But Denis Villeneuve Has a Promising Update

You can’t rush a good thing.

Zendaya and Timothee Chalamet in Dune Part Two
Warner Bros. Pictures

Dune: Part Two isn’t even out yet, but there’s already major anticipation for a follow-up. Director Denis Villeneuve has teased his plan for a trilogy, but he’s been coy about when (or even if) he’ll have the desire to adapt Frank Herbert’s second novel, Dune Messiah, when the dust finally settles. It’s not entirely up to him, as producers at Warner Bros. and Legendary still have to give a third film the green light, but with so much buzz and acclaim surrounding Part Two, it seems less a matter of if than when.

Villeneuve is currently splitting his time between three unfinished scripts. In a conversation with The Playlist, he revealed the first completed will be the next film on his to-do list. That bodes well for the yet-untitled Dune 3, which Villeneuve is likely working on with past collaborators Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts. The director recently told The Hollywood Reporter that the script for the film is “nearly done,” and just needs a little work before it’s ready to go.

“I want to come back with a strong screenplay,” Villeneuve said at Part Two’s world premiere.

As for how soon we can expect Dune: Part Three to enter production, the director was a bit less assured. “I agreed to make Part One and Part Two back to back,” he said, “and now I think I will need to digest this experience.”

Villeneuve with the cast of Dune: Part Two.

Eric Charbonneau/Getty Images

Villeneuve recently revealed he’d like to take “a break” from the world of Dune before returning for a third film. Making two epic films back to back is not for the faint of heart, so a rest is certainly warranted.

The director is also adamant about focusing on a quality script, rather than a quick turnaround. “The danger in Hollywood is that people get excited and only think about release dates, not quality,” Villeneuve told The Times of London. While there’s “absolutely a desire” to complete the Dune trilogy, Villeneuve is keen to work at his own pace, saying, “I don’t want to rush it.”

Villeneuve’s comments cut to the heart of the industry’s unsustainable habits. Sequels are often rushed to capitalize on audience fervor, but they’re not always as good as their predecessor. Dune: Part Two is the rare sequel that surpasses its first film, and it’s only because Villeneuve and his team were given the space to tell a good story on their own terms.

Part Three would likely be the director’s last trip to Arrakis, so you can’t really blame him for wanting to take his time with it — or for wanting to make it perfect. And while that third film is likely on the horizon, fans will need to be patient for it. If the success of Part Two is any indication, they won’t be disappointed.

Dune: Part Two opens in theaters on March 1.

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