Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” is gearing up for its world premiere in Venice shortly ahead of a global release in October.
Should all go well, then Villeneuve will head into production on “Dune: Part Two,” adapting the back half of Frank Herbert’s original 1965 novel that kicked off a whole saga spanning multiple books.
Villeneuve is currently writing the script for that second part with screenwriter Jon Spaihts and suggests he could begin filming the sequel in the Fall of 2022.
This week, talking to CBC Radio Canada (via The Playlist), he revealed that he’s considering the idea of making a “Dune” trilogy with an adaptation of the short second book “Dune Messiah” to potentially close it out:
“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.”
“Dune,” “Dune Messiah” and “Children of Dune” are generally considered a trilogy of sorts with the latter two adapted as a single three-part mini-series in 2003.
Villeneuve also confirmed that Baron Vladimir Harkonnen’s nephew Feyd-Rathua Harkonnen isn’t in the first “Dune” and is being saved for the second installment:
“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.”
Sting and Matt Keeslar have played the character on screen before and Villeneuve says he’s a fan of Feyd’s initial winged speedo costume in the David Lynch film: “It was a powerful image, that jockstrap.”
He also recently clarified his recent comments about Chani’s role in the second film and tells La Presse that Paul remains the main protagonist:
“I mumbled about something about the character of Chani that suggested that the second film would be focused on her. She remains one of the main characters and the role is important, but ‘Dune’ nevertheless remains the story of Paul Atreides first and foremost.
Having said that, Zendaya is an incredible actress who inspires me deeply. She really is a movie beast. Its role has also grown in the first part. I put this misunderstanding on my own. This is a case of ‘lost in translation’.”
He also tells Total Film that everyone at Warners is fully behind the project and, short of a box-office disaster, it’s likely a sequel will go forward:
“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.”
The first of the two “Dune” films is reportedly set to clock in at 155 minutes and will be released on October 22nd in theaters and on HBO Max.