Denis Villeneuve’s next film has been confirmed, and despite fans from all corners of the world clamoring for Enemy II, it will in fact be Dune: Part Two. Though the director embarked on the first part of his Frank Herbert adaptation without confirmation from Warner Bros. and Legendary that more films would follow, a reveal has been made, after a (relatively) successful opening weekend, that the sequel is moving ahead.
Deadline has also confirmed a release of October 20, 2023—sooner than some might have expected, considering how massive an undertaking the production will be. Unlike Dune: Part One, this follow-up will also get an exclusive theatrical bow first. Along with Timothée Chalamet returning, Villeneuve will also be co-writing the script and producing.
Reacting to today’s news, Villeneuve said, “I just received news from Legendary that we are officially moving forward with Dune: Part Two. It was a dream of mine to adapt Frank Herbert’s Dune and I have the fans, the cast, and crew, Legendary and Warner Bros. to thank for supporting this dream. This is only the beginning.”
As hinted, if all goes well, the director has plans beyond just two films, saying on the press tour, “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.”
“Legendary is pleased to officially move forward with Dune: Part Two…once again based on the amazing books written by Frank Herbert,” Legendary added. “We would not have gotten to this point without the extraordinary vision of Denis and the amazing work of his talented crew, the writers, our stellar cast, our partners at Warner Bros., and of course the fans! Here’s to more Dune.”
Toby Emmerich, chairman Warner Bros. Pictures Group, added, “Denis Villeneuve has crafted a film that is both visually extraordinary and emotionally transporting, as evidenced by its global success both critically and at the box office. We are thrilled to continue on this journey with Denis and his cast and crew, and our partners at Legendary, and can’t wait to bring the next chapter of this epic tale to theaters in October 2023.”
In our review from Venice, David Katz was mixed on Dune: Part One, saying, “Denis Villeneuve has surmounted this slew of bad omens by arguably––in filmmaking terms––producing the most impersonal adaptation possible. For all his skill and talent, his deftness and subtlety, he acts as just a translator for Herbert’s largely uncompromised original vision, let alone an interpreter or proselytizer. Dune 2021, to register with necessary impact, needs a mind and careening imaginative spirit as reckless as that of its originator.”
For more, listen to Villeneuve’s conversation on the making of Dune with Christopher Nolan here.