‘Dune’: Director Denis Villeneuve Wanted to Shoot Part 1 and 2 Together

In the middle of a successful festival run, Dennis Villeneuve’s Dune has been attracting attention from critics and fans alike. The movie, even before coming out in theaters, has left an imprint on the minds of its viewers. 

Based on the American author Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel of the same name, Dune presents a science-fiction epic set on the harsh planet of  Arrakis. With warring royal families, a superhuman substance the ownership of which can tip the scales of power, and a young Royal trying to shed his lineage and taking the righteous path —  the movie has all the makings of the franchise that extends beyond one movie. So what does Villeneuve think of a sequel? 

Denis Villeneuve in a black suit at the Annual Hollywood Film Awards in 2017.
Denis Villeneuve | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for HFA

‘Dune’ only covers one half of the ‘Dune’novel

In an earlier interview with Vanity Fair, Villeneuve had revealed that Dune: Part 1 as the title card of the movie reads, roughly covered the first half of the novel. The very mention of a part in its name hinted at the possibility of a sequel, and Villeneuve confirmed it in the interview.

“I would not agree to make this adaptation of the book with one single movie,” Villeneuve said. “The world is too complex. It’s a world that takes its power in details.”

Though Legendary, the studio behind the movie, has not made any formal announcement about a sequel, fans believe that the sequel will happen.

Villeneuve at the Venice Film Festival also remained optimistic about it. According to a Yahoo article, He said that he would be ready to start shooting the sequel in 2022.

Villeneuve said he wanted to shoot both the parts together

At the Toronto International Film Festival, where Dune recently screened, Villeneuve said in an interview with Variety, that a second film was a part of the deal initially. He said that he was the one who insisted on making the movie in two parts and wanted to make both of them at the same time.

“For several reasons it[both parts together] did not happen. And I agreed with the challenge of making part one and waiting to see if the movie brings enough enthusiasm,” Villeneuve said. 

He said that he agreed with the approach of looking at the possibility of a sequel based on the reception of the first movie. “I am optimistic, that it, but we’ll see what happens,” Villeneuve added.

What are the possibilities of other spin-offs in the ‘Dune’ franchise?

While the idea of a sequel to finish the story that will begin in Dune: Part 1 is what many fans are currently focused on. Villeneuve is already thinking about more additions to the movie. At the Venice Film Festival, apart from talking about the sequel, Villeneuve had also teased the potential of a third movie based on Dune Messiah, Herbert’s sequel to Dune, the novel.

Another great news for Dune fans comes wrapped in the form of an HBO Max series by the name of Dune: The Sisterhood. The series will focus on Bene Gesserit, the mystical sisterhood said to have achieved superhuman powers through severe physical and mental conditioning. The series will serve as a prequel to Dune.

Unlike any of the other sequels of the movie, Dune: The Sisterhood got a greenlight from Legendary in 2019. Villeneuve is also slated to direct the pilot of the series apart from serving as an executive producer. 

With multiple projects planned or in the planning stage, this seems like the beginning of the Dune franchise. For now, the movie, Dune: Part 1 releases on Oct. 22 in theaters and on HBO Max.


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