Why Denis Villeneuve Wants To End With Dune 3


  • Director Denis Villeneuve has no plans to adapt more of Frank Herbert’s books beyond
    Dune 3
    due to the time commitment and the difficulty of adapting the later books.
  • Warner Bros. may hand the
    Children of Dune
    franchise over to another director if
    Dune: Part Two
    receives critical and popular acclaim and if they want to explore the full potential of the
  • While Villeneuve may be afraid of adapting the later books, there is potential for further adaptations beyond
    Dune 3

Director Denis Villeneuve wants to return for Dune 3, but has no plans to adapt more of Frank Herbert’s books beyond that. Herbert’s seminal 1965 sci-fi novel would eventually go on to spawn a franchise that included five sequels that he penned himself, as well as a collection of additional prequels and sequels written by his son Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. While Villeneuve’s forthcoming Dune: Part Two is set to follow the second half of the first novel, he has also expressed his interest in returning to adapt the first sequel, Dune Messiah.

Speaking with Inverse, Villeneuve revealed that the process of making his first two Dune movies took a considerable amount of time and personal commitment, and he does not know if he wants to spend the remainder of his career working in Herbert’s world. He also admitted to being afraid of approaching the content in the saga’s later books, describing their high-concept sci-fi themes as “pretty esoteric” and “difficult to adapt.” Check out his comments below:

Time is passing, and I don’t know if I want to spend the rest of my days on Arrakis.

I’m frankly afraid of the other books because they become pretty esoteric and more difficult to adapt.

Should Villeneuve Hand The Children Of Dune Over To Another Director?

Long before Villeneuve embarked on his ambitious sci-fi epic, numerous filmmakers had varying degrees of success in attempting to bring Herbert’s works to the screen. As with David Lynch’s 1984 movie adaptation, multiple directors and screenwriters struggled with the expansive and deeply nuanced universe Herbert created. Yet where many of his predecessors were heavily criticized for straying too far from the original book, the first entry in Villeneuve’s two-part Dune adaptation was widely praised for its faithful and largely effective translation of the often unwieldy source material.

While Dune 3 has not yet been officially confirmed by Warner Bros., if Dune: Part Two succeeds in receiving the same kind of critical and popular acclaim as the first movie, it would seem likely for the project to be greenlit. Given Warner Bros. is also committed to the upcoming prequel show Dune: Prophecy, the studio appears interested in exploring the full potential of the greater Dune saga. As such, while Villeneuve may not be interested in continuing beyond his plans for Dune 3, the studio could potentially look to hand the franchise on to a new director.

Furthermore, while he may admit to being afraid of Herbert’s later books, 1976’s Children of Dune has already been adapted to the screen courtesy of the 2003 miniseries starring James McAvoy. Even though any attempt to adapt Herbert’s third Dune book would mean moving away from Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides, fans of the books would argue the story still has a great deal of potentia. At this stage, however, it remains to be seen whether Dune Messiah will get its chance to be adapted as the basis for Dune 3.

The first
movie is available to stream on Max.

Source: Inverse

Dune Part 2 Poster Showing Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides and Zendaya as Chani Holding Daggers

Dune: Part Two

Dune: Part Two is the sequel to Denis Villeneuve’s 2021 film that covers the novel’s events by Frank Herbert. The movie continues the quest of Paul Atreides on a journey of revenge against those who slew his family. With insight into the future, Atreides may be forced to choose between his one true love and the universe’s fate. 

Release Date
March 1, 2024

$122 Million

Legendary Pictures

Warner Bros. Pictures