Dune director Denis Villeneuve made his American debut in 2013 and since then he’s made his mark in the movie industry. From Prisoners and Sicario to Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, each one of Villeneuve’s films has been met with acclaim by critics and audiences.
The 54-year-old director is now being mentioned in the same conversation as Christopher Nolan. All the admiration Villeneuve has received paved the way for him to fulfill his lifelong dream — adapting Frank Herbert’s Dune (1965).
Now in October 2021, with all the obstacles the movie industry faced in 2020 due to the pandemic and with WarnerMedia’s “The Same Day” theatrical and HBO Max releases, Villeneuve’s Dune still achieved the best opening weekend of his career with $41 million domestic. That gave the green light for Dune: Part Two from Legendary and Warner Bros. which will be guaranteed a 45-day theatrical release.
“For me, it was a non-negotiable condition,” Villeneuve tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I love streaming. I use streaming all the time. But I still think that contemporary movies need to have their chance. All movies need to have proper time in theaters. The theatrical experience is at the very heart of the cinematic language for me.”
Dune: Part Two’s announcement also came with a release date. The sequel will debut on October 20, 2023 and Villeneuve estimates production will begin in the fall of 2022.
“It’s fantastic news, but it’s also kind of a burden. The good news is that a lot of the work has been done already regarding design, casting, locations and writing,” Villeneuve said of Dune: Part Two. “So we’re not starting from scratch. It’s not a long period of time, but I will try to face that challenge because it’s important for me that the audience sees Part Two as soon as possible. It’s not a sequel where it’s another episode or another story with the same characters. It actually has direct continuity to the first movie. It’s the second part of the big huge movie that I’m trying to do. So the sooner the better.”
The director also as his sights set on a third Dune film based on Herbert’s Dune Messiah (1969).
“If things go well with Part Two, I could foresee the idea of maybe doing a third movie, Dune Messiah. That would make sense to me,” Villeneuve says what’s coming up for him. “After that, I think that I will make some other movies; let’s call them big movies regarding their ambition and scope. And later on, when I’m too tired to do that, I will go back to some smaller projects. But for now, I have the energy to do this.”
Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part One is now in theaters and streaming on HBO Max.