Dune Director Hopes to Make Trilogy & Adapt Dune: Messiah


  • Director Denis Villeneuve plans to complete his Dune trilogy by adapting Frank Herbert’s novel Dune: Messiah after the release of Dune: Part Two in 2024.
  • Villeneuve’s journey began with the challenge of transforming Herbert’s complex novel into two films, with the approval for Part Two granted after the success of the first movie.
  • In his adaptation, Villeneuve aims to bring out the original intention of Herbert’s warning in Dune: Messiah, and a script for a third movie is already partially written.

After successfully navigating the challenges of a post-pandemic world with the first installment of Dune in 2021, director Denis Villeneuve is on track to complete his adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal science fiction novel. With Dune: Part Two slated for release in 2024, the filmmaker has now expressed his intentions of taking the saga further by adapting the novel Dune: Messiah, thus completing what he considers to be his Dune trilogy.

Denis Villeneuve’s ambitious journey began with the attempt to transform Frank Herbert’s intricate novel into two epic films, despite initial reluctance from Warner Bros. to film both parts consecutively. The approval for Dune: Part Two was granted after the successful box office performance of the first movie, albeit with a six-month delay.

The narrative of Dune doesn’t end with Paul Atreides’ ascendancy, as Herbert penned several sequels that expanded the lore of the desert planet Arrakis and its mysterious sandworms. Brian Herbert, the author’s son, continued his father’s legacy by contributing additional volumes to the series. Villeneuve, enthralled by this expansive universe, aspires to delve deeper into the cosmos by adapting more stories from the Dune saga.

In a recent interview with Empire, Villeneuve expressed his desire to rectify the portrayal of Timothée Chalamet’s character, Paul Atreides, in Dune: Messiah. He maintained that the novel’s creation was a response to the view of Paul as a hero, a feeling not reciprocated by the author. Villeneuve’s adaptation will reflect Herbert’s original intention of issuing a warning rather than glorifying Paul. He acknowledged the esoteric nature of the subsequent books but confirmed that a script for Part Three is partially written. Villaneuve explained:

“If I succeed in making a trilogy, that would be the dream. Dune Messiah was written in reaction to the fact that people perceived Paul Atreides as a hero. Which is not what he wanted to do. My adaptation [of Dune] is closer to his idea that it’s actually a warning. I will say, there are words on paper.”

RELATED: Dune Director Teases Significant Tone Shift in Part Two to a ‘War Movie’

Dune: Part Two Unveils New Cast Members, Sets the Stage for an Epic Saga

Promo art of the cast from Denis Villeneuve's Dune: Part One
Warner Bros. Pictures

The star-studded cast of Dune: Part Two features returning actors Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgård, Javier Bardem, and Charlotte Rampling. New additions to the cast include Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan Corrino, Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha Harkkonen, Lea Seydoux as Lady Fenring, Christopher Walken as Emperor Shaddam IV, Souheila Yacoub as Shishakli, and Tim Blake Nelson in a yet-to-be-revealed role.

Regardless of the recent release date delay, the eagerness for Dune: Part Two persists, and enthusiasts can eagerly await its cinema debut on March 15, 2024. The trailer, now available for viewing, promises an epic continuation of the saga that has captivated audiences worldwide.

As the journey on the desert planet unfolds, Denis Villeneuve’s vision for the Dune trilogy edges closer to fruition. With Part Two on the horizon and Part Three in the works, the director’s dream of a complete trilogy, true to Frank Herbert’s original vision, seems increasingly attainable.

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