Ahead of the premiere of Dune in theaters and on HBO Max, WarnerMedia seems to have confirmed that the plan is to move forward with a sequel. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, the new movie is the first of a planned two-part adaptation, but only the first installment has been officially announced. It goes without saying that many viewers would be disappointed if Dune 2 doesn’t happen after going to see the movie this weekend, as that would leave the story without a conclusive ending.
In a new interview with Deadline, WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff gave an official update on Dune 2. It sounds like good news as Sarnoff’s answer reveals that the company is also releasing Dune with the idea of continuing the story. when asked if Dune 2 was really going to happen, Sarnoff said, “Will we have a sequel to Dune? If you watch the movie you see how it ends. I think you pretty much know the answer to that.”
Without getting specific here, Dune does lend itself to a sequel, and Denis Villeneuve has been upfront with his desire to do a follow-up movie. That’s been the plan from the start, even if Dune 2 hadn’t been officially greenlit at that time. In a Zoom call with press at the Venice Film Festival, Villeneuve explained the “awkward position” he’s in after developing what he sees as just one part of a full movie.
“It’s true that I did just half of a movie,” he said, via CNet. “It’s a crazy way to do things … It’s like doing half of a painting or half of a symphony and saying, Wait, everybody, we’ll continue in two years … But those movies are very expensive to make, and I agreed with the deal to do the first part. It’s a gamble.”
Denis Villeneuve has also been concerned about the movie releasing on HBO Max, as it was designed to be seen on the big screen. There was also obviously the concern that putting it out for streaming would diminish its performance at the box office. The good news there is that a strong performance on HBO Max will still help convince the company to move forward on Dune 2 even if the ticket sales aren’t particularly high.
“Streaming can produce great content, but not movies of Dune’ s scope and scale,” Villeneuve said last year, per Variety. “Warner Bros.’ decision means Dune won’t have the chance to perform financially in order to be viable and piracy will ultimately triumph. Warner Bros. might just have killed the Dune franchise. This one is for the fans. AT&T’s John Stankey said that the streaming horse left the barn. In truth, the horse left the barn for the slaughterhouse.”
In any case, the best thing fans can do to help Villeneuve with Dune 2 is to watch Dune when it is released, whether that’s in theaters or on HBO Max. Directed by Villeneuve, the movie is written by Villeneuve, Jon Spaihts, and Eric Roth. It stars an ensemble cast featuring Timoth&ée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsg&ård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem. It will be released in theaters and on HBO Max on Oct. 22, 2021. This news comes to us from Deadline.