Dune director Denis Villeneuve is celebrating the news that Dune: Part Two has now officially been greenlit, with the filmmaker revealing that the highly anticipated sequel will hopefully be ready to go before cameras in fall 2022…at the earliest. Asked whether Dune 2 would be ready to start rolling in the spring, Villeneuve replied with a laugh saying, “No, that’s too soon. We still have a lot of work to do. It’d probably be more toward fall, and even that would be fast.”
While Villeneuve is of course ecstatic to be given the opportunity to continue the story of Paul Atreides, not unlike Paul himself, the director has already begun to feel the pressure. While the production already has a head start, there is still a lot of work to be done, and Villeneuve is desperate to begin filming as soon as humanly possible.
“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. 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.”
Aside from being determined to get the cameras rolling quickly, there is another Dune 2 element that Villeneuve is adamant about – an exclusive theatrical release. Unlike the first Dune, which was a part of Warner Bros.’ simultaneous HBO Max and theatrical release strategy, Villeneuve has now stated that the second part will hit the big screen only, and that this was key in securing his return for the sequel.
“For me, it was a non-negotiable condition. 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.”
The announcement that Dune: Part Two is officially going ahead came with a big sigh of relief from both the creatives involved and audiences who have now basked in the epic scope of Dune: Part One. Thanks to the first movie grossing $223.2 million worldwide against a production budget of $165 million so far, the studio is now eager for Villeneuve to complete his vision.
“Legendary is pleased to officially move forward with Dune: Part Two…once again based on the amazing books written by Frank Herbert,” studio Legendary said in a statement. “We would not have gotten to this point without the extraordinary vision of Denis and the amazing work of his talented crew, the writers, our stellar cast, our partners at Warner Bros., and of course the fans! Here’s to more Dune.”
Dune: Part Two is scheduled to hit movie theaters on October 20, 2023. This comes to us courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.