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Denis Villeneuve Wants to Make a Dune Trilogy That Includes Adaption of Frank Hebert’s Second Novel

Ahead of its official release next month, Dune director Denis Villeneuve has revealed his interest in turning his take on the franchise into a movie trilogy. Although the two sequels to the sci-fi movie haven’t been officially announced yet by its distributor, Warner Bros., the Academy Award-nominated filmmaker recently told CBC’s Radio Canada that he wants to base the first follow-up on Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel of the same name.

Jon Spaihts, the screenwriter of this fall’s Dune screen adaptation, is collaborating on the script for the movie’s potential sequel with the helmer, who has stated that he feels that he can start shooting the next feature in the fall of 2022. The duo is working to cover the second half of the book, which is 412 pages in length, in the film franchise’s second entry.

In order to tell a cohesive story in the movie, Spaihts took some liberties with Herbert’s story while adaptation it for the screen. Villeneuve revealed during a recent interview with Total Film that one major change in the movie is that Feyd-Rathua Harkonnen, the nephew of Stellan Skarsgård’s Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, won’t appear on screen until the first follow-up. The villain was previously played by Sting in David Lynch’s 1984 film adaptation of the novel.

Another notable change in Villeneuve’ adaptation is that the character of Liet Kynes will be played by Sharon Duncan-Brewster. The actress’ casting marks a gender swap from the book.

“The book is so rich. There are so many fantastic details about the different cultures. In order to preserve and have the time to bring that to the screen, we had to make important choices,” Villeneuve stated while discussing the screen adaptation’s changes.

During his interview with Radio Canada, Villeneuve also divulged that he wants the third movie to cover the 1969 sequel novel, Dune Messiah. During the interview, he said: “There is Dune‘s second book, The Messiah of Dune, which could make an extraordinary film. I always saw that there could be a trilogy; after that, we’ll see. It’s years of work; I can’t think of going further than that.”

Warner Bros. is set to distribute Dune, whose ensemble cast also includes Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, Jason Momoa and Javier Bardem, on October 22 in theaters and HBO Max. The feature’s official release will follow the feature’s world premiere on September 3 at the Venice Film Festival.

Karen Benardello
Karen Benardello
As a life-long fan of films and television shows, and an endless passion for writing, Karen Benardello decided to combine the two for a career. She graduated from New York's LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic in 2008. Karen has since been working in the press in New York City, including interviewing film and television casts and crews, writing movie and television news articles and reviewing films and televisions series. Some of her highlights include attending such local events as the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and New York Comic-Con, as well as traveling across North America to attend such festivals as the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW and the Toronto International Film Festival. She has been a member of the Women Film Critics Circle since 2012, and the New York Film Critics Online since 2019.


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