Denis Villeneuve, the writer/director of Dune, has said that part two of this series will begin production this summer and that the script is ready. After David Lynch’s 1984 cult hit, Villeneuve turned into the second filmmaker to adapt Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi epic novel for the big screen. Dune follows young Paul Atreides and his royal family in the far future as they take over the difficult desert planet Arrakis, placing them in the crosshairs of former conquerors the House Harkonnen and the local Fremen people.
Dune: Part One was led by the cast of Timothée Chalamet as Paul, together with Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem. Dune was released in cinemas and on HBO Max in October with mainly good reviews from critics and audiences alike, as well as a huge box office tally of about $700 million against its $165 million budget. Villeneuve prepared his screenplay to split the 412-page novel into two parts, though the second half did not receive approval from Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment, a few days after the first film’s debut, now the filmmaker is providing interesting information for the trilogy.
Denis Villeneuve recently spoke with Empire and revealed fresh details about the production of Dune: Part Two. The writer/director stated that Dune: Part Two would begin production this summer and discussed his first experience developing a sequel to one of his own films.
Here is what Villeneuve had to say about it:
“We are supposed to shoot by the end of the summer. I will say it is mostly designed. The thing that helps us right now is that it’s the first time I’ve revisited a universe. So I’m working with the same crew, everybody knows what to do, we know what it will look like. The movie will be more challenging, but we know where we are stepping. And the screenplay is written. So I feel confident. Frankly, the only big unknown for me right now is the pandemic.”
Villeneuve assures that Dune: Part Two will start production this summer comes about a month after the screenwriter’s latest update, in which he stated that his crew, including himself, were in “soft prep” and were working on the screenplay. The filmmaker’s recent statements should come as an encouraging promise that the sequel’s development is proceeding as planned, with the script now complete and the majority of the design work ready for when they go into production. Villeneuve’s fear about the pandemic hurting filmmaking comes as a number of important productions, most notably the next two Mission: Impossible films, continue to be delayed in the middle of the omicron variant spike.
Even if the virus causes a delay in the production of Dune: Part Two, Villeneuve’s confidence in returning to the realm of Arrakis remains encouraging given his enthusiasm for the subject.
This love has led him to broaden his ambitions for the franchise to include a potential trilogy adapting Dune Messiah and the HBO Max spin-off prequel series The Sisterhood, however, the former will be dependent on the first sequel’s financial and critical success. Only time will tell what happens next as production on Dune: Part Two continues in the run-up to the film’s October 2023 premiere.