Denis Villeneuve has started writing third Dune movie: 'There are words on paper'

Denis Villeneuve has started writing third Dune movie: 'There are words on paper'

Now that Dune: Part Two is officially delayed from this November until next March, sci-fi fans will have to wait a little longer for the highly anticipated second half of director Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of Frank Herbert's classic novel. But here's some solace: That film, when it does hit theaters, won't necessarily mark the end of Villeneuve's Dune saga.

The director first told EW two years ago that he would love to make a third Dune movie, based on Herbert's follow-up novel Dune Messiah. In a new interview with Empire, Villeneuve confirms that's still his goal, and that he's even begun work on it despite the lack of official greenlight (yet).

"I will say, there are words on paper," Villeneuve told Empire.


Everett Collection Denis Villeneuve and Javier Bardem on the set of 'Dune.'

Dune Messiah is a much shorter book than Herbert's original Dune, and also takes a darker view of series protagonist Paul Atreides (played by Timothée Chalamet in Villeneuve's films). But that's exactly why Villeneuve views it as essential.

"Dune Messiah was written in reaction to the fact that people perceived Paul Atreides as a hero," Villeneuve said. "Which is not what he wanted to do. My adaptation [of Dune] is closer to his idea that it's actually a warning."

So if Villeneuve gets to live his dream, he will make three Dune movies — but only three. Herbert wrote six Dune novels in total, and his son Brian Herbert has co-authored many more. But Villeneuve has no interest in adapting those, unfortunately for fans who may have longed to see his interpretation of the human/sandworm hybrid Leto II from God Emperor of Dune.

"Herbert wrote six books, and the more he was writing, the more it was getting psychedelic," Villeneuve told EW in 2021. "So I don't know how some of them could be adapted. One thing at a time. If I ever have the chance to do Dune: Part Two and Dune Messiah, I'm blessed."

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