Dune director shares disappointing update on films' future

timothee chalamet, dune part two
Dune director addresses films' futureWarner Bros.

Dune director Denis Villeneuve has addressed the future of the film franchise following the release of the second instalment.

Dune: Part Two sees Timothee Chalamet return to Arrakis in his role of Paul Atreides alongside Zendaya's Chani for the eagerly anticipated sequel to 2021's Dune.

Originally slated for a November 2023 release, the film will now hit cinemas on March 1, but Villeneuve has issued a disappointing update about future Dune films.

The Arrival director confirmed that Dune 3, also known as Dune Messiah, will be his last film in the franchise despite the novel series the films are based on containing multiple sequels.

timothee chalamet, zendaya, dune part two
Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros

Related: Dune: Part Two confirms epic runtime

In the book series by Frank Herbert, Dune Messiah is followed by Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune, and Chapterhouse: Dune.

"Dune Messiah should be the last Dune movie for me," he told Time magazine, though the project has not yet been officially greenlit.

Last December, the director said during a press conference (per Variety) that Dune Messiah was "being written right now" and that: "The screenplay is almost finished but it is not finished. It will take a little time… There's a dream of making a third movie… it would make absolute sense to me."

It comes as the director revealed the ending to the second film is "more tragic" than in Herbert's novel counterpart, revealing a deviation from the source material.

zendaya, dune part two
Warner Bros.

Related: Dune ending explained: How does it set up Dune: Part Two?

He told Total Film: "All of the elements are there. But I think the movie adaptation is more tragic than the book. The way that Part Two ends... it would create a total balance and equilibrium to finish Paul's storyline in what we could say in Part Three."

Zendaya praised working with Villeneuve and shared her excitement to continue starring in the franchise if the director is on board: "Denis is an artist, and doesn't like to share things until he's got it figured out. So whenever he's ready, we're all keenly ready to hear what his vision is."

Dune: Part Two is out in cinemas on March 1, 2024. Dune is available to watch on Netflix in the UK and Ireland.

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