Dune: Part Three receives an encouraging but cautious update from director Denis Villeneuve. Adapting the second half of the 1965 novel, Part Two will continue following Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) with the Fremen as he wages a war of retribution against House Harkonnen for destroying his family. Ahead of the Dune: Part Two release date in March 2024, Villeneuve has expressed interest in making a third movie that would adapt Frank Herbert’s follow-up novel, Dune Messiah, though the project has not yet been officially greenlit.
Now, during a press conference in South Korea (via TongTongCulture), Villeneuve provided an encouraging yet cautious update on the status of Dune 3.
The director says the script is “almost finished.” However, if a Dune Messiah movie is greenlit, the director might want to take time to do something else in between before making it. Read his full comments below:
The script for Villeneuve’s third Dune movie is based on the book by Frank Herbert, Dune Messiah, which was published in 1969. Set 12 years after the events of the first novel, Messiah mostly deals with the consequences of Paul’s rise to power. Without giving away too much, the story takes a few unexpected turns as Paul grapples with the burdens of prophecy and the difficult choices required to secure the future of the universe.
Dune Messiah and its 1976 sequel, Children of Dune, were previously adapted into the Sci-Fi Channel miniseries, Frank Herbert’s Children of Dune, in 2003. In August 2023, Villeneuve expressed making a third movie based on Dune Messiah, saying “there are words on paper.” Now, three months later, the script is “almost finished.”
Villeneuve didn’t say who is working on the screenplay, though it’s likely himself and Jon Spaiths who co-wrote the first two films, the latter of which has also expressed interest in making a Dune Messiah movie. Since Villeneuve doesn’t want to make the second and third movies back-to-back, as he did with the first two, it might be a few years before a potential Dune Messiah movie gets made. Plus, the existence of Dune: Part Three probably depends on Dune: Part Two’s box office.