Director Denis Villeneuve said that his upcoming film Dune, for which he hopes to begin shooting a sequel in the fall of 2022, is just a taste of what’s to come in the world he’s building. The science-fiction epic is based on Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel of the same name about a feudal-like galaxy and the inter-House conflicts within it. Dune follows House Atreides, spearheaded by Oscar Isaac’s Duke Leto Atreides and his son Paul, played by Timothée Chalamet. Rebecca Ferguson plays Lady Jessica, wife of Duke Leto. When they are asked by the Emperor to take stewardship over the planet Arakkis (also known as Dune), they are forced to accept despite the fact that they are aware of a trap being laid for them.
Stellan Skarsgård plays the Baron Harkonnen, the leader of the Atreides’ rival house and former stewards of Arakkis. Dune will also introduce the Fremen people, a group native to the desert planet who have adapted to the inhospitable landscape. Zendaya stars as Chani, a Fremen woman whose destiny is intertwined with Chalamet’s Paul, while Javier Bardem will play Stilgar, leader of a Fremen tribe. The expansive world created by Herbert has long been seen as unadaptable, though several have tried, but many have touted Villeneuve’s Dune as the definitive version.
In an interview with SR, Villeneuve discussed his plans for the future of the franchise and teased just what he has in store for a potential sequel. The director said that the first film will take time to establish all of the necessary components of the vast world, after which it becomes “an insane playground.” Ultimately, Dune 2 will be much larger in scale compared to the first part and Villeneuve says, “For me, Dune 1 is like an appetizer. Dune Part 2 is the main meal.“
Villeneuve has already discussed his plans for the sequel heavily, revealing recently that he is in the midst of writing the screenplay for Dune Part 2. The sequel, if greenlit, will adapt the second half of Herbert’s first novel, but at this point it remains unclear when the first film will end. Trailers indicate that Paul will at least make his way to the desert with Lady Jessica, becoming part of the Fremen people, but mystery still surrounds the ending of Villeneuve’s film.
Still, in order to make a sequel to Dune, the film must do well enough at the box office. Villeneuve has said that the only thing that would prevent the making of a sequel would be if Dune bombed at the box office. While that seems unlikely, it’s still hard to tell just how well the film will perform in theaters, especially with its simultaneous release on HBO Max. Luckily, Dune is anticipated enough that it will at least make a splash at the box office, hopefully prompting Warner Bros. to greenlight a sequel. The studio at least seems willing to invest in an expanded universe as they are already producing a companion series for HBO Max, indicating that Villeneuve’s world could be around for years to come.