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When Will Dune’s Denis Villeneuve Start Work On Part Three? Here’s His Honest Thoughts About Messiah

 Paul and Chani in Dune Part 2.
Paul and Chani in Dune Part 2.

Dune: Part Two is out in theaters and the general consensus is that the sequel is even better than the multiple Oscar-winning first part. Our Dune: Part Two review was as glowing as any. With another solid success, it’s easy to assume that a third Dune movie, Dune: Messiah, which director Denis Villeneuve has stated he wants to make, will be his next project. However, the director says he would like to take some time away from Arakkis, so don’t expect another Dune movie in the short term.

Even before Dune: Part Two was done filming, director Denis Villeneuve had expressed interest in adapting the second novel Dune: Messiah into a third movie and completing the story of Paul Atraeides. While Frank Herbert wrote more Dune books after that, Messiah is the end of Paul’s story. Villeneuve recently spoke to Empire and while it’s clear he still very much wants to make that movie, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done first. And it sounds like the director would just like to take a break and doing something else for a bit. He explained…

I felt that it was a good idea to move forward right after Part One. We were already designing, writing et cetera. But it also meant that for six years I was on Arrakis non-stop, and I think it will be healthy to step back a little bit. First, make sure that we have a strong screenplay. The thing I want to avoid is not having something ready. I never did it, and now I feel it could be dangerous because of the enthusiasm. We need to make sure all the ideas are on paper. If we go back, it needs to be real, it needs to be relevant, if ever I do Dune Messiah, [it’s] because it’s going to be better than Part Two. Otherwise, I don’t do it.

While Dune: Part Two wasn’t officially given the green light until the release of Part One, Villeneuve says it made sense to jump right from Part One to Part Two. A lot of the work from the first part would easily translate to the second part so a lot of the work was done. It sounds like no work has been done on Messiah and the director doesn’t want to jump into the third project without a plan.

In the end, Villeneuve says he wants Dune: Messiah to be better than Dune: Part Two, and he’d rather not make it if that’s not the case. That’s certainly a pretty high bar considering how people feel about Dune: Part Two. But of course, it also makes a third film incredibly exciting.

At this point, we don’t even know for sure if we’ll get a third Dune movie. Even the director has admitted that a Dune: Messiah film would have issues, but if it does happen it won’t be on the same timetable as the last movie. While fans certainly don’t want to wait, one assumes that if waiting means getting a better movie they’ll be happy to do so.