Will Dune 3 Happen? Here’s What We Know So Far

Will Dune 3 Happen? Here’s What We Know So Far

After an almost three-year wait, Dune Part Two has hit cinemas, answering many of our lingering questions from the first part. But the ending of the second part has left me with one more question, will there be a Dune 3? Let’s investigate.

How many Dune books are there?

Dune by Frank Herbert (1965)

If you somehow didn’t know, Denis Villeneuve’s Dune films are based on Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel. The two parts cover the entirety of the plot of the first novel, but Herbert didn’t stop there. In fact, he wrote six Dune books:

  • Dune (1965)
  • Dune Messiah (1969)
  • Children of Dune (1976)
  • God Emperor of Dune (1981)
  • Heretics of Dune (1984)
  • Chapterhouse: Dune (1985)

Some of these books do cover the characters we’ve come to know and love in the first Dune, so there is potential for this series to keep going.

Will there be a third Dune movie?

Image: Warner Bros.

As of right now, Warner Bros has not confirmed whether Dune 3 will happen, but there are some positive signs.

In the recent press tour for Dune Part Two, director Denis Villeneuve told Time Magazine that “Dune Messiah should be the last Dune movie for me.”

The director then told The Hollywood Reporter that the script for a third Dune movie is “almost done, but it needs work.”

While the studio hasn’t officially greenlit it for production, a Dune 3 makes sense for many reasons. The first Dune movie made over $400 million worldwide at the box office (bear in mind this was in 2021 amidst the pandemic), and it took home six Academy Awards.

It’s too early to say how successful Dune Part 2 will be, but it looks likely it will be one of the biggest movies of the year with a projected $170 million debut and a 95 per cent positive critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Adding a third movie to this popular wave seems like a no-brainer.

What will Dune 3 be about?

dune 2 australia release date
Image: Warner Bros Pictures

Given that the first two Dune movies have effectively covered all the plot of the first novel, it appears Dune 3 will be a Dune Messiah adaptation.

If you don’t want spoilers from the novel or what may potentially happen in Dune 3, then scroll on.

Dune Messiah picks up the story twelve years after the end of Dune, which sees Paul “Maud’Dib” Atreides ruling as the Emperor. As the Messiah to the Freman and the Emperor of most of the known universe, Paul is more powerful than any ruler before him, but his visions lead him to believe that humanity is on a path to destruction, so he sets out to avoid it, whilst also overcoming those who conspire against him.

While there is a 12-year time jump between events, many of the same characters appear in Dune Messiah, which means many of the headlining actors could return as well – albeit aged up a bit. Timothee Chalamet, Florence Pugh and Zendaya are all performers who would be expected to make an appearance.

When will Dune 3 be released?

With Villeneuve’s Dune 3 script still in the draft stage, it’s a long road to the release of a third movie.

The team did manage to turn around Dune Part Two quite quickly after the first, and if production follows the same timeline, we’d be looking at somewhere around 2027 for Dune Part 3.

Before that, however, we do have another Dune-related project to look forward to. Dune: Prophecy is a TV series in development for HBO Max, which is set in Villeneuve’s Dune world and follows the origins of the mysterious organisation of the Bene Gesserit. Emily Watson, Olivia Williams, Travis Fimmel and Mark Strong star in the series and it is expected to be released later in 2024.

So you can rest assured that there is more Dune on the way, but in the meantime, you can catch Dune Part Two in cinemas now.

Lead Image Credit: Warner Bros

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