Denis Villeneuve Is Ready To Make Dune Messiah After Dune Part Two

Let the sequels flow. If Denis Villeneuve has his way, we'll all be marathoning the "Dune" film trilogy someday.

"Dune" is still in its opening week in the U.S., but Legendary Entertainment has already greenlit one sequel, which is good news considering that the first movie titles itself "Part One" onscreen and only covers the first half of Frank Herbert's Hugo and Nebula award-winning novel. However, as bibliophiles may know, the novel itself is only the first part of a six-book series Herbert wrote.

The first book sequel is "Dune Messiah," and that's the movie that Villeneuve would like to make after "Dune Part Two." Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, he said: 

"I always envisioned three movies. It's not that I want to do a franchise, but this is Dune, and Dune is a huge story. In order to honor it, I think you would need at least three movies. That would be the dream. To follow Paul Atreides and his full arc would be nice."

The Dune Trilogy Extended Edition

I reread Herbert's novel before seeing "Dune," and after watching the movie on the big screen (and having the theater all to myself), I was entertained by the spectacle and largely positive on it. However, while exploring some of the changes it made and how it sought to capture the spirit, if not the letter, of the book, I did note that there were a few places where the movie sacrificed some of the book's depth. This is something that /Film's own Jeremy Mathai touched on more when he argued that a faithful adaptation doesn't always make a great movie.

Even with a protracted running time of 2 hours and 35 minutes, there's only so much a film can do compared to a massive door-stopper of a novel. By comparison, the iBook edition of "Dune" is over 1,200 pages.

If Villeneuve gets to make not one, but two "Dune" sequels, and it becomes a trilogy like "The Lord of the Rings," it would give the story a little more room to breathe. Maybe they could even do a "Dune" Trilogy Extended Edition, working in extra moments that would add backstory or shading to characters like Thufir Hawat (Stephen McKinley Henderson), who have been or would otherwise be given short shrift by the needs of compressing Herbert's sprawling narrative into a movie's running time.

If "The Lord of the Rings" were released today, it feels like it would quickly become the subject of a hashtag campaign like #ReleaseTheTomBombadilCut. Fans who are already thinking #ReleaseTheFeydRauthaCut with regards to "Dune" can tide themselves over for "Dune Part Two" with the thought that a trilogy might one day become reality.

"Dune" is in theaters and on HBO Max now.