Dune Part Two Is Already Far Along In Development, Could Shoot Next Fall

Just when you thought you were out, the "Dune" news keeps pulling you back in. It's addictive, like spice. You may have heard by now that Legendary has greenlit "Dune Part Two" and director Denis Villeneuve is jonesing to make a "Dune" trilogy. However, with the release date for "Dune Part Two" only two years away now (Warner Bros. has set it for October 2023), people are understandably curious about how soon it's going to go into production.

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Villeneuve spoke in broad terms of the timeline for "Dune Part Two." First of all, it's good news that this sequel has been confirmed and is even being made, since there was some uncertainty about that, despite the fact that the title card for "Dune" comes up as "Dune Part One," and the movie leaves the audience hanging with only the first half of Frank Herbert's novel covered. Villeneuve told THR:

"It's fantastic news, but it's also kind of a burden. The good news is that a lot of the work has been done already regarding design, casting, locations, and writing. So we're not starting from scratch. It's not a long period of time, but I will try to face that challenge because it's important for me that the audience sees Part Two as soon as possible. It's not a sequel where it's another episode or another story with the same characters. It actually has direct continuity to the first movie. It's the second part of the big huge movie that I'm trying to do. So the sooner the better."

Don't Rush the Spice

When asked if "Dune" could start shooting next spring, Villeneuve said, "No, that's too soon. We still have a lot of work to do. It'd probably be more towards fall, and even that would be fast."

It's good to know that much of the pre-production work is already done for "Dune Part Two," but I have a hard time computing how the production and post-production time needed for a big-budget, effects-driven tentpole like this would jibe with the studio's planned release date. If "Dune Part Two" doesn't begin production until after the fall of 2022, is an October 2023 release still realistic?

This is purely a knee-jerk reaction, uninformed by anything other than speculation, but given how much releases dates for movies like "Dune" have been shuffled around during the pandemic, it wouldn't surprise me if, somewhere down the line, Warner Bros. wound up pushing back the release of "Dune Part Two" a few months more.

Filmmakers have to deal with studios chasing a release date all the time, but in this case, it would probably be better to give Villeneuve and his cast and crew as much time as they need to get "Dune Part Two" right, so that they can end this two-parter (or continue this three-parter, if it becomes a trilogy) as well as they started it.