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Denis Villeneuve Teases Dune Trilogy by Adapting Hebert’s Second Novel

Although a second film has yet to be officially announced, director Denis Villeneuve is not slowing down in his ambitions for the Dune franchise. Villeneuve recently revealed that he has plans for a trilogy, with the first two covering Frank Herbert‘s first novel, and the third covering the sequel novel, Dune Messiah. Jon Spaihts, the screenwriter of 2021’s Dune, is hard at work with Villeneuve on the screenplay for a sequel.

Villeneuve revealed his trilogy ambitions to CBC’s Radio Canada, saying the following:

“There is ‘Dune’s second book, ‘The Messiah of Dune,’ which could make an extraordinary film. I always saw that there could be a trilogy; after that, we’ll see. It’s years of work; I can’t think of going further than that.”


Image via Warner Bros.

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It has been revealed that a Dune sequel would cover the second half of the novel, a savvy plan given that Dune runs 412 pages and brims with unique characters, worlds, and ideologies. Some liberties are certainly going to be taken, and Villeneuve revealed to Radio Canada that a villainous character, Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, would be saved for a sequel. Feyd is the nephew of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, who is being played by Stellan Skarsgård in the film.

“The book is so rich. There are so many fantastic details about the different cultures. In order to preserve and have the time to bring that to the screen, we had to make important choices,” said Villeneuve in response to these changes.

Adaptations often need to make these difficult choices and exclusions, but it’s often to the benefit of the film. It has also been revealed that the character of Liet Kynes will be played in the film by Sharon Duncan-Brewster, a gender swap from the novel. Yet given these comments, it certainly appears that Villeneuve grasps what makes Dune such an intriguing and successful piece of literature. Given his own track record as a director, anticipation is very high for Dune, and if the trailers are any indication it looks as if Villeneuve has certainly delivered.

Dune will be released in theaters and on HBO Max on October 22.

Keep Reading: Denis Villeneuve Says He’s “Still Not Happy” ‘Dune’ Is Premiering on HBO Max, Compares Release to Driving a Speedboat in a Bathtub

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