“Dune 2” is Officially Greenlit
Writer/director Denis Villeneuve will get to finish the entirety of his vision for Dune. Legendary Entertainment announced the good news via tweet on Tuesday, booking our ticket back to the desert planet of Arrakis so we can see how Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) and Chani (Zendaya) navigate the coming war with both House Harkonnen and the mysterious Emperor. After Villeneuve scored the best opening of his career last weekend and Dune proved to be Warner Bros. strongest box office draw under its temporary model of releasing films in theaters and HBO Max simultaneously, Legendary, the primary financier of the film and the owner of the film rights and book series, let the world know it wanted the spice to keep flowing. Warner Bros. will distribute the film and help to finance as well. Dune 2 is expected to get an exclusive theatrical run and is currently been slated to open on October 20, 2023.
Here was the tweet from Legendary:
This is only the beginning…
— Legendary (@Legendary) October 26, 2021
Dune earned a very solid $41 million in ticket sales domestically in its first weekend, the best opening of the year for Warner Bros. and proof that audiences were eager to see this sweeping, made-for-the-big-screen epic in theaters. High-concept, cerebral sci-fi films are not nearly as reliable at the box office as, say, a superhero movie, yet Dune managed to meet the expectations Warner Bros. had set for it before the pandemic changed everything. The fact that Dune performed so well in our current pandemic-exhausted climate speaks to the film’s pull on audiences. Globally, Dune has gobbled up $225 million thus far.
Villeneuve always intended Dune to be a two-parter—it’s right there in the opening title sequence, Dune: Part 1. The writer/director explained to director Christopher Nolan during their conversation on the DGA’s The Director’s Cut podcast that he had hoped to shoot the two parts back-to-back, but that wasn’t in the cards. He eventually felt it was a blessing, as just filming Dune‘s massive first part was a Herculean effort. Now, he and his talented cast and crew will get to return to Arrakis to finish the job.
And there’s a lot of job left to finish. Dune ends at the middle point of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel, with Chalamet’s Paul Atreides seeking out the Fremen’s help, the native inhabitants of Arrakis and the only people that might help Paul avenge his father (played Oscar Isaac) and the many other members of House Atreides who were slaughtered by House Harkonnen and their alliance with the Emperor. Dune 2 will follow Paul, Zendaya’s Chani, and the rest of the Fremen as they retreat to the desert and hope to resist, and eventually defeat, the would-be colonizers. It’s important to note that House Atreides, while the noblest of the intergalactic families, were seen as colonizers by the Fremen, too. Villeneuve has said that Dune 2 will focus much more on Chani. In the first part, she is mostly seen in dream sequences.
“We are thrilled to continue on this journey with Denis and his cast and crew, and our partners at Legendary, and can’t wait to bring the next chapter of this epic tale to theaters in October 2023,” Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich said.
“It was a dream of mine to adapt Frank Herbert’s Dune and I have the fans, the cast, and crew, Legendary and Warner Bros. to thank for supporting this dream,” Villeneuve said in a statement. Then, using a line directly from the very end of Dune, the director quoted Zendaya’s Chani: “This is only the beginning.”
For more on Dune, check out these stories:
Featured image: TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET as Paul Atreides in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure “DUNE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary release. Photo: Chiabella James