Denis Villeneuve Will Not Direct Frank Herbert’s Dune Novels After Dune 3


  • Denis Villeneuve has plans to make Dune 3, likely based on Herbert’s second novel in the series, Dune Messiah. 
  • Villeneuve is unsure if he will continue working on Frank Herbert’s later Dune novels as they are complicated and would take significant time on his part. 

Dune director Denis Villeneuve has plans to make Dune 3 but does not want to adapt Frank Herbert’s other books in the series. 

The 1965 sci-fi series includes five sequels written by Frank Herbert himself and a series of sequels and prequels penned by his son Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. Villeneuve’s upcoming film, Dune: Part Two, is based on the second half of Herbert’s first novel in the series. 

He mentioned that he is also willing to adapt the second book in the series, Dune Messiah, which could be the source material for a potential Dune 3. 

Denis Villeneuve Will Not Direct Frank Herbert’s Dune Novels After Dune 3
Dune 2 | Source: IMDb

In a conversation with Inverse, Villeneuve mentioned that it took him significant time and commitment to make the first two Dune films. He is not sure if he wants to spend the rest of his career working on the Dune sequels. 

Villeneuve also mentioned that he is skeptical of working with the later books in the series, as they include high-concept sci-fi themes that are difficult to adapt for the big screen. Here’s his quote: 

Time is passing, and I don’t know if I want to spend the rest of my days in Arrakis. I’m frankly afraid of the other books because they become pretty esoteric and more difficult to adapt.

Before Villeneuve started making Dune, many filmmakers tried their hands at bringing Herbert’s magnum opus to life on the big screen. However, directors and screenwriters struggled to adapt the vast and nuanced universe of the books. 

Denis Villeneuve Will Not Direct Frank Herbert’s Dune Novels After Dune 3
Paul and Chani in Dune | Source: IMDb

Dune: Part One, however, was appreciated for being faithful to the books and making an effective adaption. If Dune 2 gets the same kind of critical acclaim and appreciation, Dune 3 could be greenlit by Warner Bros. 

Warner Bros. is also making a Dune prequel series, Dune: Prophecy. The studio is committed to exploring the entire franchise in detail. If Villeneuve does not come on board for the later Dune films, the studio could consider bringing in another director. 

About Dune

Dune (also known as Dune: Part One) is an American sci-fi film based on Frank Herbert’s novel of the same name, directed by Denis Villeneuve.

Part One introduced the planet of Dune/Arrakis, the only place where the enhancer drug “Melange” is found and sought out by many. The Atreides House is sent to the planet as the ruling Duke, as part of their adversaries’ trap. However, the Atreides are aware of the same and aim to defend Dune and their house.

The ensemble cast is made up of Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem.

Aaheli Pradhan

Aaheli Pradhan

A grandma by heart who loves to knit, sketch, and swing in parks. Binge-reads a massive amount of manga from psychological to shounen-ai. Either awkward or salty, there's no in-between.


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