Source: Warner Bros.
Denis Villeneuve’s dream of completing his two-part adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel Dune is finally becoming a reality, as Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros. approved its production. On Tuesday, Warner Bros Pictures announced that they are giving the green light on the sequel Dune: Part 2, which will hit the cinemas on October 20, 2023.
This is excellent news for fans of the first film Dune: Part One, a box office hit that debuted on October 22 with a massive earning of $40 million in domestic sales. The film was also a global hit amassing over $220 million at the box office, setting the record as the biggest opening of the year for Warner Bros. and the biggest of Villeneuve’s career.
In a statement, the filmmaker who is already at work on the script for the sequel shared his excitement with fans and said, “I just received news from Legendary that we are officially moving forward with ‘Dune: Part Two.” “It was a dream to adapt Herbert’s ‘Dune,’ and I have the fans, the cast, and crew, Legendary and Warner Bros. to thank for supporting this dream. But, this is only the beginning.”
Although the unprecedented effects of COVID-19 on the entertainment industry and the changing viewing habits of the audience cast a worrying shadow over the film’s financial potential, for Villeneuve, the decision of the Entertainment companies to make a sequel of the visually and emotionally extraordinary film came as no shock as he was confident of making a “Dune: Part Two” ever since the film was still in the post-production phase and its premiere at the Venice Film Festival. The first part of the movie ends in a cliffhanger with the main characters on a deserted island; the upcoming sequel promises to shift the spotlight to Zendaya’s Chani with new twists and turns.
In an interview, the director told Total Film magazine, “There’s no such thing as ‘Dune 1’ and ‘Dune 2.’ It’s ‘Dune: Part One and ‘Dune: Part Two.” In fact, the writer/filmmaker started the sequel two months ago before it was even approved for production. He added that he only agreed to direct the movie adaptation of Herbert’s novel for Warner Bros. and Legendary if they let him split the book into two parts. He said, “It would take a total box-office disaster for “Part Two” not to get made.”
Sharing his motivation for taking on the project, Villeneuve, in an interview with Total Film, revealed that there has been talk in the past decades that it was impossible to adapt the novel into a movie. “The first thing I did was to prove that there is a beautiful and popular movie that can exist, and I proved that —everybody at Warner Bros and Legendary, they are 100 percent behind the project,” he shared.