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Dune: Part Three is confirmed, but a Nuclear War might come first

Published Apr 5th, 2024 6:50AM EDT
Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya in Dune: Part Two.
Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

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I’ve now watched Dune: Part Two twice after my first rather painful 4DX experience. What I’ve come to appreciate about both movies so far is how the story is told. Except for the somewhat abrupt ending of the first Dune film, the movies don’t feel like they were designed as parts of a trilogy, or a multi-part story.

You could also watch Dune 2 and get most of the story without watching the first installment. It’s a lot more fun if you see both of them. The way Part Two ends is much better than the first movie. You get the feeling that you saw a complete story, and while another sequel would be appreciated, it’s not necessary.

If you’ve already read the books, then you expect another sequel. There’s more to Paul Atreides’s (Timothée Chalamet) story. The same goes for Chani (Zendaya) and the other characters we’ve grown to love. But again, this is the beauty of Villeneuve’s creations. They don’t guarantee a sequel.

It turns out that Villeneuve is indeed working on Dune 3. But there’s no release date for Part Three as the director might embark on a different journey first, adapting a new book about nuclear war.

Villeneuve is discussing with Legendary the adaptation of Annie Jacobsen’s Pulitzer Prize finalist Nuclear War: A Scenario, reports Variety. The same Legendary is working with Villeneuve to develop Dune: Part Three. The title isn’t official, either. It’s what I’d expect them to call the next sequel.

Whether Villeneuve will produce, adapt, and/or direct Nuclear War is unclear. My fascination with Dune aside, that’s also a movie I’ll want to check out when it releases. Here’s what the book is about:

Pulitzer Prize finalist Annie Jacobsen’s Nuclear War: A Scenario. explores this ticking-clock scenario, based on dozens of exclusive new interviews with military and civilian experts who have built the weapons, have been privy to the response plans, and have been responsible for those decisions should they have needed to be made. Nuclear War: A Scenario. examines the handful of minutes after a nuclear missile launch. It is essential reading, and unlike any other book in its depth and urgency.

Dune: Part Three should bring back most of the cast.
Dune: Part Three should bring back most of the cast. Image source: Warner Bros.

That’s certainly what I’d want to see adapted in a movie. But if Villeneuve makes Nuclear War first, we’ll have to wait a while for Dune 3. Then again, that’s what we’ve been doing all along with the first movies, which saw delays of their own.

On the other hand, Dune: Part Two is the highest-grossing movie of 2024, with a box office take of $630 million worldwide. Dune 2 is still playing in cinemas, so it’ll make even more money by the time its theatrical run is over. Previously, Dune topped $402 million at the box office. These figures suggest Dune: Part Three will do tremendously well, particularly if it ends the story.

What I’m getting at is that Dune 3 could become a bigger priority for Legendary and Villeneuve. And Dune has nukes, too. Things aren’t as simple, of course. There’s the matter of the massively talented cast. They need to be available for Part Three.

The good news in all of this is that a Dune 3 is in the works. That’s all I need. Other than, perhaps seeing Part Two one more time.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.