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Everything we know about Dune: Part Three so far

Published Mar 5th, 2024 7:06PM EST
Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya in Dune: Part Two.
Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

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Back in 2021, the first of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune adaptations debuted simultaneously on HBO Max and in theaters as part of a hapless release strategy by Warner Bros. Two and a half years later, the epic sequel has arrived exclusively in theaters, and it’s clearly on track to be one of the biggest box office hits of 2024. Despite the success of Dune: Part Two, a third entry hasn’t been officially confirmed, but there’s plenty of evidence that Dune 3 is coming.

Will there be a Dune: Part Three?

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

First off, it’s worth noting that Dune director Denis Villeneuve has expressed interest in rounding out his adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune novels with a third movie.

“If I succeed in making a trilogy, that would be the dream,” Villeneuve told Empire in August. He noted that Part Three would adapt Dune Messiah, which was the second of Frank Herbert’s six Dune novels and a direct follow-up to the original book.

Dune Messiah was written in reaction to the fact that people perceived Paul Atreides as a hero,” Villeneuve added. “Which is not what [Herbert] wanted to do. My adaptation is closer to his idea that it’s actually a warning.”

Finally, Villeneuve revealed in the interview that “there are words on paper,” suggesting that he started writing the script for Part Three months ago.

Separately, in an interview with Variety the day before Dune: Part Two was released, composer Hans Zimmer said that on the second day of shooting, Villeneuve “wordlessly comes in and puts “Dune: Messiah” on my desk, and I know where we’re going and I know we’re not done.” So, we have a script being written and music being composed.

Does Dune: Part Three have a release date?

At the time of writing, Dune 3 hasn’t even been announced. That said, even if Warner Bros. and Legendary greenlight a third movie, don’t expect to see it on the big screen any time soon. After all, it took the crew two and a half years to make Dune: Part Two, even with production starting almost immediately after Part One was in the can.

This time, Villeneuve has made it abundantly clear that he’s going to take some time away from Arrakis, regardless of whether or not the studio wants any more Dunes. Here’s what he said in a Hollywood Reporter profile when asked about waiting for the cast to age before embarking upon Dune Messiah, which picks up 12 years after the first book:

It’s not that. I just finished Part Two very recently, and I went from Part One to Part Two without even an hour in between. I’m not complaining. I feel blessed to work, of course, but it’s just that I physically need to recover for a couple of weeks. It’s also about making sure that I have the right screenplay. I have four projects on the table, currently. One of them is a secret project that I cannot talk about right now, but that needs to see the light of day quite quickly. So it would be a good idea to do something in between projects, before tackling Dune Messiah and Cleopatra. All these projects are still being written, so we’ll see where they go, but I have no control over that.

In other words, even if Warner Bros. announces Dune 3 in the coming days, Villeneuve is likely going to be preoccupied for quite some time. With that said, a fall 2027 release date is probably off the table, provided the third movie is in production as long as the second was. 2028 might be the earliest we can realistically expect Dune: Part Three, unless Villeneuve changes his mind or his schedule clears up in the coming months.

If and when more news about the next Dune arises, we’ll be sure to share it right here.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.