Dune Messiah Movie Would Be Denis Villeneuve’s Last in Franchise

Dune: Part Two co-writer/director Denis Villeneuve recently confirmed that the proposed adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1969 novel Dune Messiah would be the last film he would work on in the franchise.

Speaking with Empire, Villeneuve revealed that it “would be the dream” if he succeeded in making a trilogy of Dune films based on the first two novels by Herbert — Dune and Dune Messiah. Dune was adapted into a two-part film by Villeneuve, with Part One released in 2021 to critical acclaim and commercial success and Part Two scheduled for release in March 2024.

“If I succeed in making a trilogy, that would be the dream,” he said. “Dune Messiah was written in reaction to the fact that people perceived Paul Atreides as a hero. Which is not what he [Herbert] wanted to do. My adaptation [of Dune] is closer to his idea that it’s actually a warning.” Villeneuve also revealed that he began writing the script for Dune Messiah before the Writers Guild of America Strike, teasing, “I will say, there are words on paper.”

While an adaptation of Dune Messiah has not yet been greenlit by Warner Bros. and Legendary, Villeneuve remains hopeful that he will be able to conclude his Dune trilogy, which would close out his time working on the sci-fi franchise. Should WB and Legendary choose to move forward with further Dune movies, it would be without the involvement of Villeneuve, who believes that the post-Messiah Dune books “become more… esoteric.”

What happens in Dune: Part Two?

Dune: Part Two adapts the second half of Frank Herbert’s acclaimed 1965 novel, continuing the mythic journey of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) as he unites with Chani (Zendaya) and the Fremen “while on a warpath of revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family,” reads the synopsis. “Facing a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the known universe, he endeavors to prevent a terrible future only he can foresee.”

Starring alongside Chalamet and Zendaya are Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, Charlotte Rampling, Javier Bardem, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Christopher Walken, and Léa Seydoux.

Dune: Part Two is scheduled to hit theaters on March 15, 2024.