‘Dune Part Two’ To Go Forward
by Erik Amaya
He who controls the box office controls the universe.
Thanks to some record-setting returns (within pandemic confines, at least), Legendary Pictures announced Tuesday that the Dune saga will continue with Dune Part Two. Thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak and the attendant difficulties in releasing major motion pictures, the future of Dune was in doubt even as the film, subtitled as “Part One” in its title card, debuted in theaters and HBO Max.
But on Monday, box office tracking revealed the film was the best Warner Bros. opening since it announced its plan to release all of its 2021 films in theaters and on its streaming service simultaneously. In the US, it opened to a $40.1 million gross with an international take of $160 million so far. The number of Max views has not been released, but it has been long suspected that a strong showing on the platform would also aid the likelihood of a sequel.
Director Denis Villeneuve revealed last month that he was only starting to write the next part, which will see Paul (Timothée Chalamet) accept part of his terrible destiny even as he and the Fremen begin to liberate Arrakis from Harkonnen occupation. Characters missing from the first film — like the Harkonnen na-Baron, Feyd-Rautha — will likely appear. Villeneuve also said the second part will be more pure filmmaking fun as the first film did the bulk of the world building. Although, as Dune fans know, the world-building never ends. According to some reports, the director envisions his time in the Imperium ending with an adaptation of Dune Messiah, but we fully expect Legendary to continue adapting the remaining novels of author Frank Herbert and, perhaps, the continuation series penned by his son, Brian Herbert, and Kevin J. Anderson.
Then again, considering where the Dune saga goes, we’ll be stunned if Legendary and Warner will ever get to God Emperor of Dune.
Dune Part Two is scheduled for release on October 20, 2023.