Denis Villeneuve’s Ready for Dune 3, He Just Needs a Break First

Dune: Part Two is a little over a month away, and fans are still hoping there’s more films to come. Director Denis Villeneuve’s been quite about his desires to adapt the book’s immediate sequel, Dune Messiah. And while those plans haven’t changed, it sounds like he’ll step back from the series before giving that one a proper go.

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In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Villeneuve talked about wanting to “settle down a little bit” after Part Two. The first two Dune films were made back-to-back, and the team “didn’t have a second to rest.” By the time of the 2022 Oscars, his producer (and wife) Tanya Lapointe were in pre-production on Part Two, a sharp contrast to other directors the morning after the ceremony who were talking about how they’d spend their downtime. Understandably, the filmmaking couple would like to have a real break of their own and put some distance between them and Arrakis.

Bad news, then, that Dune: Part Two will end on a cliffhanger, according to the director. Like the 1965 novel, the sequel will close out “with the beginning of something that is out of control,” which he was all in favor of. Confident of how Part Two sticks the landing, Villeneuve confirmed his eventual adaptation of 1969’s Dune Messiah will have a 12-year timeskip. Messiah’s script is currently being worked on, and as self-professed fan of Frank Herbert’s books, he’s excited to reach “the end of the arc of Paul Atreides.”

Naturally, Villeneuve wants an eventual Messiah film to be better than Part Two, and also for it to be “different” than its predecessors. A break would help ensure that, he said, as prevents him from “[falling] into a vocabulary that has been predefined by the first two movies.” He’d be game to make something else in the interim, but it’s not a soft confirmation of anything in particular—just an acknowledgment that it’d be healthy to step back from the franchise machine.

Dune: Part Two releases in theaters on March 1.

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