With all its complexities and sprawling storytelling, Dune has notoriously been one of the most challenging properties to adapt to cinema. Many have tried, but when word came that modern sci-fi king Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Blade Runner 2049) would be the latest director to give it a shot, it seemed like the right match had finally been made. While we’re still years away from seeing anything of Villeneuve’s vision, he’s already off to an encouraging start as he recently revealed he intends to split the Dune story over two films.
Speaking at Montreal’s Place des Arts’ Théâtre Maisonneuve for the Rendez-Vous du Cinema Quebecois (via The Playlist), Villeneuve told the audience, “The goal is to make two films, maybe more.” More than just a franchise grab, this is probably good news if you’re a Dune fan: It signals that the director wants to ensure he gives the dense story space to fully breathe on the screen.
It also hints that Villeneuve is prepared to take the care and patience needed to deliver the type of film fans of Frank Herbert’s classic novel have long deserved. “Dune will probably take two years to make,” said the director.
Should the studio (Legendary) decide a multi-movie Dune series is not in the cards, Villeneuve has at least proven capable of adhering to length restrictions. He originally considered splitting Blade Runner 2029 into two films when his first cut clocked in at over four hours. He eventually got it below three, and that movie took home a pair of Oscars. Regardless, it’s hard to imagine Legendary wouldn’t be excited about having a new sci-fi franchise on their hands.
And frankly so would fans.