Denis Villeneuve has just released his new movie Dune and gotten the greenlight for the sequel, but the French-Canadian director already has some spice-y ideas to make it a trilogy. As he told The Hollywood Reporter, he hopes to base the third flick on Frank Herbert’s Dune Messiah.
“If things go well with Part Two, I could foresee the idea of maybe doing a third movie, Dune Messiah,” he said. “That would make sense to me.”
The 1969 Messiah is set 12 years after 1965’s Dune. Without delving too far into spoilers — but still, minor spoilers to follow — it finds Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet in the films) struggling with the intersection of religion and bureaucracy, focused on his family and trying to reject his own deification.
Villeneuve hinted at this in his interview. “Frank Herbert wrote Dune as a warning towards those messianic figures, those chosen ones, those savior figures,” he said. “It’s about how dangerous those kinds of figures can be. It’s a criticism of the messianic figure.”
The director has even allowed his imagination to stretch beyond a third Dune movie, though he plans to explore other mythologies. “After that, I think that I will make some other movies; let’s call them big movies regarding their ambition and scope. And later on, when I’m too tired to do that, I will go back to some smaller projects. But for now, I have the energy to do this.”
Dune Part Two is due out in October 2023, and Villeneuve expects to start filming it next fall.