Denis Villeneuve is planning on making at least two Dune movies. The acclaimed filmmaker is quickly becoming the go-to director in Hollywood - and deservedly so after his astounding critical success with films such as Prisoners, Sicario, and Arrival. While each of those movies were well-regarded and successful in their own ways, perhaps Villeneuve's most impressive achievement thus far was creating a worthy sequel to Ridley Scott's iconic 1982 Blade Runner film, Blade Runner 2049. And now, he's set his sights on directing yet another seemingly impossible film: Dune.
In 2016, Legendary Entertainment acquired the rights to make a feature-film adaptation of Frank Herbert's 1965 science fiction novel, Dune, and they quickly started looking at potential directors. One of those directors happened to be Villeneuve. While it was reported that he was only in talks for the gig in 2016, Herbert's son later confirmed that Villeneuve had officially signed on to direct Dune. Forrest Gump and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button scribe Eric Roth is currently writing the script for the film, which could end up becoming two movies.
Speaking at Rendez-Vous du Cinema Quebecois (via The Playlist), Denis Villeneuve revealed that there are plans to make at least two Dune movies, if not more. He said: "Dune will probably take two years to make. The goal is to make two films, maybe more."
Given that Herbert's Dune is more than 400 pages long and contains a time-jump about midway through, it's possible that Villeneuve and Roth may be looking at the possibility of splitting the original novel into two movies. It wouldn't be the first time that Hollywood has done that, though it's more common with the final installments in young adult movie series. Also, since Villeneuve notes that there's potential for more Dune movies, it seems that Legendary is looking at Herbert's novel series as a franchise.
The Dune franchise consists of dozens of stories - not all of which were written by Frank Herbert, of course - which can serve as the source material for multiple movies and possibly a TV show as well. Legendary also acquired the TV rights to the property when they obtained the film rights. Plus, Dune was already adapted into a miniseries on Syfy in the early 2000s, titled Frank Herbert's Dune. That miniseries, along with its sequel, Frank Herbert's Children of Dune, garnered critical acclaim and became some of the network's highest-rated programs to date. So, it's possible that Villeneuve's film could become the catalyst for a multi-media Dune franchise.
However, Dune is still in the early stages of development. And as Villeneuve notes, it will take at least two years to make the first movie, which will be based primarily on Herbert's original novel rather than David Lynch's 1984 film. Villeneuve has been wanting to make Dune his whole life, so it makes sense that he will take his time to get it right.
Source: Denis Villeneuve (via The Playlist)