Denis Villeneuve: If I Ever Do ‘Dune 3,’ It Will Be ‘Because It’s Going to Be Better’ Than ‘Part Two’ … ‘Otherwise, I Don’t Do It’

Denis Villeneuve is making a promise to “Dune” fans: He’s only going to move forward with making a third movie, based on Frank Herbert’s “Dune Messiah” novel, if he knows for a fact it will be better than “Dune: Part Two.” That’s a lofty goal considering what a sensation the sequel has turned out to be. A hit with critics and audiences, Villeneuve’s epic has crossed the $500 million mark at the worldwide box office and doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

“I did both movies back-to-back, which makes absolute sense for me,” Villeneuve recently told Empire magazine when the possibility of a third “Dune” came up. “I felt that it was a good idea to move forward right after ‘Part One.’ We were already designing, writing, et cetera. But it also meant that for six years I was on Arrakis non-stop, and I think it will be healthy to step back a little bit. First, make sure that we have a strong screenplay. The thing I want to avoid is not having something ready. I never did it, and now I feel it could be dangerous because of the enthusiasm. We need to make sure all the ideas are on paper.”

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“If we go back, it needs to be real, it needs to be relevant. If ever I do ‘Dune Messiah,’ [it’s] because it’s going to be better than ‘Part Two,'” he added. “Otherwise, I don’t do it.”

Villeneuve has long been vocal about his interest in making a third “Dune” movie. Before “Dune: Part Two” opened, the filmmaker told fans that he was nearing the completion of a script based on “Dune Messiah.” He also told press that he was confident “Part Two” was a better movie than “Part One,” so perhaps the same will be true of “Part Three.”

“For me, this film is much better than ‘Part One,’” Villeneuve said about the second movie. “There’s something more alive in it. There’s a relationship to the characters. I was trying to reach for an intensity and a quality of emotions that I didn’t reach with ‘Part One’ and that I did reach with ‘Part Two.’ I’m not saying the film is perfect, but I’m much more happy with ‘Part Two’ than I was with ‘Part One.'”

Many of Villeneuve’s “Dune” cast members have already expressed interest in returning for a third movie. The director admitted that Florence Pugh and Lea Seydoux had smaller roles in “Part Two,” but their presence would be greatly expanded for a potential third movie.

“Would we be down? I mean of course,” Zendaya added to Fandango about making another “Dune” movie. “Any time Denis calls it’s a yes from me. I’m excited to see what happens. I started ‘Messiah’ and I was like, ‘Woah, I’m only shooting the first movie. Let me just go back to the first one.’ It’s so much to take in, but there’s no better hands with better care and love for it than Denis.”

“Dune: Part Two” continues to play in theaters nationwide from Warner Bros.

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