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Dune 3 is Officially in Development

Dune 3 is officially in development, says the films’ director, following the success and acclaim of the sci-fi franchise’s first two films.

Zendaya and Timothee Chalamet star in Dune: Part Two
Warner Bros. Entertainment

Dune: Part Three is officially in development, it has been announced, following the success and acclaim of the sci-fi franchise’s two previous films.

Denis Villeneuve, who directed the rest of the franchise, will return for the third film in the series.

The new addition to the successful franchise was reported by Deadline, in which Villeneuve revealed that work on a script for Dune: Part Three has commenced.

Following the pattern of the other installments, the franchise’s third offering will be developed by Legendary Pictures.

The upcoming film is to be an adaptation of the second novel in Frank Herbert’s six-part Dune series, 1969’s Dune Messiah.

Dune: A Hit With Movie-Goers And Critics

Timothée Chalamet Leads The Dune Franchise
Timothée Chalamet Leads The Dune Franchise. Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment

Starring Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, the franchise has been highly successful thus far.

Garnering acclaim from critics and audiences alike since its release earlier this year, Dune: Part Two has additionally grossed over $631 million globally.

This overwhelming success has led to Dune: Part Two becoming 2024’s highest-grossing film so far.

The film’s domination at the box office and its potential for widespread success during 2025’s award season are two factors that likely would have incentivized producers to continue the franchise.

While Dune: Part One was also a box office hit film, grossing over $431 million globally, its numbers did not accomplish the astonishing highs of its sequel.

The franchise’s first offering did, however, earn ten Oscar nominations. An impressive six of these nominations were won at the 94th Academy Awards, cementing the esteem of the Dune series. 

What To Expect From The Third Instalment

Chani and Paul Embrace
Chani And Paul Embrace. Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment

First of all, it’s not even confirmed that the film will actually see an official release.

Though Villeneuve announced that Dune: Part Three is officially in development, the film is yet to be greenlit by Warner Bros.

It is likely that the third installment will see a release date further away than fans would expect, given the three-year gap between the first two films.

This became all the more apparent after Villeneuve stated that the film script was “barely an embryo” only last month, shortly after the release of Dune: Part Two.

Only a matter of weeks ago, Villeneuve said that Dune: Part Three would only begin to be produced if he believed “for a fact it will be better” than the franchise’s second installment.

Dune: Part Two is regarded by many critics as an all-time great when it comes to sci-fi thrillers, the director’s statement puts the future expansion of the Dune series into question.

The franchise has also attracted a great deal of controversy, namely through critiques of the films’ Islamic and Middle Eastern appropriation.

It remains to be seen whether the appropriation issue will be addressed in future installments.

An Overview Of The Sci-Fi Franchise

The cast of Dune: Part Two
The Cast Of Dune: Part Two. Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment

As mentioned earlier, the Dune franchise is a big-screen adaptation of Herbert’s best-selling science fiction books.

The Legendary Pictures franchise is actually the third overall adaption of the beloved Dune novels, with a film and television miniseries being released in 1984 and 2000, respectively.

The series focuses on Paul Atreides (Chamalet) and his plights following his family of nobility being forced into a war for Arrakis, a scarce desert planet.

The second installment sees the fall of the noble House of Atreides, whereby a Fremen tribe helps Paul seek refuge.

In particular, the tribe’s leader, Stilgar (Javier Bardem), becomes a crucial element in attaining such sanctuary.

The Dune franchise certainly has an ensemble cast, with Hollywood mainstays Zendaya (as Chani), Rebecca Ferguson (as Lady Jessica), Florence Pugh (as Princess Irulan), and Austin Butler (as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen) featuring in the series.

Without spoiling the films too much, the most recent installment saw Anya Taylor-Joy appear in an uncredited cameo role as Alia Atreides, Paul’s unborn sibling.

This rather quick appearance is likely to extend to a more prominent role in Dune: Part Three.

Fans of Villeneuve’s directing style can also enjoy his upcoming adaptation of Annie Jacobsen’s thought-provoking non-fiction novel Nuclear War: A Scenario, which the director revealed will be his primary focus after working on Dune: Part Three.

Written By

I am an MLitt Digital Journalism Masters student at Strathclyde University, and a 2.1 graduate of English Literature (MA Hons) at the University of Edinburgh. Engaging for a decade with journalistic writing and reporting, I have been involved with a broad range of media work; from sports journalism and features, to news writing and disability awareness.

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