There Will Be A Sequel To “Dune” As Long As The First One Doesn’t Bomb At The Box Office

August 18, 2021 / Posted by:

The 2021 film Dune is an adaptation of the 1965 novel Dune, and it will likely be an effective way for some of us to forget about David Lynch’s infamous 1984 adaptation Dune (not me, I’ll never forget Sting in those leather eagle wing undies and carrot-colored dye job). But 2021 Dune hasn’t even been released yet, and already we’re talking about the second film since Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation has been imagined as a two-part film series. But if Dune doesn’t do well at the box office when it’s released two months from now, Denis Villeneuve’s plans might turn to dust.

Dune, starring Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, and Josh Brolin, was supposed to be released in theaters in November 2020 but was pushed due to the pandemic. When the trailer was released last September, the plan was for Dune to hit theaters in December 2020. Didn’t happen. The current timeline is for Dune to be released in theaters on October 22, 2021. That movie is considered to be Dune: Part One. Denis Villeneuve has said that there’s too much material from the first book to cram it all in a 2-hour movie, so he’s hoping to do a second. But if nobody goes to see the first one, there will be no Dune 2: Arrakis Boogaloo. via ComicBook:

Speaking in a new interview, director Denis Villeneuve has reiterated what we all expected, that Dune: Part Two isn’t a guarantee, but luckily that’s the bad news. The good news is that in the same interview Villeneuve confirmed that the confidence and love that studio has for the movie give it a huge threshold for the follow-up to become a reality and that it would have to be a major failure to not complete the story.

“We have been hearing in the past few decades that it’s not possible to adapt this book, and that it’s an impossible task. I think that in the back of the mind of the studio, it’s still the same!” Villeneuve told Total Film. “So the first thing was to prove that there was a beautiful, popular movie that can exist, and I think that I proved that – everybody at Warner Bros and Legendary, they are 100 percent behind the project. They feel that it would need a really bad outcome at the box office to not have a Dune: Part Two, because they love the movie. They are proud of the movie, so they want the movie to move forward. And they still did half of it. So, you know, I’m very optimistic.”

Denis Villeneuve adds that he’s currently writing the screenplay for Dune: Part Two, and that he’s really into it. He especially can’t wait to start filming the second movie, because Zendaya, who plays Meechee Chani, will have a way bigger part, and will be the star this time around, rather than the person who stands behind Timothée as he broods into the distance. via Indiewire:

“When I did the casting for Chani’s character, I met a lot of actresses,” Villeneuve said. “Zendaya wanted to audition and today, after shooting the film and seeing what a wonderful actress she is, I’m sorry I auditioned her. It was just because I didn’t know her. However that day, she impressed me and when she left the studio I knew that Chani was her, the young desert tiger. I am honored to present two such explosive talents on screen [Chalamet and Zendaya] and I can’t wait to shoot the second part of Dune to get them back together. Knowing that in the next chapter Zendaya will be the protagonist of the story.”

There’s a hitch, as mentioned above. Theaters are still struggling to get butts in seats. The Suicide Squad was made on a budget of at least $185 million and has so far brought in $118.1 million worldwide, which is considered a flop. There’s also the subject of Dune being released in theaters and on-demand on HBOMax on the exact same day, a decision that no one was happy about when it was announced last year. The same situation happened to Black Widow, and we all know how that is currently playing out (aka Scarlett Johansson is now suing Disney). So there is a chance that Dune, which was made for $165 million, might bomb. This might be extremely awkward, considering Dune: Part One is just the first half of the book. I hope for Denis Villeneuve’s sake the first movie doesn’t end with a crazy cliffhanger. Otherwise, they might have to go in later and retrofit the ending with some clumsy ADR that says, “Aaaaaand they all lived happily ever after, or died returning to their home planet. Your choice.

Pic: Warner Bros.

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