‘Dune 3’ Officially In Development — And It’s About To Get Weirder
— Updated on 8 July 2024

‘Dune 3’ Officially In Development — And It’s About To Get Weirder

— Updated on 8 July 2024
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

Dune 3 was almost inevitable. To the point that director Denis Villeneuve was already alluding to “words on paper” all the way back in October 2023; and had even slid franchise composer Hans Zimmer a copy of Frank Herbert’s Dune: Messiah while they were still shooting Dune: Part Two.

Now, as the much-hyped sequel starring Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, and Austin Butler cruises past the US$630 million mark at the global box office, Variety confirms Legendary Pictures is officially developing a third instalment of the sci-fi epic.

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Legendary is also set to reunite with Villeneuve for another adaptation — Annie Jacobsen’s non-fiction Pulitzer Prize finalist Nuclear War: A Scenario, which apparently “explores a ticking-clock scenario about what would happen in the event of a nuclear war, based on dozens of exclusive new interviews with military and civilian experts who built the weapons and have been privy to the response plans and have been responsible for those decisions should they have needed to be made.”

But back to the matter at hand.

Dune Messiah represents the second of six novels penned by Frank Herbert before the saga was taken over by his son Brian alongside Kevin J. Anderson. It takes place 12 years after the conclusion of the debut release and effectively wraps up the Paul Atreides storyline.

Without Exaggeration, 'Dune: Part Two' Is A Goddamn Masterpiece

[MINOR SPOILERS] After seizing the throne from Emperor Shaddam IV (Christopher Walken) with the help of Arrakis’ Fremen and assuming the title of “Muad’Dib,” Paul Atreides grapples with the consequences of his ascension. The space jihad he’s exacted has resulted in the deaths of billions. Meanwhile, the Bene Gesserit, Spacing Guild, and Tleilaxu conspire to destabilise his rule; parallel to a Fremen uprising against him.

[MAJOR SPOILERS] After a failed assassination attempt leaves Paul blind, he embraces the Fremen tradition and wanders the desert alone towards his certain death, thereby regaining the natives’ loyalty for his children with Chani (Zendaya), who will soon inherit his empire under the guidance of his sister Alia (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Princess Irulan (Florence Pugh). Somewhere in the mix, there’s also a subplot involving a clone of swordmaster Duncan Idaho (Jason Momoa), who becomes romantically involved with Alia.

“If I succeed in making a trilogy, that would be the dream,” Denis Villeneuve previously told Empire.

Dune: Messiah was written in reaction to the fact that people perceived Paul Atreides as a hero. Which is not what he wanted to do. My adaptation is closer to his idea that it’s actually a warning.”

“I want to make sure that if we go back there a third time that it’ll be worth it, and that it would make something even better than Part Two.”

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Beyond Dune 3, however, Frank Herbert’s source material gets a little (read: extremely) weird — even for Villeneuve’s taste — which may prevent any further adapting.

Leto Atreides II, son of Paul and Chani, turns himself into a sandworm hybrid to rule as an immortal god-emperor; the spirit of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård) possesses his great-granddaughter/Paul and Chani’s daughter Ghanima; and endless reincarnations/clones of Duncan Idaho, who eventually proves to be the real Kwisatz Haderach.

Keep an eye out here for future updates on Dune 3 / Dune: Part Three (release date, casting, trailer, etc.).

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]