Shooting one movie is a hugely complex and arduous task, never mind filming two back-to-back, and it’s a challenge that very few filmmakers have felt brave enough to take on. Then there’s James Cameron, who first called action on his three consecutive Avatar sequels in August 2017 and isn’t anywhere close to being done, but he’s never played by anybody else’s rules.
Denis Villeneuve initially wanted to make Dune and its sequel in one incredibly lengthy production, but Warner Bros. and Legendary were reluctant to sign off on what would be an outlay of over $300 million in budgetary costs alone when there was no guarantee the first installment would be a hit.
As we know now, it is, with Dune: Part Two confirmed for an October 2023 release. In an interview with The Director’s Cut podcast, Villeneuve admitted his relief that he didn’t end up having to get two epic sci-fi blockbusters in the can one after the other.
“I would have died. I’m so happy we didn’t, because I would have not had the stamina to do that… I’m grateful that it happened this way because shooting in the desert and its elements was very inspiring and exhilarating… but I was exhausted at the end of this shoot.”
There were plenty of doubts over Dune‘s commercial viability, especially in the age of COVID-19, but by the time Part Two arrives the worst will be well and truly behind us, so the back half of the literary adaptation is fully expected to comfortably out-earn its predecessor.