Director Denis Villeneuve has confirmed the script for the second part of his adaptation of Dune is nearly done, and that the groundwork is being laid to send the eagerly-anticipated sequel into pre-production. The film, recently greenlit following the success of Part 1, is due to hit theaters in October of next year.
Villeneuve told Collider,
“The screenplay is finished mostly, but it’s always a work in progress. It’ll be a work in progress until final cut, but I will say it’s solidified. I have a script in my hands. We are in prep right now. And with the awards seasons, it’s tricky. My brain is like, it’s like two parts of my brain that don’t connect together … And I’m not complaining.”
Dune (aka Dune: Part 1) is currently in the running for ten Oscar awards at this year’s ceremony: best costume design, best sound, best original score, best adapted screenplay, best film editing, best makeup, and hairstyling, best cinematography, best production design, and best visual effects. Shockingly, Villeneuve himself was snubbed in the directing category.
The film’s multiple Oscar nods and box-office success means the pressure is on for the sequel to deliver — not only to the notoriously-finicky literary fans of the franchise’s source materials, but newcomers brought in by the positive performance of the first movie. “The first one, it was more to make sure that we will land in the world and that the movie will be accepted,” said the director. “Now it’s to make sure that we can close that first book, so it’s like there’s some premises that are in the first movie that I need to ignore. So yeah, I think I would say there’s more pressure with the second one in some ways.”
Villeneuve has also confirmed that the second part of the sci-fi epic will, like its predecessor, feature extensive use of the IMAX format to accentuate the sweeping landscapes of its setting, the desert planet Arrakis. “Definitely. [Cinematographer] Greig Fraser and I, we fell in love with this format, and definitely there [will] be — even probably more — IMAX footage in this movie. Definitely.” he told Collider.
Co-Stars Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya will be returning to complete the film, as will Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, and Javier Bardem. Actors Florence Pugh and Austin Butler are currently negotiating to appear as well, presumably in the as yet-officially-uncast parts of Princess Irulan of House Corrino, and Feyd-Rauitha Harkonnen, respectively.
Dune: Part 2 will hit US theaters in October of next year.