There’s an awful lot riding on Denis Villenueve’s Dune, and it’s hardly been lost on the filmmaker that the decision to send the epic sci-fi to HBO Max the same day it hits theaters is going to affect the movie’s commercial performance. Based on all of the footage we’ve seen so far, it demands to be seen on the biggest screen possible, but there are also no guarantees the theatrical industry will be on an upward trajectory by the time it premieres on October 22nd.
Despite boasting a $165 million budget, eye-popping visuals, incredible production design and one of the most stacked ensemble casts you’ll find anywhere this year, Dune only tells half a story. Villenueve has already admitted that he’s only adapted the first half of Fran Herbert’s seminal novel, in the hopes the first installment performs well enough to make the conclusion a reality.
If it doesn’t, then we’re left with an incomplete narrative, which would be a serious downer for all involved. In a new interview, the Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 director teased that the second chapter would shift the focus from Timothee Chalamet’s Paul Atreides and onto Zendaya’s Chani.
“I can’t wait to shoot the second part of Dune to get [Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya] back together. Knowing that in the next chapter Zendaya will be the protagonist of the story.”
Chani plays a much more significant role in the second half of Herbert’s source material than the first, so it makes sense that any planned feature film adaptation would follow suit. We just need to cross our fingers and hope that Dune performs well enough that Warner Bros. are left with no other choice but to give it the green light, but even in the worst case scenario there’s a prequel series called The Sisterhood in the works for HBO Max, which has The Haunting of Bly Manor executive producer Diane Ademu-John set as showrunner.