HomeHollywood‘Dune: Messiah’ Officially in Development for Denis Villeneuve

‘Dune: Messiah’ Officially in Development for Denis Villeneuve

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Director Denis Villeneuve at the ‘Dune: Part Two’ Paris premiere. Photo: Olivier VIGERIE / Warner Bros France. Copyright: © 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Preview:

  • Denis Villeneuve is officially developing ‘Dune: Messiah’.
  • He’s also attached to adapt ‘Nuclear War: A Scenario’.
  • There’s are other projects also on his To Do list.

As ‘Dune: Part Two’ continues to do well at the box office (it’s the highest-grossing movie of the year so far, with $637 million globally), talk has naturally turned to what co-writer/director Denis Villeneuve might be considering as a follow-up.

The filmmaker has plenty of options on the table, with a development schedule that includes both a third ‘Dune’ outing, a historical epic featuring Egyptian queen Cleopatra and an adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke’s sci-fi tome ‘Rendezvous with Rama’.

Now, if Legendary has it’s ways, the director will be focusing on getting ‘Dune: Messiah’ made and adding another possible film, adapting Annie Jacobsen’s book ‘Nuclear War: A Scenario’.

Related Article: Director Denis Villeneuve Talks ‘Dune: Part Two’ Casting and Production

What’s happening with ‘Dune: Messiah’?

Timothee Chalamet and Director/Writer/Producer Denis Villeneuve on the set of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure 'Dune: Part Two,' a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

(L to R) Timothee Chalamet and Director/Writer/Producer Denis Villeneuve on the set of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure ‘Dune: Part Two,’ a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Niko Tavernise. Copyright: © 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Villeneuve has previously said that he wants to round out his ‘Dune’ trilogy and follow the main arc of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet).

Here’s what he told Entertainment Weekly in 2021:

“I always envisioned three movies. It’s not that I want to do a franchise, but this is ‘Dune’, and ‘Dune’ is a huge story. In order to honor it, I think you would need at least three movies. That would be the dream. To follow Paul Atreides and his full arc would be nice.”

Since then, he’s gone on the record to say the script for the third movie is in the works (with Villeneuve once more working alongside Jon Spaihts) but has also commented on the possibility of taking a break between ‘Part Two’ and ‘Messiah’. Which is not a surprise given the heavy challenges of bringing these giant films to light.

Still, Deadline’s story on Legendary purchasing the rights to ‘Nuclear War: A Scenario’ for Villeneuve to work on does mention that ‘Dune: Messiah’ is in active development, so there’s every chance it could be his next film (or after ‘Rendezvous with Rama’ if that really goes ahead) and ‘Nuclear War’ will wait in the wings.

What is ‘Nuclear War: A Scenario’?

Director Denis Villeneuve on the 'Dune: Part Two' global press tour.

Director Denis Villeneuve on the ‘Dune: Part Two’ global press tour. Copyright: © 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Jacobsen’s tome recently hit the New York Times bestseller lists. The book 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 need to be made.

Quite what Villeneuve –– who will produce the adaptation with producing partner Tanya Lapointe –– will do with the subject if he ends up writing or directing it, remains to be seen. In the wake of ‘Oppenheimer’s success at the box office and more recently at the Oscars, we could certainly see it turning into a cautionary tale about use of weapons of mass destruction in such a politically volatile era as our own.

And it’s not like the filmmakers doesn’t have experience with nuclear weapons –– the atomic weapons of House Atreides factored into the plot of ‘Dune: Part Two’. So you know he can deliver bang for Legendary’s buck.

Director/Writer/Producer Denis Villeneuve and Timothee Chalamet on the set of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure 'Dune: Part Two,' a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

(L to R) Director/Writer/Producer Denis Villeneuve and Timothee Chalamet on the set of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure ‘Dune: Part Two,’ a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Niko Tavernise. Copyright: © 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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