Short of “Dune: Part Two” flopping, it appears more and more likely that Denis Villeneuve will close out “Dune” as a trilogy with an adaptation of “Dune Messiah” to serve as the third film.
At last report a month ago, Villeneuve confirmed at a press conference in South Korea that he’s almost finished writing the script: “The screenplay is almost finished but it is not finished. It will take a little time.”
He also added he wasn’t sure when he’d tackle the film and was looking at other projects outside this franchise to try. Villeneuve has been linked with both a “Cleopatra” political thriller-style film and an Eric Roth-penned sci-fi film rumored to be a “Rendezvous with Rama” adaptation.
Cut to this week and speaking with Cine21, Villeneuve says he doesn’t really know what is next for him and it could very well end up being “Dune: Messiah”:
“I’m working on four different screenplays – I know that ‘Dune: Messiah’ will be one of them, I don’t know if it will be the next or the second next […] My job was to try to keep the spirit of Frank Herbert alive as much as possible – the whole meaning of Dune becomes clear with ‘Dune Messiah’.”
A much slimmer book than its predecessor (256 pages to Dune’s 896), ‘Messiah’ takes place just over a decade after the events of the first book and serves as a coda to the original novel.
Villeneuve has also been linked to an HBO limited series starring Jake Gyllenhaal whom he worked with before on “Enemy” and “Prisoners”. “Dune: Part Two”, meanwhile, opens on March 1st.