Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet) and Chani (Zendaya) in 'Dune: Part Two'

‘Dune: Part Two’ Might Not Be the Last ‘Dune’ Movie

I need to know if we're getting 'Dune Messiah' or not.

The first official trailer for Dune: Part Two, the second installment of Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s iconic space opera, has thrown the entire internet right back into its “sandworms and spice obsession” era—and I’m honestly not complaining about it.

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Though it didn’t reveal much about the plot (if you’ve read the books, you noticed some hints), the trailer was a suspenseful re-introduction to the characters we met in the first Dune movie, and it featured several new additions to the cast—namely Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan, Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, and Léa Seydoux as Lady Margot Fenring. All set to the incredible score composed by Hans Zimmer, because that man honestly never misses.

While there’s still a long way to go before we get to sit down in cinemas and dive back into the world of Arrakis—Dune: Part Two is scheduled for release on November 3—the minds of fans everywhere are already soaring beyond the sequel and wondering if there’s more Dune in our future. And while nothing is certain for now, it’s definitely possible.

What comes after Dune?

Dune and Dune: Part Two adapt the first of Frank Herbert’s Dune books (simply titled Dune), which establishes the setting of this particular universe and follows Paul Atreides as he leaves his House’s homeworld of Caladan and what happens to him once he gets to Arrakis.

The Dune book saga doesn’t end there. The Dune Chronicles—the alternate name of the saga—includes six main novels and a considerable array of short stories, novellas, companion books, and minor novels revolving around side characters who appear throughout the course of the story. Still, not all of those books are about Paul Atreides—he’s the main character of Dune, of course, and also of its direct sequel, Dune Messiah.

Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides in 'Dune: Part Two'
The other main novels of the Dune saga focus on other characters beyond Paul Atreides (Warner Bros.)

Without spoiling too much, Dune Messiah is set 12 years after the end of Dune. It follows the natural progression of the themes set up in the first book; war, religious fanaticism, revenge, and family. Like many sequels to a story about revolution, Dune Messiah looks at what happens after and what remains of the people who pushed that revolution forward. It’s one of the shortest of the six main Dune novels, but it’s also arguably one of the best.

So will there be a Dune Messiah adaptation?

While there are no established plans to adapt Dune Messiah and make a trilogy of this new cinematic Dune franchise, Denis Villeneuve has not denied that possibility altogether. In an interview with Screen Daily in January 2022, Villeneuve said, “Dune Messiah would be a beautiful film and it would complete Paul Atreides’ journey. But I’m going one movie at a time. It’s so difficult, and I’m a bit lazy! But I think three movies is a possibility.”

So there is definitely a chance we’ll see a third movie, especially if Dune: Part Two achieves the same box office success as Dune. A trilogy would round out the story of Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides very nicely, giving us a chance to explore his powers—and their consequences.

Paul Atreides, played by Timothée Chalamet, on the days House Atreides leaves its home planet of Caladan
While I very much want a Dune Messiah movie, I’d be more than happy with the adaptations stopping at Dune: Part Two and not going anywhere near the other, arguably much more complicated and sprawling novels (Warner Bros.)

What about the Dune TV series?

While not a movie or a sequel, more insight into the Dune universe is heading our way from Dune: The Sisterhood, a television series currently in the works at HBO Max. 

Set 10,000 years before House Atreides takes control of Arrakis, the show will detail the events that led to the creation of the Bene Gesserit sisterhood, the secretive matriarchal organization that pretty much dictates everything that happens in the entire galaxy by the time Paul Atreides comes around. The story of the origins of the sisterhood will be seen through the eyes of the two sisters who founded it, Valya and Tula Harkonnen. 

A picture of Emily Watson in Chernobyl
Emily Watson is set to star as Valya Harkonnen (HBO)

The series is still deep in the.production trenches, with principal photography started and then halted as both the director and one of the lead actresses—Shirley Henderson, who was set to play Tula Harkonnen—exited the project. So it remains unclear when we will get to see this other piece of the Dune universe.

(featured image: Warner Bros.)


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Author
Benedetta Geddo
Benedetta (she/her) lives in Italy and has been writing about pop culture and entertainment since 2015. She has considered being in fandom a defining character trait since she was in middle school and wasn't old enough to read the fanfiction she was definitely reading and loves dragons, complex magic systems, unhinged female characters, tragic villains and good queer representation. You’ll find her covering everything genre fiction, especially if it’s fantasy-adjacent and even more especially if it’s about ASOIAF. In this Bangtan Sonyeondan sh*t for life.