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Why You Shouldn't Expect Dune 3 Anytime Soon

"Dune: Part Two" is looking to be a massive hit. Critics adore the sci-fi sequel, and its projected opening weekend box office stands at an astonishing $60 to $80 million. There are plenty of other Dune books to adapt, with director Denis Villeneuve already having discussed his desire to work on "Dune Messiah." However, audiences may need to wait a while before seeing any more Dune movies (assuming they happen at all). 

While there was a pretty quick turnaround between the first and second Dune movies, Villeneuve told The Times how he's taking his time for the prospective next one. "There is absolutely a desire to have a third one, but I don't want to rush it," he stated. "The danger in Hollywood is that people get excited and only think about release dates, not quality." Given the critical reception to his two Dune movies so far, it's understandable he wouldn't want that streak to break with a third movie. 

Warner Bros. hasn't officially greenlit "Dune 3" yet. The company's likely waiting to see how well "Dune: Part Two" performs. Luckily, Villeneuve is getting a jump on things, as he mentioned during a South Korean press conference that "the screenplay [for 'Dune Messiah'] is almost finished but it is not finished." It's clear he wants to make a third Dune movie, and hopefully, the powers at be allow him to do so. 

Denis Villeneuve may work on something else between Dune 2 and Dune 3

Elsewhere during the press conference, Denis Villeneuve brought up how he pretty much went directly into "Dune: Part Two" after the first film. Taking a bit of a reprieve, especially after two films as massive as these, makes perfect sense. While he loves these projects and has expressed an interest in "Dune Messiah," he stated how he may need to focus his energies on something different. "I might make a detour before just to go away from the sun," the filmmaker expressed. "For my mental sanity I might do something in between, but my dream would be to go a last time on this planet that I love."

As for what the other project might be, it's anyone's guess at this point. Villeneuve is one of the most exciting directors working in Hollywood now, capable of bringing a massively ambitious and celebrated project like "Dune: Part Two" to the big screen. And it sounds like the filmmaker just wants to do one more Dune movie and then move out of this sandbox. When talking with The Los Angeles Times, he claimed, "When people ask me, 'After 'Dune Messiah' will you be done with 'Dune'?' I say yes because at that point it will have been almost 10 years of my life. It's healthy to think that there's an end to this." He does later say to ask him after "Dune Messiah" what his plans are because they can always change, but concluding a trilogy of this scale feels like a natural stopping point. 

One step at a time. "Dune 3" may not have a release date yet, but you can catch "Dune: Part Two" when it releases in theaters on March 1.