The massive success of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune has sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry with not only a highly successful day-and-date release, but 10 Oscar nominations for the acclaimed film, including Best Picture. It’s no surprise that the sequel, Dune: Part Two, was quickly greenlit with many creators returning, including Villeneuve as director and co-writer.
Although Jon Spaiths, co-writer alongside Villeneuve for the first film, was originally onboard as showrunner for a Bene Gesserit centered HBO Max series, it is clear that he is now returning to co-write the sequel film instead. In an interview with The Playlist, he shed some light on the developmental machinations that have gone on behind the scenes for the Dune franchise.
“[The television show] is carrying on and I’m not allowed to talk about it very much. But that effort is alive and well. I ended up getting moved off of it to work, not just on Dune: Part 2, but to investigate other cinematic prospects in the ‘Dune’ universe, which we are still talking about and which, again, I’m not allowed to say very much about. But it is a very rich world in which to play, and I think it is ripe with opportunities for storytelling in every direction.”
Spaiths will not be directly involved in the Bene Gesserit series. But it seems that Warner Bros. is still very much interested in him exploring different storytelling paths in the Dune universe. The source material is plentiful and creators like Villeneuve and Spaiths are clearly invested in making sure it is respected and translated well to the screen.
Dune: Part Two is still in early pre-production, but casting rumors have run rampant over the past week including Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan and Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha. Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, and Dave Bautista are among the returning cast. The film is expected to start filming this summer for an October 2023 release.