The Chicago Journal

Dune: Part Two Officially Greenlit with an October 2023 Release Date

Source: Warner Bros.

Denis Villeneuve’s epic two-part adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel Dune has officially been greenlit by Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment, sending fans into a positive frenzy as the future of the film franchise was hanging on the official decision. Villeneuve will finally get to fulfill his plans of a two-part adaptation following an opening weekend at the box office of $41 million-plus stateside.

Legendary Entertainment has officially given the greenlight to the sequel of the first film, which was released on October 22 in theaters and on HBO Max. The first film ended on a cliffhanger as Paul Atreides joined the Fremen at the film’s conclusion to bring peace to the desert planet of Arrakis. The sequel is scheduled to release in theaters on October 20, 2023, as per Warner Bros.

Globally,  Dune: Part One has earned $220 million and counting at the box office. Warner Bros. was waiting to see how well the film performed at the box office and on WarnerMedia-owned HBO Max before giving the official greenlight to director Denis Villeneuve, who’s already well at work on the script for the highly anticipated sequel.

“I just received news from Legendary that we are officially moving forward with ‘Dune: Part Two,’” Villeneuve said in a statement. “It was a dream of mine to adapt Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune,’ and I have the fans, the cast, and crew, Legendary and Warner Bros. to thank for supporting this dream. This is only the beginning.”

Chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures, Toby Emmerich, added, “Denis Villeneuve has crafted a film that is both visually extraordinary and emotionally transporting, as evidenced by its global success both critically and at the box office. We are thrilled to continue on this journey with Denis and his cast and crew and our partners at Legendary, and we can’t wait to bring the next chapter of this epic tale to theaters in October 2023.”

Throughout the film’s long-running press tour, beginning while the film was in post-production during the lockdown and continuing through the film’s world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, Villeneuve remained confident he would get the chance to make Part Two. As the director told Total Film magazine, “There’s no such thing as ‘Dune 1’ and ‘Dune 2.’ It’s ‘Dune: Part One’ and ‘Dune: Part Two.’” Villeneuve said that he only agreed to direct Herbert’s novel for Warner Bros. and Legendary if they let him split the first book into two parts. It would have to take a total box-office disaster for “Part Two” not to get made. Earlier this week, Warner Bros. CEO Ann Sarnoff all but confirmed that the sequel was definitely happening. 

“We have been hearing in the past few decades that it’s not possible to adapt this book and that it’s an impossible task. I think that in the back of the mind of the studio, it’s still the same!” Villeneuve recently told Total Film. “The first thing was to prove that there was a beautiful, popular movie that can exist, and I think that I proved that — everybody at Warner Bros and Legendary, they are 100 percent behind the project. They feel that it would need a really bad outcome at the box office to not have a ‘Dune: Part Two’ because they love the movie. They are proud of the movie, so they want the movie to move forward. And they still did half of it. So you know, I’m very optimistic.”

Fans will finally get to see the epic conclusion of Villeneuve’s epic sci-fi adaptation, and it comes as no surprise to many from the community as they thoroughly enjoyed the director’s magnificent take on the source material. With all of the setup that the first film brought to the story, audiences will be in for a wild ride for the sequel to come in October 2023.

Opinions expressed by The Chicago Journal contributors are their own.