Denis Villeneuve’s new big-budget adaptation of Frank Herbert’s iconic sci-fi novel, Dune, will likely be getting a sequel as intended regardless of whether it succeeds or bombs at the box office. This is according to WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff, who told Deadline during a sit-down chat that anyone who saw the ending to the film should know whether another movie is coming.
“Will we have a sequel to Dune? If you watch the movie you see how it ends. I think you pretty much know the answer to that,” WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff told Deadline yesterday in a sit-down chat regarding the conglom’s full support of Dune 2. That will be welcome news to Legendary (which put up most of the budget) and filmmaker Denis Villeuneve, who has set the table for a second film that focuses on Zendaya’s Chani character as much as Timothee Chalamet’s Paul Atreidis character was the central focus in the first film. There has been some question, but not if you’ve seen Dune on a big screen. The last franchise launch with that much creative ambition and sequel potential was The Fellowship of the Rings.
This is a huge relief for not only audiences who enjoyed the film but also for the filmmakers, as they took the ballsy move of opening Dune with a title card that clearly indicates it’s just the first part of a much grander story. Villeneuve reportedly has a second and third film planned that will cover the second half of Dune and Dune Messiah, respectively.
Deadline’s coverage goes on to suggest that Warner Bros. doesn’t care as much as box office profits these days, giving more attention to audience response as to whether they should develop a project. This is evidenced by the company’s interest in another Sopranos series for HBO Max despite Many Saints of Newark (a prequel) tanking at the box office. Sarnoff also noted that Warner Bros. would be open to developing any kind of movie that The Matrix Resurrections director Lana Wachowski wanted to do, which bodes well for the possibility of another Matrix trilogy.
Dune has managed to make at least $5.1 million since its premiere yesterday. The movie is estimated to earn around $35 million this weekend, although advance ticket sales suggest the figures could be much higher.