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Denis Villeneuve refuses to make more than three Dune movies, and that's maybe for the best

He's far too talented to be stuck in a single franchise.

Dune: Part 2 - Paul Atreides
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Before Dune: Part Two's arrival next month, we're getting more and more comments on what the future may hold, but director Denis Villeneuve could be done with the franchise soon.

Dune-mania ahead of the sequel to 2021's banger has grown so big that even the infamous David Lynch-directed 1984 adaptation is returning to cinemas as well. Of course, there's been talk of Denis Villeneuve also adapting Dune Messiah (the second book in the series) after he's done with this two-parter, and he even confirmed last year he'd put "words on paper" already, so it seems like a matter of when instead of if.

While Warner Bros. and Legendary are bullish on the Dune IP following the more-than-adequate theatrical performance of Part One in 2021 in spite of releasing on HBO Max day-and-date, Villeneuve is adamant about his plans, which don't include personally handling more than three movies. He told TIME recently: "Dune Messiah should be the last Dune movie for me."

This doesn't come as a surprise, as the filmmaker hasn't shown much interest in becoming a recurrent franchise director over jumping between very distinct projects. Right now, he's attached to direct a huge Cleopatra historical epic plus the long-in-the-works adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke's classic novel Rendezvous With Rama. At this point, even Dune Messiah doesn't feel like a top priority.

But of course, if Part Two performs notably and once again wins plenty of critical acclaim, he might be pressured into fast-tracking the threequel over the aforementioned movies. Still, it's good to see he's actively trying to avoid overextending his run dealing with spice. Other directors and writers could come in later if they're brave enough to tackle the far more esoteric novels.

Whether Villeneuve sticks around in any capacity past Messiah or not probably won't impact Warner Bros. and Legendary's ambitious plans for the Dune IP, starting with the Dune: Prophecy series coming to Max this year.

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