Canadian director Denis Villeneuve is inviting audiences back to the desert planet Arrakis for "Dune: Part Two," the second installment of the sci-fi epic starring Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya.
The “Dune” franchise is based on author Frank Herbert’s highly acclaimed 1965 novel of the same name.
Dune: Part Two, distributed by Warner Bros, arrives in US theatres on March 1.
The first “Dune” film, which was also directed by Villeneuve came out in 2021, followed the character Paul as he went from being the noble heir to House Atreides to being stranded with his mother, Jessica, on the planet Arrakis.
Eventually, Paul is revered as the messiah of the Arrakis locals, called the Fremen.
For the second film, Villeneuve decided to go with a different timeline than Herbert originally did, making Dune: Part Two pick up right after the first film ends, rather than replicating the two-year time jump from the novels.
His cinematic sequence of events lends his version of the story a unique look that is new to both book fans and movie audiences.
However, Villeneuve feels his take is closer to Herbert’s lore.
"When Frank Herbert wrote the book and when the book was out, he was disappointed how people perceived Paul's character. He felt that people thought that Paul was a hero and for him, Paul was an anti-hero, he was a dark figure, he was a danger," he said.
Villeneuve said that Herbert intended Dune to be a cautionary tale about charismatic figures, eventually writing “Dune Messiah” to be an epilogue that corrects the misconceptions of Paul in his first books.
“So when I wrote the adaptation I made sure to try to make sure that I was closer to Frank Herbert's initial intentions,” the 56-year-old filmmaker added.
While he continues to adapt Herbert’s books, Villeneuve makes his own strategic decisions for the films.
The first two films are an adaptation of just one book from Herbert, and Villeneuve is eager to keep the “Dune” franchise going.
"My goal in the beginning was to adapt Dune, the first book. I finished it. It would make sense to me to finish Paul Atreides' arc with Dune Messiah, the second book, and make a trilogy,” Villeneuve said.
"So, that's in the work right now, and when I have a solid screenplay, there's a strong chance that I go back to Arakkis," he added.