Legendary Keeps The Spice Flowing, Reveals Dune 3 Development

Imagine being born with the gift of foresight and predicting decades ago that, one day, there would be a live-action "Dune" franchise. And not only would it prove accessible to mainstream audiences, but it would also end up becoming a genuine pop-culture event and eventually spawn three entire movies from one of our most talented filmmakers around. (Somewhere, David Lynch is fuming.) Well, the people have spoken and their wishes couldn't be clearer: more desert, more Arrakis, and more "Dune."

After opening weekend box office numbers for "Dune: Part Two" surpassed early tracking figures, boosted by positive critical responses (including /News's review by Chris Evangelista) and word of mouth spreading from fan screenings, the obvious has finally become official. Legendary announced that, essentially, it loves money and would like to remain in the money-making business by giving the green light to a third "Dune" movie, which is currently untitled. All signs point to "Dune: Messiah," but until that's been made official, it's merely speculation.

The announcement was hidden in a piece from Variety discussing Villeneuve's next project, an adaptation of Annie Jacobsen's Pulitzer Prize finalist "Nuclear War: A Scenario." The director will tackle this adaptation after he completes his long-awaited trilogy, making this the "definitive" adaptation in the minds of most fans. Per Variety, "Legendary also confirmed that it is working with Villeneuve to develop a third 'Dune' film."

Dune 3 will sandwalk its way into production

Well, at least we know that Timothée Chalamet's Paul Atreides, Zendaya's Chani, and all the rest of the gang of freedom fighters will get the happy and feel-good ending they deserve! Okay, so that's not at all how the ending of "Dune: Part Two" leaves things, setting the stage for an even darker and more morally complex threequel. Incredibly enough, audiences will now get to see this lengthy and epic tale told to its completion — or, at least, taken to its logical endpoint.

Based on the 1965 novel, both "Dune" and "Dune: Part Two" encompassed the first book of author Frank Herbert's sprawling series. In all likelihood, the third "Dune" film will follow director Denis Villeneuve's plan to adapt the sequel book, "Dune Messiah." Although no casting news was part of the studio announcement that the film was in development, fans can safely expect Chalamet and Zendaya to reprise their respective roles along with the ensemble cast of Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan, Christopher Walken as the Emperor, Javier Bardem as the fanatical Fremen leader Stilgar, and more. As for when viewers will get to fork over their hard-earned bucks for some expensive IMAX tickets once again, that remains a little more unclear. Villeneuve has been vocal about wanting to take a break after making both "Dune" films more or less in back-to-back efforts, giving him time to focus on other projects as a bit of a breather from the massive blockbuster production.

But it's hard to complain about the timing when we're seemingly now set to see Villeneuve bring the story of Paul Atreides to its proper conclusion. The only question left is: When? Stay tuned to /News for more updates as they come in.