Why director Denis Villeneuve doesn’t consider the film a sequel

The instant success of Dune led to a quick approval of Dune: Part Two, and Villeneuve didn’t want to waste time doing a lap of honor. Shortly before his comments above (which took place the week Dune was released), the French-Canadian director clarified the tedious task of getting the second part of the story out as soon as possible. “It’s fantastic news,” he said, “but it’s also kind of a burden. The good news is that a lot of work has already been done in terms of design, casting, locations and writing. So we’re not starting from scratch. It’s not a long time, but I’ll try to face this challenge because it’s important to me that the audience sees the second part as soon as possible.”

Villeneuve’s point is well taken. This isn’t your typical sequel, requiring a fresh start, new faces, and a compelling new script. The original story is still waiting for its epic conclusion with its cliffhanger ending.

It should also be noted that while the Dune book series has five sequels and many other spin-offs, Villeneuve’s first Dune film only covered the first half of the first book. Even in the words of the original writer, the first Dune film only covers half of the original story. While the filmmaker has expressed an interest in directing Dune: Messiah (the official sequel to the first book), he must first connect the landing to the second half of the original narrative. And based on the first trailer, it looks like he’ll do just that when the film comes out this fall.

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