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Here's What Denis Villeneuve Has To Say About Dune Part 2

Remakes of classic movies already have a lot riding on them, but as far as the upcoming "Dune" remake is concerned, the stakes are even higher. The 1984 "Dune," directed by David Lynch, isn't quite a classic movie — it currently has a paltry 50% critics' score and a decent-but-not-great 66% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes — and, in fact ,it's considered one of the biggest flops of the 1980s. It was such a flop that fans of Frank Herbert's epic novel that inspired it are still mourning what could have been almost 30 years later. So, the next "Dune" not only has to redeem the 1984 movie, it also has to honor a sprawling book that many consider unfilmable.

One thing the "Dune" remake does have going for it is that it has plenty of talent attached. Denis Villeneuve ("Arrival," "Bladerunner 2049") is directing the tale of the futuristic spice mining heir Paul Atreides and his war over control of Arrakis' mélange supply. Timothée Chalamet will be playing the role of Paul, which was originally portrayed by Kyle MacLachlan. He'll be joined by a cast of heavyweights including Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Dave Bautista, Oscar Isaac, and Stellan Skarsgård.

"Dune" doesn't premiere until October 21, 2021, in the U.K. and one day later in the U.S. but Villeneuve is already looking ahead to "Dune: Part 2."

Denis Villeneuve might not be the Kwisatz Haderach, but at least he's hopeful about the future

The September 2021 issue of Total Film is all about "Dune," and Villeneuve spoke with the movie periodical about the making of "Dune" and what comes next (via Total Film).

Villeneuve acknowledged the built-in difficulties of making this particular movie, noting the film's considerable baggage. According to Villeneuve, the perception that "Dune" the novel is unfilmable has always been an obstacle, and this time was no different. "So the first thing was to prove that there was a beautiful, popular movie that can exist, and I think that I proved that — everybody at Warner Bros and Legendary, they are 100% behind the project," Villeneuve explained. "They feel that it would need a really bad outcome at the box office to not have a 'Dune: Part Two,' because they love the movie. They are proud of the movie, so they want the movie to move forward. And they still did half of it. So, you know, I'm very optimistic."

If everything really is riding on "Dune's" box office performance, that might be worrisome news to fans. "Dune" will be released simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max on October 22 in the U.S., and the home streaming market will surely cut into the film's overall ticket sales — which is to be expected during this pandemic.

If there is no follow-up, though, that might be even more heartbreaking for "Dune" fans than the last big disappointment.