Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’ Movie Sequel Takes Step Forward in Development — Report

Zack Sharf

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Good news for “Dune” fans: The potential sequel for Denis Villeneuve’s 2020 science-fiction tentpole is moving forward with screenwriter Jon Spaihts. The Wrap reports that Spaihts is stepping down as showrunner of the HBO Max television series “Dune: The Sisterhood” in order to put all of his focus on developing the potential sequel to Villeneuve’s “Dune” movie. A new showrunner for the series will be named in the future. The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news of Spaihts’ “Dune” switch.

WarnerMedia confirmed in June that it was moving ahead with a straight-to-series order for the television series “Dune: The Sisterhood.” The show is set to explore the world of Frank Herbert’s landmark 1965 science-fiction novel through the eyes of the Bene Gesserit, a mysterious order of women who have extraordinary abilities. Villeneuve was announced to direct the pilot of the series following his work helming the upcoming “Dune” feature film.

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Anyone who has been following Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” movie should not be too surprised Spaihts is leaving the HBO Max television show to focus on developing a potential film sequel. Villeneuve has been vocal from the start about how he envisioned his “Dune” movie as a two-part film. As the director said in March 2018, “’Dune’ will probably take two years to make. The goal is to make two films, maybe more.” Warner Bros. has not officially announced a second “Dune” film. Spaihts shares a screenwriting credit on the 2020 “Dune” movie with Villeneuve and Eric Roth (“Forest Gump,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”).

Villeneuve’s “Dune” stars Timothée Chalamet in the lead role opposite a supporting cast that includes Josh Brolin, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Fergusson, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgård, and David Dastmalchian.

“I can’t really discuss much about the script or the plot itself, but I can just tell you that that old phrase ‘true to the spirit’ or ‘honoring the spirit of’ [applies],” Dastmalchian said in June about the film. “The way Denis has talked about the film and what I’ve seen, it’s absolutely true to and in honor of everything that Frank put into the novel…[Denis is] just so fearless, man. He makes choices and then he goes into the places that we need right now as audiences.”

Warner Bros. has already set a December 18, 2020 for “Dune.” IndieWire has reached out to the studio for further comment on the potential sequel.

Launch Gallery: ‘Dune’: 7 Things to Know About the 2020 Film & TV Series

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