'Dune' Director Denis Villeneuve Says 'There Are Words on Paper' for a Third Movie

"If I succeed in making a trilogy, that would be the dream," the filmmaker said in a newly published interview with Empire

Is there even more Dune on the horizon?

According to the first two films' director Denis Villeneuve, wheels are turning for a third installment in the epic sci-fi franchise, based on the 1965 novel of the same name and starring, among others, Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya in lead roles.

“I will say, there are words on paper,” Villeneuve — who also co-wrote the screenplays for 2021's Dune and the upcoming Dune: Part Twoteased of a third movie in an interview with Empire published Sunday.

The filmmaker, 55, also said, "If I succeed in making a trilogy, that would be the dream."

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<p>Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros. </p> Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya in <em>Dune: Part Two</em> (2024)

Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros.

Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya in Dune: Part Two (2024)

Related: Christopher Walken Orders an Unrecognizable Austin Butler to Hunt Timothée Chalamet in 'Dune 2' Trailer

According to Empire, Villeneuve's idea for a third film would focus on the 1969 sequel novel Dune Messiah, which he said "was written in reaction to the fact that people perceived Paul Atreides (played in the movies by Chalamet, 27) as a hero."

“Which is not what [author Frank Herbert] wanted to do. My adaptation is closer to his idea that it’s actually a warning," the director added.

Villeneuve also noted that, if a third film came to fruition, it would be his last in the franchise, as following Dune Messiah, "the books become more … esoteric."

Dune: Part Two picks up where the first movie left off, with an official synopsis stating that it "will explore the mythic journey of Paul Atreides [Chalamet] as he unites with Chani [Zendaya, 26] and the Fremen while on a warpath of revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family."

"Facing a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the known universe, he endeavors to prevent a terrible future only he can foresee," the synopsis adds.

Aside from Chalamet and Zendaya, Dune: Part Two will also include returning cast members Rebecca FergusonDave BautistaJavier BardemJosh BrolinStellan Skarsgård and Charlotte Rampling.

New additions to the cast include Florence PughAustin ButlerLéa SeydouxChristopher Walken and Tim Blake Nelson.

sequel for the original film was announced just days after its premiere on Oct. 22, 2021. The follow-up was originally slated to premiere in theaters on Nov. 3, 2023, close to a year after filming wrapped in December 2022.

But PEOPLE confirmed on Thursday that Dune: Part Two has been delayed to March 15, 2024, amid the ongoing Hollywood strikes.

Other delayed Warner Bros. films amid the strikes include Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, which was set to be released on March 15, 2024, but has been moved to April 12, 2024. Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim is now slated for a Dec. 13, 2024, release after previously being set to premiere on April 12, 2024. MGM also pushed the Zendaya-led film Challengers from Sept. 15 to April 26 of next year.

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