Dune isn't even out yet, and the movie has been a focal point of "discourse" online since Warner Bros. and HBO Max announced that they would be putting their entire 2021 slate on the streaming service for 31-days on the same day they would be released in theaters. It looked like Dune might be the exception for a long time since it sounded like Legendary was keen to pursue legal action since they funded most of the movie. That doesn't appear to be the case, and director Denis Villeneuve has spoken about how unhappy he is that the movie is getting a streaming release and that he is "optimistic" for a sequel. This movie, due out in October, only tells half of the legendary book by Frank Herbert, and the second movie will tell the second half. However, there is a second book as well, and Villeneuve recently revealed that he has always seen this as a trilogy and thinks that the second book, Dune Messiah, would make a great film, according to an interview with CBC's Radio Canada (via Collider).
"There is 'Dune's second book, 'The Messiah of Dune,' which could make an extraordinary film. I always saw that there could be a trilogy; after that, we'll see. It's years of work; I can't think of going further than that."
We can hope that the optimism that Villeneuve has isn't misplaced. There were initially rumors that he wouldn't sign on to do Dune unless they committed to doing both movies, but recent interviews indicate that this isn't quite the case. It sounds like Legendary, and Warner Bros. are "committed" and that the movie would have to bomb pretty hard for them not to greenlight a second movie. On an unrelated note, Blade Runner 2049 only made about $260 million on a $150-$185 million budget.
Dune Summary: A mythic and emotionally charged hero's journey, "Dune" tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet's exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity's greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive.
Dune, directed by Denis Villeneuve and the film stars Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet ("Call Me by Your Name," "Little Women"), Rebecca Ferguson ("Stephen King's Doctor Sleep," "Mission: Impossible – Fallout"), Oscar Isaac (the "Star Wars" franchise) Oscar nominee Josh Brolin ("Milk," "Avengers: Infinity War"), Stellan Skarsgård (HBO's "Chernobyl," "Avengers: Age of Ultron"), Dave Bautista (the "Guardians of the Galaxy" films, "Avengers: Endgame"), Stephen McKinley Henderson ("Fences," "Lady Bird"), Zendaya ("Spider-Man: Homecoming," HBO's "Euphoria"), Chang Chen ("Mr. Long," "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"), David Dastmalchian ("Blade Runner 2049," "The Dark Knight"), Sharon Duncan-Brewster ("Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," Netflix's "Sex Education"), with Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling ("45 Years," "Assassin's Creed"), with Jason Momoa ("Aquaman," HBO's "Game of Thrones"), and Oscar winner Javier Bardem ("No Country for Old Men," "Skyfall"). Dune is set to open in theaters and on HBO Max on October 22, 2021.