Dune Director Nearly Ended Movie at a Later Point in the Book

Filmmaker Denis Villeneuve made it clear from early on that his goal with his adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune was to break up the overall narrative into two parts, with the director recently noting that the ending of the theatrical release was what felt most natural for him, yet that he toyed with the idea of pushing back its conclusion a bit further into the source material. Arguably the biggest challenge of bringing the story to life was just how dense the original narrative is, with these recent comments confirming the challenges of how to deliver audiences two independently compelling experiences that complement one another instead of feeling like only a partially fulfilling experience.

WARNING: Spoilers below for Dune

In the film, we last see Paul (Timothee Chalamet) and Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) confronting the Fremen to embark on a journey into accepting the ways of the native cultures.

"My first intuition was to break there. And then we tried also to break it a bit later," Villeneuve confirmed with Empire. "Because in the book, there's a natural moment -- there's like a two-year gap or something like that. But it didn't work out because it really felt like at the very end of two hours and a half, you were suddenly starting a new story -- which is the one of Paul and Jessica being introduced to Fremen culture and being accepted by the Fremen. It was feeling like the beginning of a new chapter, which felt very heavy at the end of the ... I'm 100% positively convinced that we stuck at the right moment, where we finally feel that Paul has [gone] from being a boy to an adult, and having all this arc of this first part completed."

What made Villeneuve's adaptation feel like even more of a gamble was that studio Warner Bros. hadn't committed to develop the second half of the story, leaving audiences to wonder if the story would ever be completed. Luckily, just a few days after the first film hit theaters, the studio confirmed that Dune: Part Two was not only moving forward, but that it had a release date of October 20, 2023

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Dune is in theaters and on HBO Max now. Dune: Part Two is expected to begin filming next year.

Are you looking forward to seeing the rest of the story? Let us know in the comments below!