Dune Part 3 Release: When Will It Come Out?

By Klein Felt Posted:
Anya Taylor Joy in Dune Part 2

Audiences eagerly await information on Dune Part 3's release following the incredible success of the first two movies. 

Coming from Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival director Denis Villeneuve, and featuring a venerable who's who of A-list acting talent (including Zendaya, Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, and Florence Pugh among others), the Dune duology is begging for more stories to be told within its universe. 

Following the acclaim of Dune Part 2 earlier this year, it was confirmed a third movie in the franchise was in the works with Villeneuve attached. This came in addition to the upcoming streaming Max series, Dune: Prophecy

When Will Dune Part 3 Be Released?

Zendaya at the end of Dune Part 2
Warner Bros.

As far as fans know, Dune Part 3's specific release date has not yet been made official. 

The movie was given the green light by Legendary in April (via Variety). 

However, this news came along with word that the third Dune movie may not be Villeneuve's next project.

The French Canadian filmmaker is reported to be in talks to direct and/or produce a film adaptation of the 2024 novel Nuclear War: A Scenario by Anne Jacobsen. 

While this film is reportedly expected after Dune 3, the director has said in the past he has "four projects on the table, currently" (per The Hollywood Reporter):

"I have four projects on the table, currently. One of them is a secret project that I cannot talk about right now, but that needs to see the light of day quite quickly. So it would be a good idea to do something in between projects, before tackling 'Dune Messiah' and 'Cleopatra.' All these projects are still being written, so we’ll see where they go, but I have no control over that.

It is unclear what his next movie will exactly be, but it seems increasingly likely it will not be Dune Part 3

In December 2023, the Dune director told South Korean press (via Variety) that he has been working on Dune Part 3 and that the script was "almost finished," but he wanted to "make a detour before" returning to the franchise:

"I don’t know exactly when I will go back to Arrakis. I might make a detour before just to go away from the sun. For my mental sanity I might do something in between, but my dream would be to go a last time on this planet that I love."

If that is the case, and Villeneuve still has those four projects lined up, then one can start to perhaps piece together when Dune Part 3 will be released. 

Since 2010, Villeneuve has been prolific in his output of movies. In just over a decade (11 years) the director has released a total of eight films. 

On average, it has taken roughly 21 months between releases for the director, as he is continually tinkering away at things while working on other projects. 

Should he get the "detour" he so desires before tackling Dune Part 3, one can assume he will do one movie between and Dune 3.

Using that sort of timing again for Dune 3 means the sci-fi threequel could be released in just about three-and-a-half years (or 42 months) from Dune Part 2's March 2024 release date. 

Given Dune as a franchise has become such a cash cow for Legendary, it would not be all that surprising if the studio were to fast-track that process a bit, incentivizing the director to tackle the third Dune film next, which could potentially cut the wait in half. 

However, all that is assuming the director is not pulled in the direction of one of his other projects in the meantime. 

His upcoming Cleopatra film (which is set to star Zendaya) seems to be in a similar stage of development as Dune Part 3, meaning it is a toss-up as to which of the two he could tackle first. 

If he were to take his break with another movie, and then do Cleopatra before Dune 3, that could mean fans may be waiting for upwards of five years for the next Dune movie. 

Why a Long Wait for Dune 3 Could Work?

While such a long wait between Dune films may seem like a daunting ask for those eager to see the next chapter in this sci-fi odyssey, it may ultimately be best for both Denis Villeneuve and the story. 

Dune and Dune Past 2 covered the events of the first Dune book by Frank Herbert, with Part 2 picking up mere minutes after the end of Part 1

However, Dune Part 3 is reportedly set to cover a new book entirely in Dune Messiah

The second novel in Herbert's mid-century intergalactic epic features a massive time jump between the events of the first book and this one. To be exact, a 12-year gap exists between Dune and Dune Messiah

While it would be unrealistic to think Villeneuve, Legendary, and the Dune cast would wait a full 12 years between movies before tackling Dune Part 3, a longer gap between the films could prove beneficial.

This could give the cast time to age up a bit, going from the young adults/late teen characters they were in the first two films to the full-grown adults that exist on the pages of Messiah

It could also give Villeneuve some time to further develop his already-expansive skillset as a filmmaker, getting to take on another story (or two) before jumping into Dune 3

And given some of the absolutely mind-bending and (at times) incomprehensible sci-fi story turns present in the second Dune book (read more about Dune Messiah's bonkers plot here), Villeneuve playing around/getting ideas elsewhere between Dune 2 and 3 could be beneficial for all parties.

Dune Part 2 is streaming now on Max. 

Read more about Dune:

Dune 2 Movie Controversy Explained

Dune 2 Director Confirms What We All Suspected About the Ending

Dune 2 Box Office: Every Record Broken So Far

Dune 2 Director Reacts to Viral Popcorn Bucket: "What the !?!?"

- In This Article: Dune: Part 2
Release Date
March 01, 2024
Rebecca Ferguson
Timothée Chalamet
- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.