New Denis Villeneuve movie set for 2026 release; could it be Dune 3?

Warner Bros. sets new Denis Villeneuve event movie for a December 2026 release, leading some to wonder if it could be Dune 3.

Warner Bros. has slated an “Untitled Denis Villeneuve Event Film” for a December 18, 2026 release, leading some to wonder whether this could be Dune 3.

According to Deadline, they’re still working on the script for Dune 3, which is said to be an adaptation of Dune Messiah, and locking in the cast, so it’s entirely possible this new project could be Villeneuve’s final movie in the franchise. That said, the director has previously admitted that he wanted to take a break from Arrakis after spending the last six years working on the first two movies.

I felt that it was a good idea to move forward right after Part One. We were already designing, writing et cetera. But it also meant that for six years I was on Arrakis non-stop, and I think it will be healthy to step back a little bit,” Villeneuve said. “First, make sure that we have a strong screenplay. The thing I want to avoid is not having something ready. I never did it, and now I feel it could be dangerous because of the enthusiasm. We need to make sure all the ideas are on paper.

Villeneuve added, “If we go back, it needs to be real, it needs to be relevant, if ever I do Dune Messiah, [it’s] because it’s going to be better than Part Two. Otherwise, I don’t do it.” Earlier this year, the director said he was already writing the third installment. “That anger [felt by Zendaya’s character at the end of Dune: Part Two] is tremendous,” he said. “I don’t want to reveal what I’m going to do with the third movie. I know exactly what to do. I’m writing it right now. But there’s a lot of firepower there, and I’m very excited about that decision.

Several other possibilities exist, including an adaptation of Annie Jacobsen’s Nuclear War: A Scenario set up at Legendary. It was initially reported that this project would come before Dune 3, but several sources now say Villeneuve may have had a change of heart and could be headed back to Dune sooner than expected. There’s also the long-in-development Cleopatra project, which was once rumoured to star Zendaya, but no matter what happens, a new Denis Villeneuve movie is something to celebrate.

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