Dune was an 80s film that was quite popular due to how massive of a success the original Dune book series is. However, even though it might have been a popular film, it never really saw a sequel or an entire series due to its poor reception at the box office. But the 2021 remake of Dune promised to be much better and has garnered favorable reviews that are good enough to warrant an entire series for the film. So, how many Dune movies will there be?
There are only two Dune movies that have been greenlit. The first movie is Dune (2021), which is basically part one of the series, while the second movie will be the continuation (part two). Meanwhile, there is also a planned spin-off prequel series called Dune: The Sisterhood.
Even though Dune is a massively popular series of books and even though the 2021 version of the movie is a lot better than its 80s counterpart, the plans for more than two movies are not yet set in stone. Warner Bros. Pictures still needs to base it on the success of the series to really tell whether or not Dune deserves more than two movies.
How Many Dune Movies Will There Be?
Dune remains to be the highest-selling sci-fi book series of all time and has had a large number of fans ever since the first book was released in 1965. It is so popular that it is also often cited as George Lucas’s inspiration for his Star Wars films.
The popularity of Dune warranted a movie release during the 80s. However, because people were not satisfied with the original film, it received a remake or, better yet, an improved retelling of the story through the 2021 release of the Dune film.
Dune (2021) was one of the most anticipated films of the last two years, especially after the movie industry was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. And after a strong box office opening for the film, Warner Bros. Pictures was convinced that the film needed a sequel.
Of course, Dune (2021) was originally written to show only the earlier part of the 1965 Dune novel. This means that a sequel was always in the minds of the production team. They never planned on stopping on only one movie because the first book had a lot of material that needed to be shown on film.
Now that Warner Bros. saw how strong the box office reception for Dune was, they gave the green light for the production team to work on the sequel. As such, we are assured of two Dune films.
But how many Dune movies will there be now that the sequel was given the green light?
As of now, there is no telling how many Dune movies there will be. That’s because the Dune sequel, which is essentially part two, has only just been given the green light.
As such, with the writers and the entire production team focused more on the sequel, it would be very difficult to tell if they are planning more Dune movies in the future. A third movie might end up becoming a reality of the next film does well, which is similar to how the sequel was given the green light after the success of the first film.
At the end of the day, it’s not only up to the production team but also to Warner Bros. Pictures if they are willing to give Dune more movies.
The possibility of having more than two films rests on the Dune sequel, which is set to release in 2023. If everything goes well and it becomes just as successful or even more successful than part one, we could possibly see plenty of films in the future. After all, the source (the books) provides plenty of material to work with for the production team.
Will There Be a Dune TV Show?
While we did say that there are only two confirmed Dune movies in the Dune cinematic universe, we didn’t say that there won’t be any TV shows that are based on the same universe and the same books. In fact, it was confirmed as early as 2019 that a Dune series was in the works.
Titled Dune: The Sisterhood, this TV show will be a prequel that happens in the same universe as the Dune film. The focus of the TV series will be on Bene Gesserit, which was introduced in the 2021 film to those who know nothing about Dune.
The Bene Gesserit is an ancient and secretive order of nuns, scientists, and spies that have different superhuman abilities. Such abilities include mind control, improved spatial awareness, and other amazing talents that were shown to us in Dune (2021).
They were able to achieve such abilities through mental conditioning, which allowed them to master their minds and bodies. If you have seen the movie, this is basically the order to which Paul Atreidis’s mother belongs.
While we did see what the Bene Gesserit was capable of in the movie, the order was not the focus of the movie. However, the series will focus almost entirely on this matriarchal order, whose members are known to use their powers to guide humanity towards the right path and to serve as advisers to leaders.
Denis Villeneuve, who directed the successful film adaptations, says that it would be interesting to focus a series on powerful women because of how inspiring it can be. The show will be developed by HBO Max and is likely going to be released by HBO as well.
It is worthy to note that this is not the first time Dune has received a television adaptation. In 2000 and 2003, two Dune series were broadcast on the Sci Fi Channel. The 2000 series was an improved retelling of the first book. On the other hand, the 2003 series served as a sequel, as it retold the second and third books.
How Many Old Dune Movies Are There?
As mentioned, Dune (2021) is not the first film adaptation of the successful Dune book series. The first attempt at adapting the book into film happened in the 1980s when director David Lynch tried to bring the classic sci-fi masterpiece to life.
The first Dune film was released in 1984. However, even though it still saw some success thanks to the popularity of the book, the movie did not have the best critical response. It has a 44% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Dune (1984) was even criticized harshly by Roger Ebert because he felt like the movie didn’t have a structure and that it was a mess of storytelling.
On top of the poor critical reception, Dune was not even successful in terms of box office earnings. It earned about $30 million in the North American box office and ended up earning less than the $40 million spent on the production of the film.
Due to how Dune (1984) failed to make a profit in the box office and because it didn’t have the best critical reception, any plans of a sequel were essentially canceled. As such, there is only one old Dune movie.
However, despite how poorly the original Dune film performed, the books once again received an adaptation. This time, however, the adaptations were in the form of a TV mini-series.
The title of the first series is Frank Herbert’s Dune, which is a three-part series that ultimately became one of the most successful series ever broadcasted on the Sci-Fi Channel. It was broadcast in 2000. Meanwhile, a sequel called Frank Herbert’s Children of Dune was released in 2003. The sequel was an adaptation of the second and third books.
All in all, there is one Dune movie released in theaters in 1984 and two Dune TV series released in 2000 and 2003.
As successful as the TV series was compared to the original 1984 film, the reinvention of the franchise promises to be even bigger. The 2021 film was an indication of how successful a multi-film Dune series could become, especially if they are able to properly retell Frank Herbert’s masterpiece in film.
How Many Dune Books Are There? And Will They All Be Adapted?
The original Frank Herbert Dune book series is composed of six books, which were all written by Frank himself. After his death, his son collaborated with a known sci-fi author to deliver spin-off books that increased the total count to 21 books.
Considering that the first Dune book is already worth two films, the other five books written by Frank Herbert could potentially have their own two-part films as well. And when we look at the spin-off books, we could be looking at a large Dune cinematic universe.