Zendaya and Timotheé Chalamet in Dune
Zendaya and Timotheé Chalamet in Dune (Photo: courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. officially announced the second part of director Denis Villeneuve’s Dune today. Finally!

“It was a dream of mine to adapt Frank Herbert’s Dune and I have the fans, the cast, and crew, Legendary and Warner Bros. to thank for supporting this dream. This is only the beginning,” Villeneuve said in a statement, echoing Zendaya’s closing line in Dune: Part 1.

It’s truly wild to think about the fact that until today there was the possibility—albeit extremely remote—that Villeneuve wouldn’t get to complete the story of this beloved sci-fi epic. The first of what will officially be a two-film series debuted in theaters and on HBO Max last week to strong reviews from both fans and critics and, as of Sunday, had earned an estimated $40.1 million in the US, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Dune—which was sneakily subtitled Part 1—was also one the most anticipated movies of 2021, due in part to Villeneuve’s stellar pedigree and to the legacy of its source material. Not to mention a cast that includes Zendaya, Timotheé Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa, etc.

But Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel has been notoriously hard to adapt. Previous versions, including a 1984 version directed by David Lynch, have been both critical and commercial disappointments. So even with everything Villeneuve’s blockbuster had going for it, there always felt like there was the ghost of a chance that the auteur might not get to finish the story of young Paul Atreides (Chalamet) and his messianic rise to power on the desert planet of Arrakis. Dune: Part 1 ends not so much on a cliffhanger as at a turning point, with Paul and his mother Jessica (Ferguson) being accepted by the planet’s native people, the Fremen—including Chani (Zendaya), the young woman from Paul’s visions.

Longtime fans of Herbert’s work as well as movie lovers who were on pins and needles wondering whether they would get the rest of the story can relax now. Dune: Part 2 is set to hit theaters on October 20, 2023.