Frank Herbert’s Dune is one of the most influential works of science fiction. It radically changed the science fiction genre, and Herbert arguably did for sci-fi what J.R.R. Tolkien did for fantasy. However, when it comes to the big screen, Dune has not quite had the success that Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings had. That does not mean it cannot, however.
Now, famed director Denis Villeneuve has crafted his version of Dune for the big screen. It would appear that it has broken through the blockade that has plagued previous Dune projects. The film garnered critical praise and earned $40 million on its opening weekend. Keep in mind that this happened with people still coming out of a major worldwide pandemic too!
Dune has finally gotten the film adaptation it deserves, and this is only the beginning. The film makes it clear that the story is meant to be continued. Warner Bros. & Legendary Pictures, with Villeneuve aboard to direct again, have confirmed that Dune Part 2 is a go.
The main book series is divided into 3 parts within 6 total novels. On top of that, there are over 20 books in the Dune series canon overall. Of course, the recent Dune film ends on a cliff-hanger in an effort to set up future content. There is definitely more spice to find on Arrakis.
***There will be spoilers ahead, so be warned.***
Comparing The Book And FilmThe film manages to keep pace with the book throughout, which is part of what makes the film so fantastic. However, there are a few added scenes to the movie that do not appear in the book. The film spends more time on the Atreides homeworld of Caladan than in the book, and the film gives a deeper look at Rabban than the book.
Likewise, there are a few scenes from the book that didn’t make the film cut.
For example, in the book, there is an enormous dinner party to celebrate the Atreides’ new role as rulers of Arrakis. This scene serves a major purpose in the book. The dinner party serves to show how radically different Arrakis is from Caladan, and how different the Atreides rule is from the Harkonnens.
More importantly, it gives more detail about the Empire and the role of the guild there. It also establishes Liet-Kynes’ feelings of hope towards the Atreides, and it shows the first hints of leadership inside Paul.
The other big subplot left out of the film is the Atreides traitor. In the film, Dr. Yueh betrays the Atreides and is responsible for both Duke Leto’s death and helping Paul and Jessica escape. Yueh’s role is the same in the book, however, the book draws out the investigation into the traitor.
It goes as far as to make Duke Leto and Thufir Hawat suspicious of almost everyone around including Jessica.
Hawat even blames Jessica for the Duke’s death, and later helps the Harkonnens out of revenge despite his misunderstanding. It will be interesting to see how the second film handles this since Thufir never outwardly expresses any distrust of Jessica in the film. It is definitely one part of the film that will have to explain in the future.
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The Direction Of Dune Part 2That being said, the film sets up Part 2 of Dune fairly well. Despite ending on a cliffhanger, the film ends in a spot that happens soon after the first part of the book ends, so this puts the film on a good track to continue the story.
The logical thing would be for Part 2 to lead directly into the next part of the book. Paul is thrust into the Fremen life, and he and Jessica must prove themselves amongst the other Fremen in Stilgar’s sietch. Now, Paul has come to terms with his unique powers, and Jessica must prove herself as a wise woman of the sietch.
Jessica must also work to protect her unborn child, which was mentioned briefly in the film. Meanwhile, Paul assimilates with the Fremen, and he learns that both of their goals can benefit each other.
The Fremen want to reform Arrakis into a luscious, green paradise. Paul, guided by his prescient visions and fear of galactic jihad, leads them in an attempt to free Arrakis from outside control, and get revenge for the murder of Paul’s father. He inadvertently becomes what was prophesied he would be.
There are dozens of directions Dune Part 2 could travel down, and some of the scenes that were left out of Part 1 might reappear in Part 2. These points are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of plot. Denis Villeneuve could potentially make 3 films to correspond with the 3 parts of the book.
Who Will Be Cast In Part 2?There are so many more incredibly interesting characters to introduce that did not make it into the first movie. It only makes sense to see them show up in Part 2 and/or Part 3. If some top-tier characters never show up, Dune fans might flip out heavily. Warner Bros. likely does not want that.
It will be exciting to see who is cast, especially since the first film is perfectly cast. There is literally a murderer’s row of amazing, blockbuster & Academy Award/Emmy Award-winning stars in this film. Therefore, we’d expect the same in casting for future Dune films.
There are also dozens of scenes that can’t be mentioned but are worth reading or watching on the big screen. Hopefully, the second film will show what happened to some of the characters who disappear in Part 1. There is so much to cover that it can’t all be mentioned, and that bodes well for the potential of Part 2.
The worst part about that film is that now fans have to wait to get more of it in their lives.