Just before the weekend hit, the reviews for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune dropped – and they were largely overwhelmed at the size, scale, and ambition of the filmmaker’s Frank Herbert adaptation, the Empire review included. But since Villeneuve’s approach has been to chop Herbert’s dense tome in two, his adaptation currently only covers the first half of the story – and the implied ‘Part Two’ hasn’t officially been green-lit by studio Warner Bros, likely dependent on a level of financial success from the first instalment. Fear not though – because work has been ongoing on Dune: Part Two in the background, and it sounds like Villeneuve and his team will be ready to go if (or, hopefully, when) the second instalment gets the thumbs-up.

Speaking in a roundtable interview (via Slashfilm), the director sounded well-prepped for the second half of his sci-fi saga – and could get going on it as soon as next year. “To go quickly in a movie of that size you still need to make sets, costumes, so we are talking about months,” he said. “But if ever there’s enthusiasm and the movie is greenlit sooner than later, I will say that I will be ready to shoot in 2022, for sure. I would love to because I am ready to go, and I will say that I would love to bring it to the screen as soon as possible.”

And if audiences are as bowled over by Dune as reviewers have been, Villeneuve promises big things from the subsequent instalment, since the characters, worlds and more have already been established. “The tough task [in Part One] was to introduce you guys to this world, to the ideas, to the codes, to the cultures, the different families, the different planets. Once this is done it becomes an insane playground,” he says. “So it will allow me to go berserk and really create… I should not say this but I will say that for me Dune: Part One is like an appetiser. Dune: Part Two is the main meal where we can add much more. That’s what I can say. As much as Dune: Part One was by far my most exciting project ever, Dune: Part Two is already getting me even more excited.”

Get your Spice-flavoured popcorn now, people. Dune comes to UK cinemas from 22 October.

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