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Why Splitting Dune Into 2 Parts Was Challenging For Denis Villeneuve

Denis Villeneuve explains the biggest challenge that came with splitting Dune into two movies. Arriving in just one week, Villeneuve's attempt at adapting Frank Herbert's iconic sci-fi novel is one of the most anticipated movies of the year. It stars Timothée Chalamet as chosen one Paul Atreides, the son of a noble house tasked with protecting the harsh but profitable planet of Arrakis. Beyond Chalamet, Dune features a star-studded cast that includes Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem, and Zendaya (among many, many others).

Though others such as David Lynch have tried to bring Dune to life, the previous efforts have all struggled to properly capture the full breadth of Herbert's book. As he's already succeeded with cerebral sci-fi stories like Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, Villeneuve seems like the perfect director for the task, and he's already taken steps to ensure his Dune is a more faithful adaptation. The first was to split the book into two parts, thus allowing for more breathing room in the action and deeper exploration of the world itself.

Related: Dune's Sequel Chances Show How Important Streaming Is Now

Villeneuve knew from the very beginning he wanted to turn Dune into a two-part film, but he hadn't quite figured out how to. In a new cover feature with EW, Villeneuve explained why the task was actually rather challenging when it actually was time to do it. It all came down to ensuring the first part could stand on its own without completely severing itself from what comes after. Villeneuve said:

"The book is so dense. It's a story that takes its strength from details. So one of the very first things I said to Legendary was we should not make one movie, we should make two. The question was, when do we stop the first part? That took a while, sculpting the end to make sure the audience will feel like they've been through a full journey, a full arc for Paul Atreides, but at the same time they would feel there's something else coming after."

Naturally, Herbert didn't write his first Dune book with the intention of ever splitting it into smaller segments. Paul's arc stretches across the entire novel, so it's easy to see how Villeneuve might've struggled with finding an acceptable midpoint. Fans have been trying to guess just where the movie will cut off, but they've only been provided a handful of clues. For example, Zendaya's Chani has a very small part in the first Dune, but should the sequel get greenlit, she'll become the protagonist. That might be a big indicator of when Dune will end.

Villeneuve has counted this movie as a passion project for years, and it's safe to say he has considered every last detail in bringing it to life. A great deal of thought was put into splitting Dune, and as Villeneuve is already working on the second part's script, fans can rest assured that the two movies will flow together seamlessly. Warner Bros. hasn't officially said yes to Part 2, but the early prospects feel promising. As Dune continues to roll out worldwide, the studio will finally make a decision. Until then, Villeneuve stands by his creative decisions, and hopefully the fans will too.

More: Dune 2: Casting Every Major New Character For The Sequel

Source: EW

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