Warner Bros. Just Scheduled A December 2026 Denis Villeneuve Movie...Is It Dune 3?

"Dune: Part Two" New York Premiere
"Dune: Part Two" New York Premiere / Dimitrios Kambouris/GettyImages

Alright you Arrakis devotees, rev up all your anticipation juices. Warner Bros. Pictures just penciled in two major release dates for upcoming blockbusters, one of which could give you Frank Herbert aficionados a real buzz. Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures have announced a December 18, 2026 release date for an untitled Denis Villeneuve movie. Could that be a sequel to Dune: Part Two? We'll talk about that momentarily. Simultaneously, the two entities have also announced a March 26, 2027 for a brand new MonsterVerse film directly following the events of surprise hit Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire. Unless that follow-up involves Godzilla and Kong duking it out with a bunch of giant worms, that feature shouldn't be in any way a Dune sequel.

Warner Bros. and Legendary announcing a December 2026 release date like that out of the blue for a new Denis Villeneuve movie inevitably will get the internet chattering about this being that film adaptation of Dune: Messiah the director's constantly talked about. Plus, that specific release date would be a nice bit of historical symmetry since the original Dune was once planned for a December 18, 2020 launch before COVID-19 derailed those plans. Later, Dune: Part Two was scheduled for a November 2022 premiere before the dual labor strikes of 2022 made that impossible. The modern Dune movies keep trying to launch in the holiday season. This would be a great flowery way to finally make that release strategy a reality.

But not so fast! As Dune: Part Two was hitting theaters, Villeneuve noted to The Hollywood Reporter that his next objective as a filmmaker was not to immediately return to Arrakis. "it would be a good idea to do something in between projects, before tackling Dune Messiah and Cleopatra," he explained to the outlet. He further divulged that he had "four projects on the table...one of them is a secret project that I cannot talk about right now, but that needs to see the light of day quite quickly." A month after this interview, Villeneuve and Legendary Pictures joined forces to adapt the book Nuclear War: A Scenario into a movie. That adds yet another potential movie into the mix that could function as this mysterious December 2026 production.

As of December 2023, a script for Dune 3 is nearly finished. The immense response to Dune: Part Two that led to it becoming the biggest movie of 2024 for months could spur Warner Bros. and Legendary to make a quick move on a third installment. However, Villeneuve clearly, just a few months ago, wanted to make something else before tackling more Dune. Considering how integral he is to the franchise, it's very likely the man has Christopher Nolan levels of influence at this point. If he wants to make something, even the big franchise titles will wait. To boot, it feels like, if this project was Dune 3, Warner Bros. and Legendary would've just announced that right away. When Dune: Part Two's very first October 2023 release date was announced, it was just unveiled to the world as Dune: Part Two, not under a more mysterious naming scheme.

Then again, who knows what is even the "logical choice" in modern Hollywood. Maybe all of these historical tactics or Villeneuve comments are simply no match for how much Warner Bros. and Legendary want another Dune movie. For now, though, that December 2026 date is shrouded in mystery beyond whose directing it and which Given that this means the next Villeneuve movie is only 2.5 years away, more news should be coming down the pipeline soon on what on Earth the Incendies director is cooking up next.

On one side note, this Denis Villeneuve movie release date extends an increasingly packed 2026 for Warner Bros. The studio has also recently penciled in big 2026 dates for The Cat in the Hat, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, and The Batman- Part II. The Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum is also scheduled for release in this year. There's also a bunch of prime 2026 release dates Warner Bros. has claimed despite not having specific movies to attach to those dates. Can this studio overcome its current box office and corporate funk in 2025 and 2026? Only time will tell. Certainly, a new Denis Villeneuve movie being on the horizon couldn't hurt the studio's prospects.

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