It Sure Looks Like ‘Dune: Part Three’ Just Got a Release Date

It’s not a done deal and nothing has been formally announced, but it sure looks like we just got a release date for “Dune: Part Three.”

Warner Bros. on Friday issued an update to its theatrical distribution calendar, swapping out an “untitled WB Family Event Film” for what is now an “Untitled WB/Legendary/Denis Villeneuve Event Film in IMAX.” It will open on December 18, 2026.

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We’re no detectives, let alone the Lisan al-Gaib, but our intuition from the spice tells us this is almost cetrainly another “Dune” movie. And no, Villeneuve isn’t planning a family film either.

Reps for Warner Bros. and Legendary declined to comment.

Villeneuve has been talking about a potential threequel incessantly, even before “Dune: Part Two” turned out to be a hit. Zendaya has also said she’s ready to go whenever Villeneuve decides to call.

We don’t know if Villeneuve intends to directly adapt Frank Herbert’s “Dune: Messiah” or do something completely different. (The Herbert books got increasingly weird as the series went on.) Whatever the story ends up being, Anya Taylor-Joy, who made a brief cameo in “Dune: Part Two,” will probably play a part in it as a younger Atreides sibling.

Curiously, December 18, 2026 is the date that’s currently held by an untitled “Star Wars” movie at Disney. We’ll see if that one holds: There has been a lot of start and stop with whatever the next “Star Wars” feature turns out to be.

“Dune: Part Two” has made $711.8 million at the global box office. Until the release of “Inside Out 2” earlier this month, it was the highest grossing movie of 2024 and had the biggest opening of 2024 with $82.5 million domestic. The franchise stars Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgard, and Charlotte Rampling, and the new film introduced Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Christopher Walken, and Léa Seydoux. The original film also starred Oscar Isaac and Jason Momoa.

Villeneuve’s first “Dune” film, not to be confused with David Lynch’s original adaptation from the ’80s, was released in 2021 during the pandemic and was released day-and-date in theaters and on what was then HBO Max. But it still proved to be a hit and justified a bigger and better sequel to conclude the story of the original book, bringing in $407.5 million.

We’ll be talking about “Dune: Part Two” for a while, as it figures to be a major Oscar contender come next year’s awards season.

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