LOS ANGELES - Movie studio Warner Bros said on Tuesday it will release a second "Dune" movie in October 2023.
The first part of the sci-fi epic, directed by Denis Villeneuve and one of the most eagerly anticipated films of 2021, opened in movie theaters in North America last week and earned a healthy $41 million on its opening weekend.
The movie, which cost an estimated $165 million to produce, also did well overseas and has taken in almost $225 globally at the box office.
Villeneuve has always said that he envisaged a second movie but Warner Bros. had not committed to the project before Tuesday.
Warner Bros. said that "Dune: Part Two" will be released exclusively in movie theaters. The first movie was released simultaneously in theaters and on streaming service HBO Max.
Villeneuve has been adamant that the two and a half hour movie, which has been praised for its stunning visuals, should be seen on the big screen rather than at home.
"Dune" featured a star-studded cast including Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya and Jason Momoa. Casting for the second part has not been announced.
The film was the latest attempt to turn Frank Herbert's 1955 400 page science fiction novel of the same name into a hit on the silver screen.
Set in a future where noble families rule planetary fiefs, the story follows Paul Atreides (Chalamet), whose father takes on the stewardship of planet Arrakis, known as Dune to its native Fremen people and contested for its unique spice commodity found in its inhospitable desert.
Villeneuve's "Dune" follows Alejandro Jodorowsky's unsuccessful attempt in the mid-1970s and David Lynch's critically-panned 1984 version. (Reporting by Jill Serjeant Editing by Chris Reese and Rosalba O'Brien)