DUNE Writer Reveals An Alternate Opening For The Blockbuster That Would Have Broken Its Budget

Dune writer Eric Roth reveals that he dreamed up an imaginative opening sequence ultimately deemed too expensive to shoot. Why? Because it would've left no money for the rest of Denis Villeneuve's vision!

Dune was released to glowing reviews, better than expected box office numbers, and a lot of recognition at prestigious award ceremonies. It's hardly surprising that Warner Bros. is moving forward with Dune: Part Two (much to the delight of fans), while there have also been rumblings this world will expand with a TV series on HBO Max. 

During a recent interview on the Script Apart podcast (via SFFGazette.com), Dune co-writer Eric Roth, who penned the screenplay alongside Jon Spaihts and director Denis Villeneuve, shared what sounds like a jaw-dropping alternate opening.

Unfortunately, it would have made it quite a bit harder for the blockbuster to turn the all-important profit that ensured we now have a sequel on the way!

"The original opening of the movie was like [The Book of] Genesis from the Bible...and you would see the creation of a planet," Roth says. "We think it's Earth and [instead] it's Dune, with these oddball animals and [we see] how the water went away and how the sand dunes were formed and all of that."

"And it was pretty great," the writer continued, "I think [laughs] but Denis said 'This is magnificent but we can't afford the rest of the movie,' so that was it."

The Oscar-winning scribe later added that he didn't work on Dune: Part Two, though says he would be open to reading the script should Spaihts and Villeneuve want his input. Of course, cameras are now rolling on the sequel, so we'd guess Roth will be moving on to other projects rather than returning to the world created by author Frank Herbert.

The movie will explore the mythic journey of Paul Atreides as he unites with Chani and the Fremen while on a warpath of revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family. Facing a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the known universe, he endeavors to prevent a terrible future only he can foresee.

Dune: Part Two stars Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Charlotte Rampling, and Stephen McKinley Henderson. New additions include Austin Butler, Christopher Walken, Florence Pugh, Léa Seydoux, and Souheila Yacoub.

Dune: Part Two is currently set to arrives in theaters on November 17, 2023.

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