The success of Dune Part speaks for itself between the rave reviews from both critics and fans praising Denis Villeneuve's take on Arrakis and the sci-fi epic grossing over $630 million during its theatrical run that lasted nearly all of March. While a third film in the series had previously been teased, it appears the studio is moving forward with a third film in the franchise to continue the story of Paul Atreides.

It was confirmed on Thursday that Villeneuve and Legendary Entertainment are developing Dune Part 3, which would be based on Dune Messiah, the second book in Frank Herbert's sci-fi series. Confirmation of the sequel came as part of an new report announcing Legendary had optioned the nonfiction novel Nuclear War: A Scenario as Villeneuve is the studio's choice to direct the adaptation after completing his third Dune film.

Dune 2 poster and stars Rebecca Ferguson and Timothée Chalamet.

Villeneuve had started teasing a possible third film almost immediately after Dune Part 2's release, though he said it would require a “strong screenplay” and need to top the second film in order for him to return.

“The thing I want to avoid is not having something ready,” Villeneuve previously told Empire. “I never did it, and now I feel it could be dangerous because of the enthusiasm. We need to make sure all the ideas are on paper.”

“If we go back, it needs to be real, it needs to be relevant, if I ever do Dune Messiah, [it's] because it's going to be better than Part Two. Otherwise, I don't do it.”

One more trip to Arrakis

Both Dune and Dune Part 2 were based on Frank Herbert's original 1965 sci-fi epic novel Dune, which is set in the distant future follows Paul Atreides of House Atreides after his family is awarded stewardship of the planet Arrakis. While most of the planet is inhospitable, it is valued for the “spice” it produces that fuels space travel and amplifies psychic abilities in humans. The stewardship is revealed to be a trap set by House Atreides rival, House Harkonnen, and humanity's emperor to destroy House Atreides, ultimately sending Paul on a path to unlock his true abilities and challenge the very foundation of galactic power.

Dune's sequel novel, Dune Messiah, picks up 12 years into Paul's reign as emperor after the events of Dune. While Messiah serves as a conclusion to Paul's story, it also sets up his children as the focal point of future novels in the series.

While their involvement isn't confirmed, the belief is a third film would see principle stars Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya return as Paul Atreides and Chani, respectively. A possible extended break between Part 2 and Part 3 would also allow the actors to age up so their characters can be older and reflect the time jump better.

Some fans would not be surprised if Anya Taylor-Joy returned for Messiah after her brief appearance in Part 2 as Paul's sister Alia in his vision of the future.

Dune Part 2 is in theaters.