Dune 2 director Denis Villeneuve responds to Christopher Nolan comparing the film to his "favorite Star Wars movie"

Timothee Chalamet as Paul in Dune: Part Two
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Once the first reactions to the much anticipated sequel Dune 2 arrived online, one film that has been regularly cropping up in conversation is The Empire Strikes Back, the 1980 sci-fi classic that is often described as the best Star Wars film ever made.

Oppenheimer filmmaker Christopher Nolan was the first to compare the upcoming epic to Star Wars Episode 5 during an IMAX screening of the rerelease of Tenet, which featured an early preview of the second part of the big screen adaptation of Frank Herbert's beloved novel. In a clip shared by Raiders of the Lost Podcast, Nolan told Dune director Denis Villeneuve: "For me, I don’t think it says too much to say that if Dune: Part One was Star Wars, this to me is very much The Empire Strikes Back, which is my favorite of the Star Wars films. I just think it’s an incredibly exciting expansion of all of the things you introduce in the first one."

Since then the comparisons to the eighties classic have just kept coming in - our own reviewer Kevin Harley in the Total Film review of Dune: Part Two described the film as "a sequel that ranks alongside The Dark Knight and The Empire Strikes Back". High praise indeed!

It's something that Villeneuve didn't expect at all, being blown away by the response. Speaking to GamesRadar+ about Nolan's comment in particular, Villeneuve was very humbled, also adding that just like the Inception filmmaker it too is his favorite Star Wars film. He replied: "It's a comparison that I would have never dared to do myself. I think it's a beautiful compliment because Empire Strikes Back is by far my favourite Star Wars movie. So, it’s like, coming from Chris [Nolan], an incredible compliment." 

Dune: Part Two releases in theaters worldwide on March 1. For more on the movie check out the rest of our coverage:

Emily Murray
Entertainment Editor

As Entertainment Editor at GamesRadar, I oversee all the online content for Total Film and SFX magazine. Previously I've worked for the BBC, Zavvi, UNILAD, Yahoo, Digital Spy and more.