Denis Villeneuve compares Dune to The Godfather with Paul Atreides being "the Michael Corleone of sci-fi"

Dune 2 review
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Dune director Denis Villeneuve has drawn comparisons between Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) and another iconic fictional character: The Godfather's Michael Corleone.  

"He betrayed her in many ways. But the big thing for Chani is that it’s not about love. It’s about the fact that he becomes the figure that will keep the Fremen in their mental jail," Villeneuve told The New York Times. "A leader that is not there to free the Fremen, but to control them. That’s the tragedy of all tragedies. Like the Michael Corleone of sci-fi, he becomes what he wanted to avoid. And he will try to find a way to save his soul in the third part."

Michael Corleone is the anti-hero of Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather movies. Played by Al Pacino, he's the son of crime boss Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), who goes on to take his place following his father's death after initially rejecting the family business.  

The scene in Dune: Part Two that Villeneuve is referring to occurs at the end of the movie when Paul confronts the Emperor (Christopher Walken) and challenges him to the throne while demanding to marry his daughter, Princess Irulan (Florence Pugh), while Chani (Zendaya) looks on in horror. 

"That anger is tremendous. I don’t want to reveal what I’m going to do with the third movie. I know exactly what to do. I’m writing it right now. But there’s a lot of firepower there and I’m very excited about that decision," Villeneuve added of Chani's feelings towards Paul. A third Dune movie, an adaptation of author Frank Herbert's sequel Dune Messiah, is officially in the works

While we wait for Dune 3 to arrive on the big screen, check out our guide to the biggest upcoming movies on the way in 2024.

Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.