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Six movies to watch after you've finished Dune: Parts One and Two

Science fiction, epic history, and some more Denis Villeneuve fare - there's plenty to see after you've seen Dune

Image credit: Legendary, Warner Bros.

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I predict a nation-wide sense of longing. That's because Dune: Part Two, the sequel to Denis Villeneuve's groundbreaking adaptation of author Frank Herbert's scifi classic, is is in theaters March 1, and we have no idea when the next movie or spin-off TV show are coming. And once fans finally see the movie they've been waiting two years (if if you're a Dune reader, decades) for, there's going to be a hole in their hearts where once that anticipation lay.

I won't pretend I know exactly what to do with that gap (I finished Gravity Falls years ago and still don't know what to do with myself), I can offer some suggestions for what to watch after Dune. If you've already seen Dune: Part Two, they are yours for the taking, along with my condolences.

Blade Runner: 2049

Image credit: Warner Bros.

Forgive me for being a tad obvious on this one, but if you want to follow up a Denis Villeneuve-directed film based on a revered classic by a titan of science fiction literature, why not go with... a Denis Villeneuve-directed film based on a revered classic by a titan of science fiction literature?

The stories of the two films aren't terribly similar except that, like every great work, they make us sit with the question of being human. Still, viewing them side by side is a fine example of the breadth of the genre, especially in the hands of a talented director.

Unfortunately, Blade Runner: 2049 isn't available for streaming right now, but you can rent it on Amazon Prime Video or Apple TV+.

Napoleon

Image credit: Apple TV+

Leave science fiction to the side for a moment and consider this - Frank Herbert had a vested interest in history, especially in the history of great, charasmatic leaders that shaped the world through force of will. I'd be willing to wager that, during the creation of his far-future figureheads, Herbert was ruminating on the case of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Like Villeneuve, director Ridley Scott has a taste for the epic, seen best in his most recent film, the Joaquin Phoenix-starring Napoleon. Watch it for the grand-scale battles, the main character's godlike ascendancy, and even a scrap or two in the desert.

Stream the historical epic Napoleon on Apple TV+.

Treasure Planet

Image credit: Disney

If Dune: Parts One and Two are a prestige adaptation of science fiction literature, why not also check out a science fiction adaptation of prestige literature? With breathtaking visuals and a vocal cast to die for, Treasure Planet remains an underseen and underappreciated Disney film and entry into animated scifi canon.

Appreciate it for yourself by surfing on over to Disney+.

War for the Planet of the Apes

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

War, even if it's a war for freedom, is a costly thing. Lives are lost, relationships are broken, and people are devalued as 'the enemy.' That's a lesson that both the modern Planet of the Apes saga and Dune preach in earnest, albeit under the comfotable sheen of high fantasy. If you want to watch movies about the morally gray choices behind objectively righteous crusades, look no further.

And before you say anything - yes, I know I'm cheating here. You shouldn't watch War for the Planet of the Apes without the others... but you wouldn't watch Dune: Part Two without watching Part One, would you?

Witness War of the Planet of the Apes, streaming on Fubo.

Lawrence of Arabia

Image credit: Columbia Pictures

Earlier I ventured that Frank Herbert thought about Napoleon while writing Dune. That was a guess, but what we know for sure is that the Dune author was inspired by the story of Lawrence of Arabia, the British sargeant who lead united tribes to war in the Middle East. That, and the fact that the man's biopic is revered by critics, is why it's on this list.

Of course, this movie is a product of its time. Behind peerless camera work and heartstopping technicolor visuals, there's an undeniable story of white saviorism. But if Dune is about anything, it's about being wary of saviors.

Be as wary as you watch this classic.

Lawrence of Arabia is streaming (for free!) on Tubi.

2001: A Space Odyssey

Image credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Science fiction can be many things: eye-wateringly beautiful and stomach-churningly horrific. No movie in the history of the genre has better exhibited this chasm of emotion Stanley Kubrick's than 2001: A Space Odyssey.

No, it's not a story of epic battles or political intrigue (although, hey, I'd vote for the Monolith), but then again, that isn't the only point of the Dune adaptation. As director Villeneuve has said several times in inerviews, part of what he wanted to do was make a film truly worthy of the size of the screen it's on.

And few films are as worthy of their space, pun intended, than 2001.

Have your mind blown by streaming 2001: A Space Odyssey on Max.

Dune: Part Two is in theaters now, and you can buy tickets on Fandango or Atom Tickets.


Need more spice (heh) in your life? Popverse has all the Dune coverage you could want. From Dune: Part Two's ending explained, to details on the sequels and TV show prequels that are planned, to how to prep for the next film with a Dune watch order, to which Frank Herbert story Denis Villeneuve believes would make a great Dune: Part Three, and even which movies to watch after you've finished Dune.

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About the Author
Grant DeArmitt avatar

Grant DeArmitt

Contributing writer

Grant DeArmitt (he/him) likes horror, comics, and the unholy pairing of the two. He has written for Nightmare on Film Street and Newsarama, despite their better judgement. He lives in Brooklyn with his partner, Kelsey, and corgi, Legs.
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