After the smash-hit success of “Dune: Part Two” earlier this year, fans have been wondering — and director Denis Villeneuve has been hinting at — if we can expect “Dune Messiah” to come to theaters.

Here’s everything we know about the third “Dune” movie — and what you should know about the book.

Is ‘Dune Messiah’ confirmed?

Legendary Entertainment has officially confirmed that Villeneuve will make a third “Dune” movie, “Dune Messiah,” according to Entertainment Weekly.

But fans will likely have to wait a while for it — Villeneuve’s next film will be an adaptation of “Nuclear War: A Scenario,” a nonfiction book by Annie Jacobsen.

As Villeneuve told EW, his goal was always to film three “Dune” movies — the first two based on Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel and the third based on Herbert’s 1969 sequel, “Dune Messiah.”

“I always envisioned three movies,” Villeneuve told EW in 2021. “It’s not that I want to do a franchise, but this is ‘Dune,’ and ‘Dune’ is a huge story. In order to honor it, I think you would need at least three movies. That would be the dream. To follow Paul Atreides and his full arc would be nice.”

What’s the difference between ‘Dune’ and ‘Dune Messiah’?

Herbert wrote “Dune Messiah” after realizing that his readers misinterpreted Paul as the hero of the story.

As Villeneuve told Polygon, Herbert “was disappointed how people perceived the story. He felt that people misconceived Paul Atreides; that people were seeing him as a hero, where he wanted to do the opposite.”

He continued, “So in reaction to that he wrote ‘Dune Messiah’ in order to insist on the idea that Paul was a dangerous figure, and that the first book was more of a cautionary tale or more of a warning against the current charismatic leaders.”

Interested in reading ‘Dune’? There’s more to the series than you might think

The first two “Dune” films — and the book of the same name — subtly touch on the fact that Paul isn’t really the Kwisatz Haderach, but was instead poised to be “the chosen one” due to the scheming and manipulation of the Bene Gesserit. Herbert fully explores this idea in “Dune Messiah.”

Twelve years after the end of “Dune,” Paul is the feared Emperor of the Known Universe and is struggling with the aftermath of the events on Arrakis — of being the Lisan al Gaib.

In “Dune Messiah,” Paul is married to Princess Irulan and has taken Chani as his concubine. His vision of the violent jihad in the first book (and two “Dune” films) has occurred — causing billions of deaths, just as Paul feared. Paul’s biggest concerns are a conspiracy to dethrone him and producing an heir.

As James Hibberd wrote for The Hollywood Reporter, “While ‘Dune’ is an underdog epic, ‘Messiah’ is Paul striving to keep his house in order and wrestling with his status and legacy as a god-like being.”

What happens to Paul in ‘Dune Messiah’?

(Spoilers for “Dune Messiah” ahead!)

By the end of “Dune Messiah,” Chani has died giving birth to their twin children, Leto II and Ghanima, and Paul has been blinded and no longer receives visions.

While Paul manages to thwart the conspiracy to overthrow him and secure a safe future for his children, he decides to walk into the desert of Arrakis — following Fremen tradition — as a man, not as the Lisan al Gaib.

It’s the last readers see of Paul — beyond the many “Dune” prequels. His son, Leto II, eventually takes over as Emperor.

Is ‘Dune Messiah’ a good book?

The question isn’t if “Dune Messiah” is a good book — it’s if fans of the first book (and first two films) will like the sequel.

As Hibberd points out in The Hollywood Reporter, the first book is an action-packed epic, while the second is mostly “politics and philosophical discussion.”

“It’s just not as overtly dramatic and doesn’t directly connect to previous story as much as one might like,” Hibberd wrote. “As one reviewer griped, ‘Messiah’ is ‘a lot of sitting around and talking.’ This isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just not what the first two movies were.”

This will pose an interesting challenge for Villeneuve: After creating two gripping “Dune” films, can he make “Dune Messiah” just as interesting?

Another problem with the “Dune” series: As the books continue, according to The Guardian, they get even weirder. “Unfortunately the further the books go down that particular psychedelic rabbit hole, the more it is impossible to imagine them on the big screen.”

But as Legendary Entertainment CEO Josh Grode told CNBC, “I think everybody is very excited and really enjoying this moment and if Denis gets the script right and he feels that he can deliver another experience on par with what we’ve just completed then I don’t see why not.”