Part two of Denis Villeneuve's acclaimed adaptation of sci-fi epic Dune has been officially greenlit and is expected to screen in cinemas only following controversy after part one of the film was released simultaneously on HBO and in theatres.

Announcing the news in a tweet on Tuesday, Legendary Entertainment said, "This is only the beginning... Thank you to those who have experienced @dunemovie so far, and those who are going in the days and weeks ahead. We're excited to continue the journey!"

Variety reports that Dune: Part 2 will be in cinemas on October 20, 2023.

The first film, which stars Timothée Chalamet as future messiah Paul Atreides, is reported to have had a budget of $165 million and has taken $225 million at the global box office since its release last Thursday.

Watch our interview with Denis Villeneuve.

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Villeneuve has always insisted that his adaptation of Frank Herbert’s celebrated 1965 novel would be in two parts but there were still questions over whether his full vision could be realised even as the first instalment of the movie was released.

Speaking to RTÉ Entertainment recently about the prospects of part two, Villeneuve, who was highly critical of the movie’s dual release, said he did consider doing "a Peter Jackson" and making both parts at the same time.

"I don't know yet about part two. What I can say is that when we started this project, I took a gamble. My dream was to make both parts at the same time, back-to-back but it was too expensive.

An exhilarating sci-fi riddle of the sands: read our review of Dune

"So, I agreed that I would do it this way and frankly I’m grateful because it was such a long process and so much work, I think I would have died if I tried to do both movies at the same time.

Timothée Chalamet in Dune: Part 1

"I don’t know how Peter Jackson did it, he honestly has all my respect. I am very proud of the film and very happy with the result so we will see what happens but I am kind of optimistic. I think it would be really awkward to not do the second part!"

WarnerMedia bosses told Variety last week that future plans for the film would be based on "the entirety of what Dune can do for the company, including HBO Max."

The first part of Dune has already become Sicario and Blade Runner 2049 director Villeneuve’s biggest box office hit and while the cast for part two has yet to be announced, Chalamet has said he is keen to return.