With less than a year until the highly anticipated release of The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim, a new epic franchise has emerged as a generation-deifning blockbuster franchise experience. While Peter Jackson’s legendary TheLord of the Rings live-action trilogy remains and will continue to be some of the greatest movies ever made, the fourth official Lord of the Rings movie, outside of the Hobbit trilogy, is set to be released on December 13, 2024The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim will be a prequel to The Fellowship of the Ring.

The Lord of the Rings franchise released its first live-action television series in 2022 titled The Rings of Power, which was met with a mildly positive response but feigned in comparison to the impact of Jackson’s trilogy. Future Lord of the Rings movies, such as The War of the Rohirrim, are based on source material from the appendices of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels rather than being direct translations of his acclaimed narratives. Due to the exceptional quality of Jackson’s films, the future of the LOTR franchise has many challenges ahead, but one current franchise has already defined itself as the new epic standard.

Dune 2 Confirms It Is 2020s’ Lord Of The Rings

Following the overwhelming critical acclaim and box office success of Dune: Part Two, Denis Villeneuve’s Dune franchise has established itself as the latest epic franchise that has set a cinematic landmark in modern filmmaking. No other current franchise with such a broad story world based on celebrated novels has found the success that Dune has during the 2020s, making it essentially the modern-day equivalent of Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Similarly, The Lord of The Rings was just as big as the original Star Wars movies were, and now Dune has been passed the torch.

While the excitement surrounding The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim remains high, it doesn’t quite compare to the modern sensation that Dune: Part Twohas caused for the franchise at large. Villeneuve is truly the Peter Jackson and George Lucas of our time, especially considering that even Christopher Nolan likened Dune: Part Two to Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back before the release of the new sci-fi epic. The Dune franchise could find a similar trajectory to the original star Wars trilogy in which the second film was widely heralded as the best of the trilogy.

Dune 2 Repeats A Lot Of What Made Lord Of The Rings So Great

Dune: Part Two has demonstrated that, much like Jackson’s handle on The Lord of the Rings trilogy, there is no better working writer/director to adapt the Dune novels than Villeneuve. Because of the expert and thoughtful approach that Villeneuve and his team have brought to the modern Dune franchise, he has essentially created a monumental film experience that will go down in history as (hopefully) one of the greatest trilogies ever made. Villeneuve has already revealed that the screenplay for Dune 3 is nearly complete, hinting Villeneuve will see the trilogy through and potentially beyond.

Villeneuve’s profound grasp of the Dune universe parallels Jackson’s mastery of Tolkien’s realm, leading to a film trilogy that authentically honored the original novels

In terms of Villeneuve’s approach to the source material, it’s essentially quite similar to Jackson’s as far as being respectful and faithful to the original characters, plot, and overall text. Most importantly, Villeneuve truly understands the world of Dune inside and out, much like Jackson’s understanding of Tolkien’s world helped make a film trilogy that truly honored the novels. While there are some changes between the books and the movies for various reasons, they almost all work cinematically and arguably improve things. Both the scale and craftsmanship of each production make the two franchises foundationally similar.

Will Dune Be As Successful As Lord Of The Rings

The full extent of Dune: Part Two’s success has yet to be confirmed, as the film continues to perform highly at the worldwide box office and will easily become one of the highest-grossing movies of 2024. A factor that could make or break the Dune franchise will be how Dune 3 fares, which will be adapted from the notably different, less action-packed novel Dune: Messiah. It will be interesting to see if the third Dune movie pushes over $1 billion after the response to Dune: Part Two. In terms of Oscars, it’s hard to imagine Dune repeating the success of The Lord of the Rings(17 total wins), but it could certainly be a contender.