Last fall, while promoting the release of his stunning sci-fi drama Arrival, Denis Villeneuve revealed his dream project: A new adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic Dune. It was, as Villeneuve said, an impossible dream; securing the rights from the author’s estate would be too difficult. Not long after, news broke that Villeneuve’s impossible dream was close to becoming reality, as the director was in talks to helm a new adaptation of Dune. Today, that reality became official.

The news comes from Brian Herbert, son of the late Frank Herbert, author of the classic sci-fi novel:

Note that Herbert refers to it as the “new Dune series film project” — implying that Legendary and Villeneuve have plans for not one, but multiple Dune films. That makes sense, as the elder Herbert originally wrote a total of six Dune novels that were published between 1965 and 1985. His son, Brian, went on to write a trilogy of prequel novels with the help of Kevin J. Anderson.

Herbert’s original Dune novel is set in the distant future, when the young Paul Atreides and his family are awarded stewardship of Arrakis, a planet that yields the most vital and valuable substance in the entire universe — which makes Arrakis the source of intense intergalactic feuds.

Dune is certainly sprawling enough to serve as the basis for a new film franchise, and one that could be quite successful in the right hands. The question now is whether Villeneuve will direct the entire series himself, or merely oversee future installments.

More From ScreenCrush