Denis Villeneuve is on a sci-fi roll now that he’s officially on board the new Dune adaptation.
Frank Herbert’s son, Brian Herbert, confirmed last night via Twitter that director Denis Villeneuve will officially be directing the new Dune adaptation for Legendary.
It’s official — Legendary Pictures has signed the very talented Denis Villeneuve to direct the exciting new DUNE series film project.
— Brian Herbert (@DuneAuthor) February 1, 2017
Interestingly, Herbert says “DUNE series film project,” implying that Villeneuve is onboard for multiple films. There are no further details yet, and Legendary hasn’t made the official announcement, but wouldn’t it be great if this ended up being a Peter Jackson/LotR situation, where they shot a series of Dune movies back to back with the same team? Maybe that’s too much to hope for, but for now, it looks like Villeneuve is continuing his sci-fi streak, after Arrival and the upcoming Blade Runner 2049.
Update 12-21-16: UPDATE: Denis Villeneuve May Be Helming Legendary’s New Dune Adaptation
So, a couple months back, director Denis Villeneuve mentioned that he’d be interested in directing a Dune adaptation. It was, according to Villeneuve, one of his dream projects. Well, it appears that someone at Legendary Entertainment (who just acquired the Dune movie rights) was listening, because according to Variety, they have sources telling them that the director is now in early negotiations to direct the Dune adaptation for Legendary. Variety is saying that they’ve reached out to Legendary, but haven’t heard anything back yet.
After Arrival, and the upcoming Blade Runner 2049, this would make Villeneuve’s third straight sci-fi movie, all of them based on established and respected properties. Based on the recent Blade Runner 2049 trailer, I’d be very interested to see Villeneuve take on this project.
ORIGINAL POST 11-21-16: Prepare Yourselves for a Legendary New Dune Adaptation!
THR is reporting that thanks to Mike Ross and Jen Grazier (Legendary) and Marcy Morris and attorney Barry Tyerman (Frank Herbert’s estate), the production company Legendary has acquired the worldwide film and television rights to the Dune universe, constructed by the late, great Frank Herbert, one of the stepdads of science fiction. Now that they’ve got their paws on the rights, who’s ready for a new Dune adaptation?!
What are the Dune books by Frank Herbert about?
The vast tales of Dune take place over the course of 6 original novels, in addition to the approximately 8,723 (possibly a slight exaggeration) additional novels, short stories, video games, and fan fiction written by Frank’s son, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, who has also written a bazillion amazing Star Wars novels as well.
One of the main narratives of the Duniverse (who doesn’t love a good portmanteau?) is that of Paul Atreides. His family gains control of the desert planet Arrakis, one of the most desolate, yet highly contested planets in the Duniverse. Arrakis, though a wretched dustbowl of scum and villainy, is also the only place you can find spice melange, the drug that makes the world go ‘round.
Y’all Got Anymore of That Spice?
Often referred to as The Spice, this highly addictive substance can give its users a longer life span, greater vitality, heightened awareness, even to the point of prescience and telepathy in some users. Because of these abilities, it also the only thing that makes interstellar space travel possible and accurate. And unfortunately for everyone who’s ever tried The Spice, withdrawal is fatal.
Where will Legendary take us?
Naturally, when highly addictive and powerful drugs and money are concerned, socioeconomic and political themes fuel the Dune narrative across all of its incarnations. Hopefully, this cultural reflection is also in whatever Legendary chooses to do with the rights! We’re thinking they might revamp the original trilogy with movie adaptations, but I personally think a Game of Thrones-scope TV series is the only way to encompass the entire Duniverse. We’ll be watching closely as additional information is sure to come soon regarding this new Dune adaptation.
[ED: I wonder how soon after hearing this news both Denis Villeneuve and his agent were on the phone to Legendary letting them know they were available.]
Featured Image: Chris White / Dune Book Cover Art for Avalon Hill Game Company