After directing Blade Runner 2049 (2017), the sequel of one of the most iconic science-fiction movies of all times, Canada-born filmmaker Denis Villeneuve is in the works of bringing his very personal point of view to another key piece in the genre. He is currently involved in the pre-production of his next project, a new adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel Dune.
The first Dune novel was first published in 1965, and five more books followed it. Set in the distant future amidst a feudal interstellar society in which noble houses, in control of individual planets, owe allegiance to the Padishah Emperor, Dune tells the story of young Paul Atreides, whose noble family accepts the stewardship of the desert planet Arrakis. As this planet is the only source of the oracular spice melange, the most important and valuable substance in the universe, control of Arrakis is a coveted and dangerous undertaking. The story explores the multi-layered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion, as the factions of the empire confront each other in a struggle for the control of Arrakis and its spice.
In the 1980s, cult filmmaker David Lynch directed the Dino De Laurentiis production of the novel adaptation, Dune (1984). In this movie, a very young Kyle MacLachlan had his debut on a feature film playing the main character of the story Paul Atreides. The movie was called very confused and dense, and was far from being profitable at the box office. With time, this movie has become an undebatable cult piece, although it is the only title of his own David Lynch claims as a failure. Disputes between the visionary filmmaker and the producers turned the filming of Dune (1984) into a timebomb of chaos and constant rewrites, and that never helpt to the potential of the story.
This time Denis Villeneuve trusts things will go differently. Although Blade Runner 2049 (2017) was not the box office hit producers expected, critics and fans have claimed the movie as a tiny masterpiece and a more than decent follow-up for Ridley Scott’s original adaptation Blade Runner (1982). Denis Villeneuve’s Dune will be based on the original novels, and not on David Lynch’s film. He is planning on doing a trilogy of films, and has called them “a Star Wars for adults”. And taking in consideration Villeneuve’s work not only with Blade Runner 2049 (2017) but other of his films Arrival (2016), Enemy (2013) and Prisoners (2013), he has enough potential to put into images in a very attractive and personal way the events of the fantastic Frank Herbert’s literary works. That is if budget problems and sniffy producers don’t interfere, of course.
So far, the machinery is already running and pre-production already started. Eric Roth, writer of Oscar-nominated movies like Forrest Gump (1994), The Horse Whisperer (1998), The Insider (1999), Ali (2001), Munich (2005), The Good Shepherd (2006), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) has been in charge of the screenplay. And all rumors point that Timothée Chalamet, seen in this year notorious movies like Call Me by Your Name (2017), Lady Bird (2017) and Hostiles (2017), is very close to signing to be Paul Atreides.
The movie is still far to be able to see the light, but Denis Villeneuve’s Dune is finally starting to take form.
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