Denis Villeneuve and Dune. A film remake in the making.
Dune is heralded as one of the most outstanding pieces of science fiction ever concocted, painstakingly drawn out over five years in the mind of writer, Frank Herbert. Dune arrived in the world in 1965 and was immediately laden with praise. The novel stood out in the crammed realm of sci-fi literature for its originality and exploration of bold themes including examining the human tendency towards egocentrism. The novel was brilliant – a triumphant on the page.
Soon after, Dune began to garner expectations for its move to the silver screen. Unfortunately any attempts to bring this epic novel to life on the big screen floundered. American director David Lynch (Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet) would be the first to attempt an onscreen adaptation of Dune. Released in 1984, the film seemed to have a lot going for it. It was heavily hyped and billed as a collaboration between Lynch and Herbert as they worked closely together on the film. It was a huge surprise to everyone when Dune flopped at the box office and became a commercial failure. Yet, considering the epic nature of the novel, the story would always prove to be massive challenge to condense, modify and adapt for the screen.
The story of Dune, set in the year 10191 revolves around the planet Arrakis, dry as a bone though fertile as it bears a well sought-after drug known as melange, or “spice”. Wars were raged over its possession as the commodity was unique in its ability to alter sense, cheat limits and even delay mortality. The protagonist, Paul Atreides experiences betrayal, romance and redemption before leading a revolution to thwart the evil hands, abusing their power in the acquisition of the spice. When all was said and done, Lynch said:
Plans for a second take on Dune have been in the works for a while and Herbert’s son, Brian, has recently confirmed the news that Denis Villeneuve will undertake the role of its director. The Academy Award-nominated director already has a string of successful films (Sicaro, Arrival) under his belt and is currently wrapping up production for Blade Runner 2049. At present Villeneuve’s Dune is in early development, with plans to proceed as a film series. No word regarding its release date has been disclosed so far but fans are eagerly awaiting any news.