Many people working in Hollywood have a desire to work on projects they may never get the chance to, but that doesn’t stop them from at least talking about them. It looks like Arrival director Denis Villeneuve may have willed one of his own personal dream projects into existence after recently talking about it publically. A new report claims that he is currently in talks to direct the upcoming Dune reboot.
Variety says that Denis Villeneuve is currently in early negotiations to helm the new version of Dune for Legendary Pictures, who recently secured the rights to the series. Last month, Legendary closed a deal with author Frank Herbert’s estate for the rights to not only make movies based on his classic sci-fi creation, but also TV-based projects. It looks like they aren’t wasting any time in getting things going, but they have yet to officially comment on this news specifically.
Denis Villeneuve is on something of a hot streak as of late and one that we don’t see too often. His last three movies, Prisoners, Sicario and Arrival have all done well at the box office but have also been absolutely adored by critics, with Arrival being the most successful on both accounts. Aside from that, he is also currently working on another beloved sci-fi series in the form of Blade Runner 2 (officially titled Blade Runner 2049), which there is a ton of hype for, especially after seeing the first teaser that was released recently. It looks like he may be going for three in a row in the sci-fi genre and this time, it is going to be a bit more personal. In a separate interview with Variety in September, he expressed interest in doing Dune, saying it was a longstanding dream. Here is what he had to say.
“I had been wanting to do sci-fi for a very long time. “2001: A Space Odyssey” is a movie that really impressed me as a teenager. And also “Blade Runner.” And “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” is also one of my favorites. I’m always looking for sci-fi material, and it’s difficult to find original and strong material that’s not just about weaponry. A longstanding dream of mine is to adapt “Dune,” but it’s a long process to get the rights, and I don’t think I will succeed. Also I would love to write something myself. I have two [sci-fi] projects right now that are in various stages. It’s too early to talk about them.”
Dune is considered one of the all-time great science fiction stories and it has influenced everything from Star Wars to The Matrix. The novel is set in the distant future and tells the story of Paul Atreides, whose family accepts control of the desert planet Arrakis. Control of Arrakis is highly contested among the noble families, since it is the only producer of a highly valuable resource. After Paul and his family are betrayed, the story dives into politics, religion, and man’s relationship to nature as Paul leads a rebellion to restore control of Arrakis.
David Lynch previously adapted Dune for the big screen in 1984, with Kyle MacLachlan in the lead. At the time, the movie flopped, bringing in just $30.9 million, but it has since gained cult status. SyFy also did a miniseries adaptation in 2000, but that also didn’t quite hit the mark, at least not nearly on the level that the novel connects with fans. Legendary has yet to set a date for their Dune reboot, but it looks like they are eyeing the right kind of talent in the form of Denis Villeneuve to direct it, which is a great place to start. We will be sure to keep you up to date as more information becomes available.