Frank Herbert's Dune may be coming back to our screens, as the film and television rights have been picked up by Legendary...
After far too long, someone is taking another crack at Dune, Frank Herbert's classic series of science fiction novels. In this case, that someone is Legendary Entertainment, who are no stranger to genre franchises. There are no real details to report at the moment other than the fact that Legendary has "the film and television motion picture rights" to the Dune saga, but that's big enough news in itself. Paramount previously had the rights and had been attempting to make a new Dune movie since 2008, at one point announcing Deepwater Horizon's Peter Berg as director.
I'd like to focus on one word from the press release that's been sent out: television.
While David Lynch's ambitious and troubled 1984 big screen adaptation has achieved cult status over the years, the series is perhaps too sprawling and high concept to be contained by movies. A Dune TV series, on the other hand, could be the science fiction equivalent of Game of Thrones. The first book in the saga alone contains enough material for three seasons of TV.
And that's only the first book.
Frank Herbert wrote six Dune novels, each more off-the-wall than the last. The saga has since been continued by Herbert's son, Brian Herbert, along with sci-fi author Kevin J Anderson. But again, even just keeping the focus on Frank Herbert's first six, or even first three books, Dune simply can't be contained by a single film. Perhaps the biggest failing of the David Lynch version was its attempt to give closure to what was really only the beginning of the story.
There have been attempts to bring Dune to the screen since then, notably the Sci-Fi Channel's 2000 mini-series, which was perhaps more faithful to the source material, but lacked the resources of Lynch's big screen attempt. That was followed by the Children Of Dune mini-series, which combined elements of the second and third books from the series, Dune Messiah and Children Of Dune. Each of those could take up a season or two of TV themselves.
But Dune, with its sprawling, psychedelic, intergalactic story of royalty, prophesy, and fiefdoms has proven notoriously difficult to do justice on screen. The most notable failure remains Alejandro Jodorowsky's years-long quest to bring the movie to life using everyone from legendary comic book artist Moebius to Mick Jagger to Salvador Dali. This was chronicled in the stunning Jodorowsky's Dune documentary, which is arguably the best Dune-related thing to ever actually make it to the screen.
All of this is, I admit, a rather long-winded way of pointing out that Legendary now has the Dune rights, but they haven't announced their exact intentions just yet. But Legendary, if you're listening, when folks are looking to fill that Game Of Thrones shaped hole in their lives in a few years, Dune should be what they turn to.
Thomas Tull, Mary Parent and Cale Boyter, will produce for Legendary. Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt and Kim Herbert will serve as executive producers...for whatever shape this project takes.
This article was written by Mike Cecchini from Den of Geek and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.