Dune Has A New Writer

Chase Palmer brought on to pep up sci-fi

Paramount’s attempt to bring Frank Herbert’s Dune back to the big screen is gathering pace, with news that Chase Palmer has been brought on to have a bash at a screenplay.

Palmer – who sounds like an off-shore bank, or the grizzled hero of a bad 80s action flick – has been hired specifically to incorporate the ideas of Dune director, Pierre Morel, into the screenplay, the current draft of which has been written by Josh Zetumer.

Those ideas, based on Morel’s work in District B13, the magnificent Taken and From Paris With Love, will probably involve Dune hero, Paul Atreides, punching and shooting everything he sees.

Or, as The Hollywood Reporter has it, Morel wants to hew closer to Herbert’s original novel than David Lynch did with his bonkers bizarre 1984 version. We have to admit, though, to being slightly surprised that Morel is still attached to the project after From Paris With Love crashed and burned at the US box office last weekend, but we’re also glad, for frankly we’re intrigued to see what he can do with a sci-fi flick.

Palmer, meanwhile, is a writer-director who's been plugging away on the Hollywood scene for years. He's lined up two self-penned films - Number Thirteen and Wild Wild East - to direct over the next year or so, but bagging the Dune screenplay gig is undoubtedly his biggest break.

Kevin Misher and Richard Rubinstein are producing.