Dune In Trouble?

Clock ticking on new adaptation

Dune In Trouble?

by Owen Williams |
Published on

Muad'dib has misplaced the Weirding Module, the sandworms are hibernating and the spice flow has slowed to a trickle: it seems all is not well on Paramount's new adaptation of Frank Herbert's epic sci-fi cornerstone **Dune.

Deadline's story concerns itself with the increasing power of rights-holders in Hollywood, leading to a situation we've seen multiple times recently (especially with comics properties like Superman, Spider-Man and Ghost Rider) where a studio must get a film into production or lose its option entirely.

Paramount has been slowly developing Dune for four years now. Peter Berg (Welcome to the Jungle, Hancock) was attached to direct for a while before opting for Battleships, and last we heard Pierre Morel (Taken, From Paris With Love) was enthusiastically basking in the director's chair.

That no longer seems to be the case. Paramount haven't cancelled the film, but they will lose it if they haven't set a production date in stone by next spring, and Deadline report that the studio is "going out to directors today", Morel is now described as an executive producer, which may simply be in recognition of his work with Chase Palmer on the current draft of the screenplay (Palmer was reportedly writing it according to Morel's particular specifications). So that explains why he'd be eyeing **Ouija.

It's hard to imagine Paramount allowing a project as potentially massive as Dune to slip through their fingers. But with the colossal budget necessary, the dense complexity of the source material, the famous collapse of previous attempts (including ones by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Ridley Scott) and the (perhaps unfair) howls of derision at David Lynch's version still echoing almost thirty years on, the studio will be treading very carefully.

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