In an endless world of remakes and reimaginings, everything is pretty much getting the remake treatment nowadays. Let’s face it, last year the most popular films were Jurassic World and The Force Awakens, continuations of the Star Wars and Jurassic Park franchises, almost remade for new audiences. Even popular dramas are essential remakes. One of the most critically acclaimed films last year was Creed, a remake/reimagining of the Rocky franchise. Even on TV, Stranger Things tapped into our Spielbergian nostalgia of the past. Why, because these franchises have a built in audience and the studios know even if they don’t make a completely perfect film, they will have that audience that is guaranteed to head to theaters and see the film, and it looks like another classic is about to get a much-needed remake.
Director Denis Villeneuve is on quite a roll already. The director has already made critical hits like Prisoners and Sicario. His next film, Arrival is already highly anticipated and is receiving great buzz. The director is next going to take over the reins of a much-loved sci-fi franchise as he is directing the sequel to Blade Runner. It looks like he will continue directing sci-fi as the next project he wants to do is a remake of Frank Herbert‘s Dune.
The science fiction novel surrounding politics, religion, war, was essentially Game of Thrones before there even was a Game of Thrones. Herbert’ original novel Dune was cited as the best-selling science fiction novel in history. He is responsible for Dune, Dune: Messiah, Children of Dune, God Empower of Dune, Heretics of Dune, and Chapterhouse: Dune which the novels have created a massive following for. After his death, more Dune novels and prequels were created and there are now more than 29 Dune novels.
There was an adaptation of Dune back in 1984 titled Dune directed by David Lynch. Although the film was not critically successful, it has become a cult classic and was even nominated for an Academy Award. Although the film was loved, technology constraints limited a true adaptation of the film. There was an attempt at a remake by director Alejandro Jodorowsky to unsuccessfully adapt the film back in the 1970s that were chronicled in the wildly popular documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune. Syfy (The Sci-Fi Channel) produced a three-part miniseries adapting the original Dune novel in 2000 and then adapted Children of Dune which combined elements of Dune Messiah and Children of Dune as an additional miniseries.
There was an attempt to remake the film recently with Peter Berg and Pierre Morel attached to direct at one point but the project was shelved once rights became an issue. No matter the rights, Villeneuve wants to try and tackle doing a remake of Dune.
“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 very [early] stages. It’s too early to talk about them.”
Should the rights issues ever get straightened out for Dune, Villeneuve would be a great choice to direct. The Syfy miniseries have been the one of channel’s highest rated productions to date, so there is a hunger from fans to see this film hit the big screen. If any film is due for a remake with modern technology/CGI to help out, it’s Dune.