Denis Villeneuve in talks to helm ‘Dune’ reboot

Director Denis Villeneuve arrives at the premiere of “Prisoners,” at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills, California, September 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck

Denis Villeneuve is quickly becoming one of the most sought after directors in Hollywood. After making a name for himself with Prisoners and the critically-acclaimed Sicario the Canadian director has dived head first into the world of science fiction starting with this year’s Arrival, starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner. Villeneuve will also be at the helm of Blade Runner 2049, the greatly anticipated Blade Runner sequel starring Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling. If reports from Variety are anything to go by then he will be adding a third science fiction film to his resume: Dune.

Variety reports that Legendary pictures who recently secured the rights to the franchise from Frank Herbert’s estate is in early talks with Villeneuve to direct a feature film adaptation. David Lynch originally brought Dune to the big screen in 1984. The film was a box office failure, costing $40m to make and only grossing $30m, but soon become a cult favourite. SyFy produced a three-part miniseries based on the novel in 2000 titled Frank Herbert’s Dune which they followed up with Frank Herbert’s Children of Dune in 2003. Both shows feature in the top three most high-rated shows to ever broadcast on the SyFy channel.

Dune is the story of Paul Atreides whose family are rulers of the planet of Arrakis the only source of the rare and valuable resource “spice”.¬†The story revolves around the relationship between politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion as several factions fight for control of Arrakis and the “spice” held there in. Herbert wrote five sequels before his death in 1986. His son, Brian Herbert and author Kevin J. Anderson, began publishing a series of prequel novels starting in 1999. With a wealth of source material to chose from it seems likely that Dune will not be a standalone film. Whether or not Villeneuve will be on board to direct any future sequels is unclear at the moment.

Thomas Tull, Mary Parent and Cale Boyter are on board to produce the new film and Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt and Kim Herbert will oversee the project as executive producers.

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