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This is a couple days late and I really should know better given that I post on a Dune forum, but here is news you all should definitely know about:

http://www.variety.com/VR1117982560.html

QUOTE

Berg to direct 'Dune' for Paramount

Misher producing adaptation of sci-fi novel

By TATIANA SIEGEL

Peter Berg is attached to direct a bigscreen adaptation of Frank Herbert's classic sci-fi novel "Dune" for Paramount Pictures.

Kevin Misher, who spent the past year obtaining the book rights from the Herbert estate, will produce via his Par-based shingle.

Herbert's 1965 novel is a sweeping, futuristic tale set on the remote desert planet Arrakis, which produces the interstellar empire's sole source of the spice Melange -- used for distant space travel. An empirewide power struggle ensues over the control of the spice. Berg would be the latest helmer to take a crack at the property, which spawned a 1984 David Lynch film as well as a 2000 Sci Fi Channel miniseries starring William Hurt.

New Amsterdam's Richard Rubenstein, who produced Sci Fi's "Dune" and sequel "Children of Dune," is also producing alongside Sarah Aubrey of Film 44, Berg's production banner. John Harrison and Mike Messina exec produce.

The project is out to writers, with the producers looking for a faithful adaptation of the Hugo- and Nebula Award-winning book. The filmmakers consider its theme of finite ecological resources particularly timely.

Paramount envisions the project as a tentpole film.

Berg and Misher enjoy strong ties dating back to Misher's executive days at Universal Pictures. Misher also produced Berg's second directorial outing, "The Rundown."

Actor-turned-helmer Berg most recently directed the upcoming Will Smith starrer "Hancock." His directing credits include "The Kingdom" and "Friday Night Lights."

I'm concerned. VERY concerned.

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Peter Berg is a disciple of Michael Mann, and after seeing The Kingdom I'm certain he's been a dedicated padawaan. Whatever form his vision of Dune will take, rest assured the movie is in far better hands than those of a Stephen Sommers or a Len Wiseman.

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Yeah, with Rubinstein and Harrison involved again, I don't have high hopes. What kind of stranglehold do they have on the movie rights, I wonder?

Harrison should have a screwdriver stuck in his ear for that first mini-series, although I liked the second one.

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I'm conflicted. On the one hand, I really liked the Lynch film(even like to watch the Smithee cut occasionally), and the SciFi series hit on some aspects that the Lynch film really missed, but sadly didn't have the budget Lynch did. It was also over twice as long as the Lynch film too, which also has its plusses and minuses. So on one hand, it's been done. It wasn't done perfectly, but each time it was done in a way that entertained me. On the other hand, I don't know what's to be gained by doing this again? And on yet another hand, why the hell not? The producer from the mini-series is on board, that should be a good thing. So another interpretation of Dune with a budget and present day effects could be a good or maybe even better thing, right?

But out of that article, the one line that concerns me is this: "The filmmakers consider its theme of finite ecological resources particularly timely." I hope they're not going into this with the intent of making a message movie.

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But out of that article, the one line that concerns me is this: "The filmmakers consider its theme of finite ecological resources particularly timely." I hope they're not going into this with the intent of making a message movie.

It's a book with a message. Why wouldn't the movie do the same?

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It's a book with a message. Why wouldn't the movie do the same?

You missed my point. There's more going on than the spice = oil analogy. But by specifically mentioning that line in the article, I worry that they'll focus on that message with all subtlety of a sledgehammer like Hollywood is wont to do. Just like the message movie crapfest that is "The Day After Tomorrow", or the "Bush" parables that were forcibly inserted into "V for Vendetta".

I'm probably overreacting, but when I read that line that was the first thought that came to mind.

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You missed my point. There's more going on than the spice = oil analogy. But by specifically mentioning that line in the article, I worry that they'll focus on that message with all subtlety of a sledgehammer like Hollywood is wont to do. Just like the message movie crapfest that is "The Day After Tomorrow", or the "Bush" parables that were forcibly inserted into "V for Vendetta".

I'm probably overreacting, but when I read that line that was the first thought that came to mind.

Well, we don't know if it's going to be specifically a spice=oil analogy. I wouldn't be surprised if it's more of a multiple groups trying to control a resource by any means story.

One heartening things is that, from the article, it "seems" like they want to be faithful. But we've all heard that before...

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It's a book with a message. Why wouldn't the movie do the same?

there's a difference between a story with a message, and a message with a story wrapped around it. Monoke Hime has a strong ecological message, but it stands on its own merits. Happy Feet, on the other hand, is a story designed to tell a message.

Dune has a rich political and religious story besides the ecological message, I would be very disapointed if the film makers ignored or truncated those ideas in order to highlight the environmental message.

I would actually like to see Dune broken up into three seperate movies. The first movie would be more politically focused on the intrigues of the Great Houses and ending with the fall of House Artredies and with Paul and Jessica being accepted into the Fremens. The second movie could deal more with the religious themes and end with Paul taking the Water of Life and slipping into a coma. And the third movie would be a big, battle crazy culmination with the fall of House Harkonnen. I really think the book is just way too big and has too many diverse themes to really fit comfortably into a single 2 hour movie.

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I would actually like to see Dune broken up into three seperate movies. The first movie would be more politically focused on the intrigues of the Great Houses and ending with the fall of House Artredies and with Paul and Jessica being accepted into the Fremens. The second movie could deal more with the religious themes and end with Paul taking the Water of Life and slipping into a coma. And the third movie would be a big, battle crazy culmination with the fall of House Harkonnen. I really think the book is just way too big and has too many diverse themes to really fit comfortably into a single 2 hour movie.

This is actually what I would like to see as well. Its the only way to get the WHOLE Dune story into picture format and still not bore people to death..... kinda. Anywhoo heres to hoping that they remain faithful to the book.

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Put simply, Dune has already been done. Twice. Both efforts failed to impress most people. What are they going to try to do differently that will make this version "work".

Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy most of Lynch's work in his effort, but is it really too much to ask for the producers to spend their money instead on a more original project? There are thousands of popular works of fiction out there that could be adapted instead or maybe some writers could be hired and a completely original work created.

Remakes are really getting tedious, look at this one.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Day_the_E...%282008_film%29

More originality from Hollywood, please?

Taksraven

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Put simply, Dune has already been done. Twice. Both efforts failed to impress most people. What are they going to try to do differently that will make this version "work".

Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy most of Lynch's work in his effort, but is it really too much to ask for the producers to spend their money instead on a more original project? There are thousands of popular works of fiction out there that could be adapted instead or maybe some writers could be hired and a completely original work created.

Remakes are really getting tedious, look at this one.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Day_the_E...%282008_film%29

More originality from Hollywood, please?

Taksraven

Agreed. Dune is a great BOOK. But the depth and richness of it that make it great book are exactly the reasons it will never make a great film (or even miniseries). Most of the greatest scenes are very...interior. I'm thinking especially of the banquet scene where everyone's jockeying for power and sending hidden messages under the guise of innocuous small talk...how the hell can someone film THAT?

Most good books aren't merely screenplay adaptations waiting to happen. Most good comic books are not well-colored storyboards. Most good older movies are not springboards for a remake.

*sigh*

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I would actually like to see Dune broken up into three seperate movies. The first movie would be more politically focused on the intrigues of the Great Houses and ending with the fall of House Artredies and with Paul and Jessica being accepted into the Fremens. The second movie could deal more with the religious themes and end with Paul taking the Water of Life and slipping into a coma. And the third movie would be a big, battle crazy culmination with the fall of House Harkonnen. I really think the book is just way too big and has too many diverse themes to really fit comfortably into a single 2 hour movie.

This is why I enjoyed the mini-series that were done and can't really watch the movie to be honest. This is how the mini-series was broken up and really is the only way to really do this story since there is so much. You'd have to break it up into more then one film, at the very least 2 if the pacing is really fast and the most 3 or 4 if you want to include everything. A single film could work if they made it more original and told it from the point of view of a single character instead of providing an overall story of everyone and everything. Best example of this I could0 think of, and sorry it has to do with Star Wars, is the novel I, Jedi and the trilogy novels The Jedi Academy. I, Jedi takes place before, during, and slightly after that trilogy but it's told from the point of view of one character and what he was doing during the time (before coming to the academy, during his stay, and afterward). So while TJA events where taking place and important they weren't central to the I, Jedi story but provided a background. If one were interested they could go back and read that series of books to fully understand what was going on at the academy and with it's characters.

That could be done to a degree with Dune in a film I believe leaving those that want to know more about what is going on to pick up the novels for further understanding. There is the problem of it being accepted, who is the focus of the film, and a studio and director getting the okay to even to it. This would be more original yet at the same time maintaining it's link to the story. I'd rather see this to be honest then a straight adaption of the books or another remake of the original movie or mini-series.

Edited by Effect
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  • 3 weeks later...
Peter Berg is a disciple of Michael Mann, and after seeing The Kingdom I'm certain he's been a dedicated padawaan. Whatever form his vision of Dune will take, rest assured the movie is in far better hands than those of a Stephen Sommers or a Len Wiseman.

But I wanted to see McG or Pitof or maybe even Michael Bay have a go at it!!!

Taksraven

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Almost every time someone suggests that what makes a great book could never be done well in a movie I get mixed feelings. I can certainly see that being the case, the problem is every time it's been brought up I really can't agree. I could easily see someone making a great Dune movie, sure it won't be the same experience as reading the book, but it can be a great experience on its own without sacrificing the themes, ideas, and depth that make the book great.

None of the major problems with the Lynch movie had to do with the source material, and in fact the biggest complaint many have was with where the movie nonsensically deviated from the source material. I can't really remember much about the miniseries, except that it had a painfully low-budget "Made for Sci-Fi Channel" look to it that I can't stand to sit through.

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I can't stand the Lynch version, the deviations make no sense whatsoever and made it cheesy beyond compare, that and the twin peaks casting made the thing a joke to watch. I love the mini-series though, sure it was made on a tight budget and it shows, but the acting is better, the casting is better and it is truer to the source material. The deviations in it also made a lot more sense to me, replacing the characters doing all the political manuevering with Chani made a lot of sense and fleshed out her character more. The Children of Dune sequel was also great and the fact that it had a higher budget showed through really well.

And I agree, bring on God Emperor of Dune, I want my fish speakers, and my wife wants her Duncan Idaho. Though I would really like to see some more of Children of Dunes Ghanima as well.

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I liked the Sci Fi mini-series, especially the actors for the first one, though the chic playing Alia in the second was pretty hot. The production standards are noticibly sci-fi, though, and a bit... cheesy.

I like the production standards of the first movie... obviously big hollywood budget... but the acting, especially from Kyle McLaughlin, is so corny. Some of it's not his fault... but look at how skimpy Chani's scenes are in the Lynch movie. Even in the extended cuts... And let's talking about the "weirding" modules/weapons. Awesome to see Jean-luc holding a pug and screaming his war cry, though. :D

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Oh, I completely agree about the Lynch movie. All I was saying is that those flaws were in no way intrinsic to the source material.

I have to admit, I still enjoy watching the movie, though. The visual style is just fantastic. Now, if they could bring that level of visual quality to a production that does not deviate nearly so much from the books, and throw in a decent cast, you've got yourself a fantastic movie.

Of course, in any new movie they're going to make all the cast members "Hollywood Pretty", and everything (not just the CG) will look entirely too clean and manicured. It's really a shame.

Edited by Radd
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One of the main points of Dune - in fact Herbert said many times it was almost 'the point' - was that ecology was the fundamental issue facing people in the future. His thesis was that the ecology fundamentally altered what it meant to be human, both psychologically or physiologically. He also wrote a few short stories on the issue. A focus on the ecology is a great one, in my opinion. I just hope they end with the concept of jihad as the next stage, and not go all politically correct hollywood on us. I'm all for a remake. I loved the Lynch version, and I loved the mini-series. Bring on another, please!

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One of the main points of Dune - in fact Herbert said many times it was almost 'the point' - was that ecology was the fundamental issue facing people in the future. His thesis was that the ecology fundamentally altered what it meant to be human, both psychologically or physiologically. He also wrote a few short stories on the issue. A focus on the ecology is a great one, in my opinion. I just hope they end with the concept of jihad as the next stage, and not go all politically correct hollywood on us. I'm all for a remake. I loved the Lynch version, and I loved the mini-series. Bring on another, please!

Well, the Jihad was to unify humanity and have Paul live up to his birthright, paving the way for Leto II.

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The Lynch version didn't deviate from the material nearly as much as most people think. The main thing is that Paul armed the Fremen with a new weapon, one that would take advantage of their upbringing and become fearsome warriors. In the book, this took the form of a semi-mystical martial art. In the movies, it took the form of a gun that the audience could relate to.

The one big problem with a Dune movie is that there is just so much story to cover in one go. Even limiting yourself to the first novel doesn't really settle things down at all.

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That "gun" also replaced the reason why the Emperor conspired with the Harkonnens against the Atriedes.

How's that so diferent? In the novel, the Emperor feared the influence Duke Leto was gaining in the Great Houses, and in the movie he was fearing Duke Leto's milittry forces. Not totally different, but...

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I don't like the Weirding Modules from the Lynch version of Dune and don't particularly care for it as an adaptation either. But I agree that as diverging as the Sound Weapon concept was from the Prada Bindu of the original novel, it served a very similar function and was basically an identical plot placeholder. The emperor in the Lynch film was fearful of the power of the Atreides new found technology, but it was ultimately the growing threat Leto's house represented in the Landsraad that motivated him to conspire against the Atreides, just as in the book.

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I always loved the still suits from the movie the best. I hope this new one uses a similar design.

I dunno. There's something about wearing black leather in the desert that just doesn't work for me... :unsure:

There are elements of the movie that I like over the miniseries (the Sandworms, movie Hallack, etc.) and some parts of the mini that I like over the movie (the cinematography, the style it was shot in, the greater emphasis on political intrigue...). But the best thing the miniseries has going for it is the Baron Harkonnen. He kicked ass in the mini :D

All of which leads to my next question: Har-KO-nen or Hark-O-nen?

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Like saying Hark-ah-nen.

I liked the Lynch version still suits as creative sci-fi wardrobe. They looked as if they were fitted in such a way to act as a wearable pump. Sadly, the suits were not as they were described in Herbert's book. The mini-series still suits looked like crap. Sure they were a little more accurate with the head piece, but the implementation was just awful.

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I like both versions, movie and TV, each in its own way

I hope they'll do a 2-part movie this time, at least: Jackson's LOTR proved that monumental stories need monumental movies to be respectful of the original

I've long thought Dune would make for an exceptional anime if they took their time and just did the OG stuff. (Mayyybe Dune 7 just to tie things up)

Exactly what I was thinking recently :)

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All of which leads to my next question: Har-KO-nen or Hark-O-nen?
I have a cassette of Herbert reading the banquet scene from Dune, and I believe he pronounces it HARK-o-nen, with the emphasis on the first syllable. (Incidentally, the same way you pronounce Harkavy.)
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