Two Dune movies on their way

Brian Herbert, son of science fiction writer Frank Herbert, and author of numerous Dune books set in his father’s universe with Kevin J. Anderson, recently updated fans on Twitter:

“I have just received Draft #4 of the DUNE screenplay from Legendary Pictures,” he wrote. “This is for the first movie, covering approximately half of the novel DUNE. I’m very excited and pleased about this, and I’m beginning to burn the midnight oil.”

A day after he revealed that he is:

“Reading DUNE screenplay + taking notes. Kevin reading it, too, + when we’re ready we’ll put our heads together to make our comments to Legendary. Some fans are asking detailed questions, + I’ll look at them when I can. I’m happy to see all the excitement in the Dune Galaxy.”

This will be the second big screen adaptation of arguably the greatest SF novel of all time, a formidable tale set on the desert planet Arrakis, where water is precious, giant worms roam freely, and Great Houses fight for access to a life extending substance called spice.

Denis Villeneuve, most famous for the recent Blade Runner sequel and Arrival, has already been chosen as director.

While David Lynch’s 1984 movie version had great production values, a rousing soundtrack by Toto, and excellent performances – notably from Patrick Stewart, Kyle MacLachlan and Max Von Sydow – it featured a screenplay that was not true to the original novels – especially an extremely daft ending.

In contrast to David Lynch’s big budget version, the Sci-Fi Channel’s miniseries, which began in 2000 with Dune and continued with Children of Dune, had low production values and some average acting, but at least tried to follow the books.

It’s likely we will have to wait until 2020 to see the first new Dune film. If successful, many more could follow. There are six original Dune novels written by Frank Herbert, and 17 written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.