Wednesday, March 21, 2018

on Dune

Frank Herbert published the science-fiction novel Dune in 1965. During the 1970s, Alejandro Jodorowsky tried and failed to put together his own version of Dune, an effort that was recently recounted in the documentary "Jodorowsky's Dune." David Lynch released his controversial filmic interpretation of Dune in 1984. Years later, after a devastating critical panning, Lynch released a director's cut that did much to plug some major story holes in the original theatrical release. The SyFy channel, meanwhile, released a three-part TV-movie adaptation of "Dune" in 2000 (with "Children of Dune" being released in 2003). And now... Denis Villeneuve, coming off the artistic triumphs of "Arrival" and "Blade Runner 2049" (a critical hit but a financial failure), will be scripting and helming a new adaptation of Herbert's Dune, a version that Villeneuve says will be faithful to the original novel.

Here's Villeneuve talking a bit (cagily) about his approach to "Dune":

And here's an interview with Frank Herbert before Lynch's "Dune" came out:

It's just my opinion, but Herbert sure looks a lot like an older Robin Williams while sounding a bit like George RR Martin. I'm actually eager to see Villeneuve's version of Dune; the novel contains many Villeneuve-friendly elements like philosophy, religion, and major events that build to some sort of shattering fulfillment. Will Villeneuve include a massive battle at the end of the story, the way Lynch did? (The novel ends with the same sandworm assault depicted in Lynch's movie.) Will he go on to make sequels based on Herbert's other novels, or will "Dune" be a one-off production? No matter how you cut it, a Villeneuve version of "Dune" ought to be visually spectacular and heavily thought-provoking.

No comments: