Legendary Pictures has announced that Sicario and Arrival director, Denis Villeneuve, will helm the new adaptation of Dune, Frank Herbert’s legendary space opera. Brian Herbert, Frank’s son, announced on Twitter that Villeneuve would head a new series of films.
This confirms that Legendary will indeed be pursuing a multi-film universe, attempting to replicate the successes of other film universes like Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and the Star Wars franchise. Many had hoped to see a high budget television series in the same mode as Game of Thrones, believing a single film would condense the material too much. It is possible Legendary Pictures will look to adapt the first book into multiple films.
Denis Villeneuve first broke onto the scene in 2013 with the film Prisoners, winning him much praise. He followed with Sicario in 2015 and Arrival in 2016, both highly acclaimed, the latter nominated for Best Picture and called one of the greatest science-fiction films ever made. Villeneuve is currently working on the sequel to Blade Runner.
I think this is one of the best decisions by a studio in several years. Villeneuve has always been my top pick to helm this project, having proven himself several times over, particularly in sci-fi. Along with the resurrected Star Wars franchise, this adaptation could bring a renewed era for space operas, possibly leading the way to adaptations of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series and Ursula K. LeGuin’s Hainish Cycle among others.
This will be the first attempt to adapt the book since the Sci-fi Channel’s miniseries in 2000. It will be the first film attempt since David Lynch’s infamous 1984 production.