Denis Villeneuve, still on the run of his life having directed critically acclaimed films Prisoners, Sicario, Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 all in a row, is about to tackle his toughest project yet: an adaptation of Frank Herbert‘s notoriously dense, difficult, Dune.
The novel was infamously adapted in 1984 by David Lynch, which was dubbed an unmitigated disaster by most, or a secret masterpiece by a few. The novel is known for being incredibly dense with too much material to realistically fit into a single film. Well, Villeneuve may have found an easy way around that. In a quick update, he told The Playlist:
“Dune will probably take two years to make. The goal is to make two films, maybe more”.
It’s a simple solution no one has tried yet, and it should ensure that nothing important is cut out, though it doesn’t guarantee success either. Villeneuve has said that “the ambition is to do the Star Wars movie I never saw. In a way, it’s Star Wars for adults. We’ll see”. That sounds fascinating, and we should probably put our trust in a director that’s put out as many recent classics as him.
Another thing we do know is that the Dune adaptation will not take any influence from any of the other failed attempts to bring the novel to the big screen, most notoriously the attempt by Alejandro Jodorowsky. Villeneuve said:
“Because Jodorowsky is a very unique visionary. He has a very strong, unique vision. I am a total different human being. It would be very presumptuous and arrogant for me to try. I would love to talk to him. I’ve wanted to meet him for a long time. I think he’s a fantastic filmmaker and I would have loved to see his Dune“.
The director finished by simply adding that he’ll begin with the very first book, and that he will be “going back to the images that came out when I read it”.
It all sounds fascinating, and even if the film is as convoluted and strange as the previous adaptation, it will be worth watching just for the ambition. Considering what he was able to do with fellow sci-fi film Blade Runner 2049, there’s plenty of hope that this Dune adaptation can finally match the vision of the novel.