If you don’t know the name Denis Villenueve, it won’t be long before you do. The director is on fire. He’s working on Blade Runner 2049 right now, and author Brian Herbert – son of Frank Hebert – just made the director’s next project official: Dune.
Villeneuve has been rumored for some time to be involved with the project, but Herbert’s announcement confirms it:
It's official — Legendary Pictures has signed the very talented Denis Villeneuve to direct the exciting new DUNE series film project.
— Brian Herbert (@DuneAuthor) February 1, 2017
Villenueve’s most recent project was Arrival, which is up for eight Oscar nominations, including Best Director. Before that, he helmed the 2015 film Sicario, which was nominated for three Oscars. Between those and some independent movies, he’s made a name for himself in the last few years, and movies like Blade Runner 2049 and Dune should only cement him as one of the top names in the game.
Dune has a troubled history on-screen
Dune is a science fiction classic centering around the desert planet of Arrakis, fought over by noble families in an intergalactic empire for its primary resource, a space-travel-enabling drug called melange. Dune was first brought to screen by legendary director David Lynch in 1984. While it has its fans, the movie in its various cuts has been looked down upon by fans and film critics alike for a disjointed narrative and lack of adherence to the source material.
Before that, director Alejandro Jodorowsky had attempted unsuccessfully to bring the tale to the cinema. The failure was big enough to warrant its own documentary, Jodorowsky’s Dune, released in 2013. A television adaptation of the story that hewed closer to the original story aired on Syfy in 2000, but it was hampered by the limited budget and low-end effects available to the network at the time.
With Blade Runner 2049 still in the hopper, there’s no release schedule on Dune quite yet.