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Dune Being Adapted Again?! This Time By Peter Berg!

by
December 21, 2007
Source: MTV

Dune Being Adapted Again?! This Time By Peter Berg!

It's the last Friday before Christmas and the snow is falling here in Colorado and as much as I'd love to settle down with my HD-DVD player, the giant sandworms are acting up again on Arrakis. It's arguably one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written (by Frank Herbert) and it's already had two epic adaptations already - one by David Lynch in 1984 (left, above) and one a mini-series on the Sci Fi Channel (right, above). Yep, Dune is being adapted yet again! And it's nearly a done deal! The Kingdom and Friday Night Lights director Peter Berg is confirmed to direct and even went as far to say "if it weren't for the writer’s strike, we’d be in it right now."

MTV caught up with Berg recently, who confirmed his involvement and said that a script hasn't even been written yet, but as soon as the strike ends they'll get one underway. Berg is a "huge fan of the book" and said that the scale of the film will be "big big big." Unfortunately, Berg is planning to directed Edwin A. Salt before Dune, which all comes after he finishes Hancock, the Will Smith superhero movie, due out next summer. That means we won't see this new Dune until 2010, at least.

I'll admit - the Sci Fi Channel mini-series is a huge guilty pleasure. I could watch that thing in one sitting with about 5 pizzas and a 24-pack of beer and love every minute of it. Just hearing that they're making this again gets me excited. In the current state Hollywood is in, seeing a glorified remake with better visual effects and more excitement and energy could be awesome. As much as I'm not fond of Hancock, I did like The Kingdom a lot and I have some confidence in Peter Berg. I'm pretty sure he could pull off a badass Dune, that's for sure.

What's your call? Is Peter Berg a great choice for a new Dune adaptation? Or is a Dune adaptation unnecessary to begin with?

Dune Mini-Series

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  • Ethan
    Wow, I'm a huge fan of the book and would really love to see it done to justice. I really enjoy the Lynch film even if it's pretty much incomprehensible. And the mini-series......ewwwwwwwwwwww.
  • jason_md2020
    I remember seeing the trailer for the Lynch version way back before it came out. I liked it so much that I went out & bought the book and read it before the movie came out. Then was disapointed by the film. I loved the production design, sets costumes etc, but the story was convoluted and the pacing was off, and they seemed like they were trying to be odd for odd's sake. (But whaddya want. It's Lynch.) Then I saw the miniseries and I thought they cleaned up the story enough to make it work pretty good for the screen, had some great performances, but I could see the effects of a tv budget. I'm hoping that if this gets done, that the best elements of both could come together and create a huge sci-fi epic "the likes of which even God has never seen." (Sorry. Had to pull a quote.) P.S. Too bad Del Toro has such a full schedule. He'd be PERFECT for this!
  • Mondo Jay
    ... I think that another adaptation is totally unnecessary... The Mini-series from the sci-fi channel was a brilliant re-telling of the story and the first film from Lynch is a good example why you can't fit a novel into a movie format... plus I'm not a big Peter Berg fan... Leave the Dune series alone, the TV series was great... ...
  • Seamus
    I like the Lych film because it was kinda trippy and otherworldly. It was mystical. Anyway, I just loved Lynch's film but I had to go read the book afterwards because so much of the story was unexplained or unclear to me. I think Lynch could have easily made two Dune films but had limited resources because De Laurentis may have lacked vision. I viewed the mini-series over two evenings with Pizza and Coke. :) I enjoyed the expanded story telling but hated the cast save for perhaps two actors - Chzech actors - who played the roles of Liet Kynes and his daughter Chani. The only set I liked in the mini-series was the Arakeen palace with it's stunning mosaic work, the pillars and such. I thought most of the costumes were awful. They just put weird hats on the Guild Navigators and the Imperial Bene Gesserit. I'd like to see a series of DUNE feature films that finally get it right - the mix of high production values and story telling. I hope they take their time and really work on their concept art for the films. I hope the films are epic, mystical and "trippy" and allow one to immerse themselves in this universe. :) I hope they use a score like in the original film. :)
  • Conrad
    Peter Berg has always come through for me. I like him as an actor and even more behind the camera. I liked "Very Bad Things", "The Rundown", but not so much "Friday Night Lights" that was pretty dreary. But I think a Dune remake is finally in good order to release. I like the fact Peter Berg will be directing, I just hope he doesn't get impatient with the running time, this remake should be at least 2.5 hours!
  • Cor
    I grew up watching the original film, and was delighted to watch the miniseries (and its sequel). Between the two I believe they pretty much cover the book - although nothing will ever be as good as the book itself.
  • http://www.soundtrackgeek.com Jorn
    I am actually more excited about the news of a soundtrack for this movie. I really hope they go with Brian Tyler and not Graeme Revell. Saying that, I love Dune. I love Peter Berg. Bring it on!
  • CloudZeroX
    I liked the book quite a bit, and that is a lot since I don't read something unless it really interests me. But all the other movies have done no justice and are completely bad. I think this is just going to be totally unnecessary again, but I hope I am wrong.
  • http://www.firstshowing.net Alex Billington
    Jason - Del Toro is perfect for ANYTHING these days...! The Hobbit, Dune, what else? :P Seamus hit it dead on with exactly what I want too, and what this needs to be to become a success...But I'm not sure if they'll do it exactly that way. They may (sadly) cut it down and edit it, or skimp on a few details to make it more mainstream... Somethign won't be right, I can already tell.
  • Raymond
    Can't Hollywood come up with it's own ideas? Do they have to keep adapting things like this? It's screwed up. a 5-hour miniseries was great. I loved the Sci-fi Channel one, but this is just pointless squabbling over money. No wonder Hollywood can't make any money recently.
  • TheBitwar
    I have reservations on seeing another adaptation of Dune. From a story standpoint, i prefer the mini-series as it stuck closer to the book. Visually, I lean more towards the David Lynch movie. The desert looked more barren and the costumes were better, though I did like seeing the fremen out of stil suits. I haven't seen anything from this director before, so i have no opinion on that. I just want a faithful adaptation that mirrors the book in look, feel, thought, and meaning. Hard to pull off. I'll decide how I feel about sequels after I see this one, though I would like to see all six books adapted on screen someday. Kind of an unattainable dream since they get really wierd after the 3rd (Children of Dune).
  • Alec
    Not all remakes are bad. However, many of them are. It's far too early to judge whether the effort will a good one or a bad one. In fact, the effort may not come to fruition at all. Investors who support big-budget films of any kind have been known to back away from a project if it's delayed too long ... which it could be courtesy of the writer's strike. Personally, I tend to distance myself from remakes for at least a week or two after release ... just so I can hear the reactions of friends and critics. And at that point, after this input, I decide whether I'll see it in a theater or wait for the disk to come out. This remake will be no different from the others in that respect.
  • sir jorge
    they need to give it a rest already
  • Bullet Tooth Tony
    Quit, just quit already. Two great adaptations in less than twenty years time and a brilliant sequel...can't they just film the rest of the novels instead? There's so much more story to tell than to keep retelling the same one over and over again...
  • Samantha
    OK, first of all, absolute Dune junkie. I was the only girl in my high school who'd even heard of Dune, much less read all the books. So yes, another adaptation IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY!!! And I agree, the miniseries was a complete guilty pleasure - and I'm so happy that James McAvoy is so busy in Hollywood right now, as he did such a wonderful job as Leto II! I can't wait! I really, really, really can't wait!
  • Jay
    Frank Herbert liked the Lynch film, which is good enough for me ;-)
  • Drillerman
    My favorite of the 6 books is God Emperor of Dune. The story is complete within itself and would make a great movie. The first 20 minites would be a total gas with the Wolves chasing the Femen and Duncan getting killed by Leto II. They could cut alot of the prescience chatter out of the middle and simplify the telling of the Golden Path. Plus there are some more great actions parts in the middle and a spectacular Ending with Leto IIs Death. If i was to make the series it would be: 1)Dune 2) Messiah/Children 3) Emperor 4) Heretics/Chapterhouse. Then you could make the Brian Herbert stories for the Si-Fi Channel. Nuff Said. Peace.
  • Parsifal
    If they do ANOTHER Dune adaptation, i hope they are prescient enough (heh heh) to finally follow through with the 6 book series. There is a huge demand amongst Dune fans to see Dune 4 and beyond made into movies. Maybe this will be the beginning of a new Dune franchise!
  • http://neville6000.deviantart.com Neville Ross
    I hope the films are epic, mystical and "trippy" and allow one to immerse themselves in this universe. What kind of drugs are you on, and what bullshit are you saying? At the estimable cost of over two million dollars, there is NO WAY the said director can make the movie in the above-mentioned way that you want; it will just be as bad as the 1984 film, and be cut to ribbons for time and also be verbally cut to ribbons by critics just like the 1984 movie. There was not one fucking thing wrong with the recent mini-series except for the costumes, and you know it! Dune and its sequels cannot be made except as a mini-series-end of story! Berg is just going to end up with egg on his face.
  • Rafe
    Dune is by far the best hero-archtype story ever written (Ender's game comes in second. LOTR is trash in my opinion). Bringing it back to the silver screen with a respectable cast and director is long over due. Done well, this could be as big as LOTR. Dune is a rarity that we probably won't see again for a very very long time. I hope Berg does it right!
  • Fr Pat
    Love the book - read it probabl ya dozen times. Could not follow Lynch's film - and I'd had high hopes of it (the young Sting was about perfect in looks for Feyd Rautha). Hoped the mini series would be an improvement - maybe it was, but I really couldn't dig it. May have to kill someone if this one is a turkey. As for later books? - Well, the seies kind of lost its way after about the 3rd one - and I'm sorry, but Chapter House left me cold (and I went and bought it the day the hardback arrived in store)
  • http://greekfiction.blogspot.com Alexandros
    I liked the Lynch version a lot and didn't care much for the mini-series. However, as many have pointed out, it is difficult to do the book justice because of its epic nature. There is a potential, of course, for someone to cash in big on a 6 part Dune movie a la Star Wars, but you would need to have a real blockbuster for Dune 1. I hope they look at something drawn by Jodorowsky (Metabarons) and use some ideas from his graphic talent to come up with a fantastical other worldly vision of the fantasy world that is Dune. I still think the first book is the best one (I've read them all) but of course, people will be partial to some of the others as well, as they all have incredible scenes in them. Dune would also need a cast of really good actors, as there are so many major characters and minor ones too, with brief roles, all of them interesting. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hope they pull it off !
  • Pope Snarky Goodfella OTUC, POEE
    Hail Eris! You couldn't possibly make a decent film version of Dune for as low as $2M, Neville -- that'd be a low-budget, CGI'ed-to-hell version with no-name actors, cheesy costumes, and Baron Harkonnen in a poorly-disguised wheelchair (after paying the actors, caterers, extras, and crew, there wouldn't be that much left for sfx). It'll cost at least $100M *if* they skimp on the costumes, sets or cast (or just cut the script to ribbons, thus guaranteeing a pile of shit), and $200M is a lot more likely, if only because any skimping would be lame, and the movie would bomb big-time. *Ishtar* big-time. Snarky
  • Graeble
    I'm a huge fan of the "Duniverse". and i'm upset that berg is going to remake the original novel again. i was hoping for the butlerian jihad/machine crusade/battle of corrino movies personally. Remaking this story again can only be a flexing of the visual aspects of the book. because i really doubt someone can screenplay the book without dropping alot of internal dialog. something current american movies dont like. which is why i hope and pray that this version is animated. drawings or cg, doesnt matter. i would love to see every physical detail of the book played out how it was written.
  • Rufus Mc Dufus
    "I hope they look at something drawn by Jodorowsky (Metabarons) and use some ideas from his graphic talent to come up with a fantastical other worldly vision of the fantasy world that is Dune." Gawd, I hope not. The Jodorowski pics were really awful, I dont know what he was high on when he drew them but they are NOTHING like the descriptions in the book. A good Dune movie will do well not to mess with the book too much. LoTR succeeded because Jackson was sensitive to the original book and this is more important with Dune. The Lynch version had superb sets, costumes and actors. The film even had atmosphere in spades, the problem is that the film is just intentionally made damn weird because it was done by the wrong person and departs from the book in unintelligible ways. I'm sure Lynch must have had a good few tokes on a reefer or something like that before every shoot. It was such a missed opportunity. I hope that Berg will do Dune the justice it deserves. It is simply the best SF novel in existence.
  • Jack
    I'd prefer someone make the Elric saga or an Eternal Champion movie. That would be a good movie(s). But hey...that's my wish and if wishes were fishes...we'd all end up in a lake :P
  • http://starcraft2.com dodgy8
    Bottom line is Dune is the best book out of all 6 that Frank Herbert wrote, and its easily one of the best sci-fi books ever written. First off, it is possible to make epic sci-fi movies (star wars). The problem is Dune was a book first, and an amzingly intricate and detailed book. Plots within Plots! You really need to have an enourmous budget and a great screen play and writing crew to adapt this onto the big screen. I think turning it into an anime type movie (like princess mononoke or Akira) would be possible, but very unappreciated in America. A good solution is a series of movies like star wars, big budget and well written (unlike parts of star wars diologue in ep 1-3). To capture any of the characters from the novel you would need great actors who have all read the book. a successful adaptation is possible but a great adaptation is improbable. If they forget the plot details and other important aspects of the book like internal revelations and the supremacy of the bene gesserit, the movie will fall flat for true Dune fans. In order to create an epic Dune movie and ensuing sequels, the movie must use modern technological capabilities without destroying the plot. if this is done the general population will fall in love with this movie. Such a rich story turned into a very vivid re-telling on screen would create fans everywhere.
  • http://www.3dluvr.com/pascalb pascal blanche
    as a huge fan of the universe, i cant be more happy to know that berg is rewamping it :) Seriously, both movie and miniseries had their strong and weack points, and i bet that Dune is still quite a challenge, way too much space for interpretation ... But i think that the whole drama and action package has stil an enormous potential yet unseen on screen.. cant wait :)
  • Insuperhuman
    What they really need to do is make, in chronological order from within the books, a running series on TV spanning from The Butlerian Jihad all the way to the end of Sandworms of Dune. It could be well thought out and with enough planning and preperations it would be done, maybe not to the aspect of all of the major Dune fandom, at a good enough level to apease even the the most skeptical of fans. Yes I relize that in order to make the whole of the series on TV it would span over years. But wouldnt you rather see an acceptionaly good series as apposed to a bad series of movies?
  • Calamaro
    Dune is my favorite science fiction novel, and one of my favorite books in general, but Peter Berg is quite simply a terrible director. Hancock was often embarrassing to watch, as have been most of his others (The Rundown was pretty bad, but Very Bad Things was nearly unwatchable). I'm nervous that his ham-fisted visual style will get in the way. I'm even more nervous about the casting, which could also be cringe-worthy (i.e. Baron Harkonnen will be some hip-hop lunkhead). Time will tell, but I would have been much happier to have heard that it was being done by Peter Jackson, Guillermo Del Toro, Ang Lee, Christopher Nolan...Anybody else, really.
  • Tracey
    This is a horrible idea. You cannot make this book into a movie and do it justice. If you take a bunch of liberties with the story, it will ruin it, and if you make a page for page movie version of the book; it will be boring. Dune is an example of a work of art that only is good in its original media. Sorry, dune movie fans. If they go ahead with this flim it will be horrible; just like David Lynch's crap version with the intermonologue and sound gun crap. If you like Dune, read the book again and enjoy it. Stop making movies.

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