Paramount's 'Dune' Adaptation in Trouble, Seeking New Director
Did anyone see this coming? Deadline just published a story about how Paramount is into some deep water over troubles getting their Dune adaptation together. Apparently the rights holders "won't grant another option extension," so they've got until "next spring" to set a start date and be "absolutely confident" in the project, or they'll lose the option. We thought Taken director Pierre Morel was on-board and ready to go with his version, but Deadline says "producers Kevin Misher and Richard P. Rubinstein are going out to directors today to create a new movie out of the 1965 book." They've got a script, but need a new director.
I'm not sure what's holding Paramount back with the versions Peter Berg and Morel worked on. They've got to know this is going to be an expensive, epic adaptation that comes with a lot of picky fanboys, but come on, that can't be it. I was looking forward to seeing someone new take on this adaptation, whether it was Morel or Berg. Paramount "forfeit[s] the six figures it has paid in option costs and risk development costs" if they don't pull this together soon. Deadline adds that one of the reasons why Paramount is concerned is because "from a feature standpoint, the book is indelibly linked to a 1984 David Lynch-directed flop, and there is that lingering memory of a giant desert worm and the rocker Sting." So that is holding them back, really?
Pierre Morel will stay on the project as an executive producer, but isn't directing anymore, so we can throw all of the stuff he said out the window. A fairly new writer named Chase Palmer is behind the latest draft of the screenplay that the producers think is "strong" enough to get a new director. But they can't just wait around on this. "We don't want to extend an option and watch the studio take seven years," Rubinstein says. "This is on a short tether. It's a major book franchise, you can't walk into a store and not see a shelf full of Dune books." We'll keep you guys updated on this, but for now I think all we can do is sit back and hope they pull it all together with a good director soon or let it go entirely and let another studio handle it. Thoughts?