After Four Years Paramount is Giving Up on Adapting 'Dune' Again
It's been over fours years and directors like Peter Berg (Hancock) and Pierre Morel (Taken) have most recently attempted to get the adaptation off the ground, but Deadline reports that long gestating, new take on Frank Herbert's classic sci-fi novel Dune is now dead. Apparently Paramount Pictures and the book's rights holders have parted ways as one of the holders, Richard P. Rubenstein says, "Paramount’s option has expired and we couldn’t reach an agreement. I’m going to look at my options, and whether I wind up taking the script we developed in turnaround, or start over, I’m not sure yet.” Well, that sucks.
For those who don't know why sci-fi fans will be in mourning after this news, here's the book's official synopsis:
'Dune' tells the sweeping tale of a desert planet called Arrakis, the focus of an intricate power struggle in a byzantine interstellar empire. Arrakis is the sole source of Melange, the "spice of spices." Melange is necessary for interstellar travel and grants psychic powers and longevity, so whoever controls it wields great influence.
The troubles begin when stewardship of Arrakis is transferred by the Emperor from the Harkonnen Noble House to House Atreides. The Harkonnens don't want to give up their privilege, though, and through sabotage and treachery they cast young Duke Paul Atreides out into the planet's harsh environment to die. There he falls in with the Fremen, a tribe of desert dwellers who become the basis of the army with which he will reclaim what's rightfully his. Paul Atreides, though, is far more than just a usurped duke. He might be the end product of a very long-term genetic experiment designed to breed a super human; he might be a messiah. His struggle is at the center of a nexus of powerful people and events, and the repercussions will be felt throughout the Imperium.
Considering David Lynch's 1984 adaptation flopped, the book certainly is no easy animal to tame for the big screen. However, Rubenstein knows what he want's out of an adaptation. He says, “Since I know what I want, eventually, I’ll find someone who’ll agree with me. What I like is that talent has interesting things to say on how they would approach it." But he says, "Right now, Dune has no commitments or attachments.”
This is especiallysad considering Rubenstein and producer Kevin Misher liked what Pierre Morel did with Chase Palmer on the script. Apparently Paramount just couldn't bring themselves to fork over the $100 million price tag. I guess it's not that surprising since World War Z is also in jeopardy too. Bad news from that studio all around today I guess. Disappointed?