Pierre Morel Talks New Dune, Says It's 'All About the First Book'

January 12, 2010
Source: MTV

Dune / Pierre Morel

Barely a week ago, it was announced that French director Pierre Morel would be taking over the Dune adaptation in the works at Paramount. He was hired to replace Peter Berg, who had dropped out to make Battleship instead. Coming from the action films Taken and From Paris with Love, this was exciting news, especially because I think he'll do a great job with the material. MTV caught up with Morel and asked him about his interest in this project and his plans for it. The good news: "Oh my God yes, I've been a fan of that book - because I will not refer to [Lynch's] movie - I've been a fan of the book since I was a teenager."

Morel explains that "as a David Lynch movie, I loved it. [But] as a 'Dune' fan [of the book], I was not such a big fan." So Morel is going "back to the roots" of the groundbreaking 1965 book by Frank Herbert. "I've been reading it over and over again – well, I'm 45 now, so for 30 years," Morel says. Since there were six books in the series, he'd re-read each one before buying a new one. "So, by the time I bought the sixth book I had already read the first one six times! So, I'm a hardcore fan." He certainly is! As for his plans for this:

"[My movie] is all about the first book. I'm trying to be very respectful to the original novel," he explained. "But it's a challenge; there's a lot of expectation, all the readers will be waiting for me with their shotguns. All the non-readers will also be waiting for us, because it's such a complex, rich novel and you have to make it accessible to those who have not read the book. So, it's a tough challenge but I'm very excited about that."

So he doesn't say much we didn't already know, but it's great to hear that he's a big fan and that he is putting all of his effort into making sure this is faithful and hopefully a movie that people will fall in love with (just like the book). "Morel hopes that Dune will be the next movie he'll shoot, and that fans will want to re-visit it as many times as he has Herbert's original novel." So while Paramount waits for Josh Zetumer to finish the script, we'll be crossing our fingers hoping that it gets the greenlight soon, that way Morel doesn't eventually leave the project before it gets made. For now I still think he's a great choice for Dune. What about you?

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This was the fasted book I've ever read. I watched the Lynch version of it years ago and years later realized it was Patrick Stewart as Gurney, then years later realized it was Brad Dourif as Piter. I very much liked the grit of the first movie. The second one was good as well with different actors and brought a more royal theme than the first which was good. I'm very very curious to see how this third adaptation turns out.

Darren on Jan 12, 2010


Well, there is Avatar to show them how to create a new world in 3D, and Lord of the Rings to teach them to do a masterpiece like this in 3 movies instead of one. But I guess I must be dreaming...

peter T'Sas on Jan 12, 2010


It's nice to hear he's a hardcore fan. Does anybody know if he collaborates on the script?

Bo on Jan 12, 2010


Not sure if he's the right choice, but his enthusiasm is at least encouraging. Please avoid the bullshit that Lynch added, and the Paul-is-a-whiny-pussy that Sci-Fi added. This could be epic.

Colin on Jan 12, 2010


Very, very, very excited about this! It is time that a true fan and avid reader of the series takes the helm. Lynch's version was okay for a movie in the 80s, but as a true follower of Dune, I scoffed at it. I have high hopes for this movie and yes I do think that it could be on par with LoTR.

Shai-Hulud on Jan 12, 2010


Looking forward to this very much!I just want to throw in the thought that Lynch was handed a badly polluted and spoiled script and project, so no matter what he did with it it was worse before he put in his pieces... L

Lou Judson on Jan 12, 2010


I think the trick is making the movie fun. The novel is a masterpiece, but it's not the popcorn eye-candy adventure aspects that make it special. It's the intricate political, sociological, ecological and religious layers to the storyline that hopefully can be integrated into it--without boring to death the non-fans.

scott on Jan 12, 2010


I have only Seen the David Lynch movie of Dune granted in parts it could have done with cutting down. I have never read James Herberts Book of Dune so i cannot make any coment on the book but i did like morels Taken, and form paris with love looks realy intresting i like the Action in them and if morel could get Luc Besson involved as righter of screen play then it would be relay intresting.

Cineprog on Jan 12, 2010


I'm still skeptical. And also disappointed that it will only cover the first book. If there's to be a third version for the screen, why not try and cover all six (obviously not with a single movie, but maybe a trilogy).

YK on Jan 13, 2010


The material is so amazing, but at the same time very easy to screw up and turn into a horrible movie, so it's UBER important they pick a good director and I'm not sure this guy is really the man for the job but we'll see... French directors have a certain way of, with respect, French-ifying movies mainly intended for US audiences - The Fifth Element is a good example... So I'm not sure I'm too happy about this, but... Who cares what I think lol 🙂 Is this still coming out in 2010? There's no way.

Vic on Jan 13, 2010


Personally, I found all the books after the original tedious and heavily padded. There is enough in one DUNE for a trilogy of films all by itself!

lou Judson on Jan 13, 2010

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