It looks like Paramount Pictures is having some issues getting the new Dune movie into production, and the studio is on the verge of losing their rights to the book. According to Deadline, the rights holders "won't grant the studio another option extension." Now they only have until next spring to find confidence in the project and set a start date or they'll lose the option.
This comes as a complete surprise to me because I thought everything was going fine with Dune! The last we heard, Taken director Pierre Morel was all set to bring the movie to life. Now all of a sudden the film's producers Kevin Misher and Richard P. Rubinstein "going out to directors today to create a new movie out of the 1965 book." They have a script written by Chase Palmer, and now they're out looking for a new director? What the hell happened to Morel? He just decided he didn't want to direct it anymore?
Morel talked about how big of a fan he was of the book saying things like,
I’ve been a fan of the book since I was a teenager. I read that when I was 15, maybe. I’ve been reading it over and over again – well, I’m 45 now, so for 30 years. The fun story, actually, is that there were six books in that first series that Frank Herbert wrote. Every time I was going to buy a new one – because I couldn’t buy all six at one time – I was reading the previous ones so I would not forget anything. 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 went on to say how faithful his film adaptation would be to the book. I was actually comfortable knowing Morel was behind the wheel of this thing... I guess we can throw that all away at this point. Morel is still an executive producer on the project, but who knows if this thing will ever go through with Paramount.
The site goes on to explain that, "despite the ticking clock, Paramount is proceeding as cautiously as it would on any project that will carry a price-tag well north of $100 million. Unless studio brass is absolutely confident by the time the buzzer goes off, Paramount will kiss the project goodbye."
If Paramount loses the property, they will also lose out on a lot of money, and the project will most definitely end up at another studio, which might actually be a good thing at this point, maybe it needs a fresh start. The Herbert estate didn't "want to extend an option and watch the studio take seven years” to get the film off the ground, which is completely understandable.
I have no problems with a new Dune film! I love the book, and it could definitely use a new and proper film, because lets face it, David Lynch's version wasn't exactly the best adaptation. It was fine for what it was, but Dune has potential to be such a freakin' awesome movie.
What do you think should happen with this Dune project at this point?