We could still see another Dune adaptation…but I’m not holding my breath.
The last attempt we reported on fell apart in 2010 and the rights lapsed in 2011, when it was set up at Paramount. But now with studios not just satisfied with a standalone blockbuster, but in search of the next great franchise, studios look to the extensive library of fantasy and science fiction, and few seems to show such untapped potential as the universe of Frank Herbert’s Dune. Of course, it’s been tried before, and became reality twice so far.
Most of you will remember the 1984 David Lynch effort for Raffaella and Dino DeLaurentiis, which was visually striking but confusing, departed in some ways from the book, and less than compelling acting despite the extensive experienced cast list, bombed at the box office, and was later disavowed by Lynch. An extended version added more explanation as to the history leading up to the plot, but did little to help in the end. Even so, it did achieve a cult status, but cemented the idea of the novels not being possible to translate to film.
In 2000 then Sci-Fi Channel produced a miniseries based on the first book, which did reasonably well enough to warrant a sequel, adapting Dune Messiah and Children of Dune under the latter’s title for a 2003 miniseries. Both were among the top rated miniseries for the network at the time.
So good luck to Legendary on attempting to bring this to the big screen again. I’ll be over here playing with my sandworm…