Talk about extremes…hot off the heels of his blockbuster turn in Aquaman, it seems that Jason Momoa is looking for something a little less, well, wet. And the driest place in the universe would of course be Arrakis, the desert planet also known as Dune.
We hear Momoa is in talks to take on the role of Duncan Idaho, the swordsmaster for the Atreides clan, in Denis Villeneuve’s remake of the Frank Herbert classic novel. Idaho was previously played by Richard Jordan in the 1984 David Lynch film, and James Watson in the 2000 Syfy miniseries.
Now, we know a blockbuster cast does not make a blockbuster movie (ala the Lynch film), but I’m becoming more and more intrigued with each passing announcement…and Jason, if you are out there, I’d like to be there for the next haka…
Casting Call: Zendaya and Oscar Isaac in talks for Dune, Gabriel Byrne & Elizabeth McGovern to War Of The Worlds; Jackman and Ferguson in Reminiscence
Two reboots, four castings…
Both Zendaya (The Greatest Showman) and Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) are currently in talks to join Denis Villeneuve’ Dune reboot at Legendary Entertainment. Zendaya would play Chani, the Freman love interest of Paul Atreides, played by Timothee Chalamet. Isaac would play Paul’s father, Duke Leto Atreides. Neither have been confirmed at this point.
The casting for War Of The Worlds, however, is confirmed –
Gabriel Byrne (Hereditary) and Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey) will lead up an ensemble cast in the Urban Myth Films reboot to be directed by
Howard Overman (Misfits). From the sounds of it, this will be loosely based on the H.G. Wells novel, set in present-day Europe and focusing on the aftermath of an alien attack.
Speaking of The Greatest Showman, star Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Ferguson will team again, but this time for a sci-fi thriller
Reminiscence written by Westworld executive producer Lisa Joy, who will also make her directorial debut. Set in a near-future Miami affected by global warming, Jackman will play a private investigator who specializes in recapturing vivid cherished memories for clients, with Ferguson as one of his clients.
Hot on the heals of finding out that Dave Bautista was joining Denis Villeneuve’s Dune adaptation, another MCU actor will join him – and they’ll be related.
Stellan Skarsgard, who played Dr. Erik Selvig in the first two Thor movies as well as the first two Avengers movies, will play Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, the scheming leader of House Harkonnen who collaborates with the Emperor on a plan to rid themselves of House Atreides and maintain control of the planet Arrakis, the only source of the spice melange, the most valuable substance in the universe. Glossu “The Beast” Rabban (Bautista) is the Baron’s sadistic nephew, charged with the subjugation of Arrakis.
Skarsgard most recently appeared in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again.
Guardians Of The Galaxy‘s Dave Bautista will reunite with his Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve for the latter’s upcoming version of Frank Herbert’s Dune, one of the biggest SF book series that has previously been a feature film from David Lynch and a Syfy (then Sci-Fi Channel) mini-series. Bautista’s role is not currently known. [Update: We now know he will play “The Beast” Rabban – as if there was any question…]
He will join Timothée Chalamet (Lady Bird), who will play hero Paul Atreides, and Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible – Fallout), who will play Lady Jessica.
The David Lynch film was a visual spectacle but a box office failure, with Lynch himself distancing himself claiming there was too much interference from the producers and financiers, and in some cuts the director was credited as “Alan Smithee”, a code name for a disavowed credit. The mini-series proved more successful, spawning a sequel series for Children of Dune, both of which were some of the highest rated programming on the network at the time.
We haven’t heard anything since November, and we figured it would languish in development for a while, but it appears that Denis Villenueve’s Dune is moving forward faster than we expected, with Oscar-nominee Timothee Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name, Lady Bird) in negotiations to star.
Vellenueve (Blade Runner 2049, Arrival) took on the project after Legendary acquired the film and TV rights in 2016, and has always had his own vision of the film since reading the books. Oscar winner Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) penned the script.
TidBits: Star Wars: The Last Jedi tracks for huge opening; Denis Villeneuve wants to revisit Dune; Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom tease
Some holiday weekend TidBits…
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is hitting all the tracking target with hyperspace speeds, and word on the street is that a $200 million opening weekend is possible…and check out this 30 second spot, “Tempt”…
On the other side of the SF franchise universe, one which has been spoken of for decades, Dune is making rumblings again, this time from Oscar-nominated director Denis Villeneuve himself. In a Deadline Hollywood interview mostly about Blade Runner 2049, at the end he mentions how much he loved the book and wants to bring a new adaptation to the big screen. He mentions the 1984 David Lynch movie, but says it didn’t match his own vision of one of his favorite books, and he’d like to bring that vision to the big screen.
And lastly, this past week director Colin Trevorrow gave us a tease of the upcoming Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – a six second video showing Owen Brady (Chris Pratt) getting chummy with a baby Velociraptor…apparently he’s gotten over what happened with them last time…
— Colin Trevorrow (@colintrevorrow) November 22, 2017
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…
As rumored last November, the long developing remake of Dune is dead. Paramount failed to come to an agreement to extend the rights, and now the option has lapsed. Producer Richard P. Rubinstein says, “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.”
The long-languishing Dune remake that’s been simmering at Paramount for several years may get permanently shelved. Deadline reports the clock is ticking on the rights, with a production start date required to be set by next Spring. And part of the problem is that all the rights holders need to agree on various aspects of the production – like a director. First Peter Berg walked away after heading the initial development to make Battleship instead, and it is possible that Pierre Morel has also stepped down.
Apparently I missed this last month, but Peter Berg is out as the director of the Kevin Mishner-produced remake of Dune, and Pierre Morel (Taken) is in the chair. Berg apparently left to do Battleship and Lone Survivor for Universal. And with the change in director, it isn’t a surprise to see a change in the writer, with Chase Palmer (Number 13) taking the pen to add Morel’s vision to Josh Zetumer’s screenplay.