The Dune-iverse is one of the greatest science fiction settings out there, with political intrigue, war, cool technology and mythology, and a general weirdness that sets it apart (giant sandworms, for instance.) However, it’s never gotten the love it deserves in film. I’m in the minority who loved David Lynch’s surreal take, but it does need a big-budget update, and is finally getting it.
Denis Villeneuve is going to direct, and seems like a natural pick. Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival show his sci-fi chops, and Sicario proves he can do tense action.
I’m also encouraged that making the fat novel into two movies — filming them simultaneously, Lord of the Rings style. If it’s a success, there are about 20 other novels in the series they could explore.
My one concern is that big-budget space opera sci-fi movies have flopped recently, unless they were building on an existing, popular franchise like Star Wars or Star Trek, or included superheroes, like Guardians of the Galaxy.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Jupiter Rising, and Blade Runner 2049 all flopped. (Though admittedly, the first two stunk on ice.)
Here’s hoping that Dune fares better at the box office. Wouldn’t it be great if space opera was the Next Big Thing after the superhero craze passes?