Dune remake starting again: giant sandworms in 3D?

sandwormProduction of the new Dune movie is becoming as epic as Frank Herbert's Dune series itself, and they are nowhere near the filming stage yet. Now that director Peter Berg appears to have been sacked and has moved on to direct a film version of a board game called Battleship (I didn't make that bit up!), IGN reports that new director Pierre Morel has decided to throw out Peter Berg's script entirely, starting afresh with his own ideas and vision.

"We're starting from scratch," said Morel. "Peter had an approach which was not mine at all, and we're starting over again. I don't think we're going to keep any elements of the Peter Berg script. It was good, actually. It was interesting. It was just not our vision. I can't tell you right now [who's writing it with me], it's going to be official next week. The deals are not done!"

He revealed that in the next couple of months he will be focusing on developing Dune and his unnamed writers will start writing the screenplay in February.

"Dune is such a huge, huge project," he enthused. "It's big, it's challenging, it's long-term -- we're only starting. We have to rewrite the script; we have to develop a whole universe. It's going to be a long thing, so who knows. But I'm passionate about Dune so I'd love to do it next."

He recognises that he has to get the images associated with David Lynch's 1984 version of Dune out of the public’s consciousness (and his own).

"Everybody now who reads Dune reads it with David Lynch's images in mind," he said. "So we have to get away from that. It's not a remake of David Lynch's movie. We're doing a re-reading, a brand new approach on the book, a very true approach to the book, the original material. So we will have to deal with trying to erase the image that David Lynch did so we can propose our image.".

I'm impressed with his desire to be true to the original books. That’s certainly what was missing from David Lynch's 1984 film version. There were some bizarre plot choices which spoiled it for me: the rain at the end of the novel and the Weirding Modules just to name two. It sounds like we won't be watching his new Dune movie for another three years at least though, if everything’s back to square one (sigh).

He was also asked about 3D, a question that comes up in every science fiction and fantasy production lately. Avatar's never-ending profits have left their mark in the psyche of studio executives everywhere: everything that moves must be in 3D whether a director likes it or not! So will we be seeing giant sandworms roaming the spice planet Dune (Arrakis) with wild Fremen on their backs in 3D?

"I'd love it to be 3D, of course," he said. "It's the kind of movie that has the scope to be 3D. Will they do it in 3D? I'd push for that, but I don't know. As a viewer, I've just been watching Avatar with my kids twice in the theatre already and had a blast. It's an amazing experience."

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