This was a big bummer for me. The news actually broke yesterday, and I was so crushed that I couldn’t bring myself to write it up until now. Sure, I’m being a little melodramatic here, but Dune is my favorite book of all time, and my sole reason for wanting to be a writer. I’ve been itching to see another big screen adaptation for quite some time.
These pics are concept art from the Dune remake when Pierre Morel was attached to direct.
Well, it looks like that won’t be happening any time soon. The reason being that Paramount has held the rights to make Dune for several years now. Turns out that their option for the rights has now lapsed. Rather than negotiating to keep them (which would include paying more money), the rights have reverted back to Richard P. Rubenstein, the liaison to the Frank Herbert estate and ABC.
Paramount has already sunk in plenty of money to this project. They’ve had several drafts of a script written up, went through a director who had even started pre-production work, and then had a second director hired on. With all that money spent over the years with nothing ever coming of it, I can’t say I’m surprised that the studios let it go.
Fear not, however, as we’re still likely to see a Dune movie happen at some point. Here’s what Rubenstein had to say on the matter:
“Paramount’s option has expired and we couldn’t reach an agreement… 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.”
So the idea is to still make a movie with someone. With the Sci-Fi genre becoming a hot item lately, and Dune being one of the biggest Sci-Fi epics written, I’m sure a studio would be willing to pick this up. Hopefully they’ll hang on to the script that was already written (in which case Paramount would recoop some losses), since all reports on the script had people saying it was a fantastic interpretation.
On top of that, Rubenstein isn’t likely looking to sell the rights to a studio just to have it take several more years, so more than likely and deal would include a fairly strict timeline. That could be good or bad, but let’s pray they try and stick with quality instead of speed. For now, nothing is going on with a Dune movie and it just makes this little fanboy sad…