Blade Runner 2049 Director Taking On Impossible Task Of Dune Remake

Denis Villeneuve is on a roll after the success of Arrival but this might be a step too far.

Blade Runner 2049 concept art
Concept art An early look at sequel Blade Runner 2049. Image Alcon Entertainment/Warner Bros Pictures

Fresh from the back-to-back successes of Sicario and Arrival, and with Blade Runner 2049 still come, director Denis Villeneuve has set his sights on arguably his most challenging film project yet: Dune.

Villeneuve is taking charge of the film, based on the Frank Herbert novel of the same name, which will represent Hollywood’s third attempt at making a coherent movie out of a book previously labelled “unfilmable” by both fans and critics alike. 

News of the French-Canadian’s hiring was confirmed by Brian Herbert, son of original author, via Twitter.

“It’s official – Legendary Pictures has signed the very talented Denis Villeneuve to direct the new Dune series project,” he tweeted.

Dazed reported that Villeneuve beat off competition from Peter Berg and Ridley Scott to land the project. However, those celebrations could be cut short once Villeneuve realises the magnitude of the task facing him.

Amy Adams in Arrival
Sci-fi stunner Amy Adams in Arrival. Image eOne

A complex sci-fi odyssey that mixes a plot-line focusing around an interstellar war over a rare spice with abstract musings on politics, religion, ecology and philosophy, many have tried and failed before Villeneuve.

Alejandro Jodorowsky was the first filmmaker to attempt a Dune adaption. His version was originally set to feature a Pink Floyd soundtrack with roles for the likes of Orson Welles and Salvador Dali. It was quickly aborted.

Eventually a film version did make it to cinemas courtesy of David Lynch who turned down the chance to direct The Empire Strikes back but lived to regret it. 

Hated by fans of the book for being too simplistic, the finished film left most cinemagoers utterly baffled with some movie theatres forced to hand out cheat sheets before screenings to help people understand just what the hell was going on. 

Soundtracked by Toto of Africa fame, the film flopped with Lynch yet to return to the world of science fiction in the years since. 

The clearest indication of Villeneuve’s suitability for the project could arrive with his next film, Blade Runner 2049, the long-delayed sequel to the Harrison Ford classic of the same name.

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