Denis Villeneuve, best known for his directorial work on Arrival, Sicario and the upcoming Blade Runner sequel, is set to tackle the adaptation of Frank Herbert’s celebrated sci-fi epic, Dune.
Villeneuve was first rumored to be in the running for the role in December, but it wasn’t until yesterday the confirmation was announced. Brian Herbert, son of Frank Herbert and a celebrated science-fiction author in his own right, made the announcement on Twitter.
It's official -- Legendary Pictures has signed the very talented Denis Villeneuve to direct the exciting new DUNE series film project.— Brian Herbert (@DuneAuthor) February 1, 2017
Villeneuve has received quite a bit of attention in the past couple of months for his work on Arrival, a sci-fi film about aliens based on author Ted Chiang’s short story, Story of Your Life. The film received eight Oscar nominations, including one for Villeneuve in the Best Director category.
Villeneuve has also become one of the go-to directors in recent years after a few critical and box office successes, like Sicario. The director has also made a name for himself within the independent scene with movies like Prisoners, which starred Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, and Enemy, which also starred Gyllenhaal.
Dune follows two noble families who are at war with one another over control of the desert planet, Arrakis. Otherwise known as Dune, the planet is host to a drug called melange, which is referred to as the spice, and is crucial to space travel. As a result, it is the most valuable commodity in the universe.
The new Dune movie, being produced by Legendary Pictures, marks the second time the book will be adapted on the big screen. The first adaptation, directed by David Lynch (Twin Peaks) in 1984 only made $30 million at the box office and was scorned by critics. Prior to Lynch’s adaptation, cult director Alejandro Jodorowsky tried to capture the world of Herbert’s book to no avail. The events and problems surrounding the making of the film were eventually collected and edited together in a 2013 documentary, Jodorowsky’s Dune.
There is no estimated release date for the project at this time.