You’ll have plenty of time to reread all the Dune books before a new movie gets made.
Many fans of Frank Herbert’s science fiction classic “Dune” were thrilled a few years ago when Paramount announced plans to make a new film version–thrilled because the 1984 David Lynch version starring Sting and Kyle MacLachlan is widely viewed as a disappointment. A TV miniseries made a few years ago is considered somewhat better, but everyone just really wants a movie, or several movies.
Well, “Dune” fans, put on your disappointment shoes once again. Deadline reports that Paramount has decided not to make the movie after all. Paramount’s agreement with Richard Rubinstein, who manages the rights to the book, expired and they were unable to come to an agreement to extend the deal. This basically means that if Paramount was ready to film, really committed to the project, and willing to spend whatever they needed on it, they would have done something. Instead, it looks like they were okay with letting it go–they must have thought the final product was not worth the financial risk.
This is how Deadline described the situation:
Rubinstein said that Paramount’s exit came down to dollars, but the producer said he and the rights holders were OK with it.
Rubinstein represents rights holders the Herbert estate and ABC.
Now Rubinstein is not sure if he is going to take the script that was developed, or if he’ll start over completely somewhere else. He said:
“Sure, it’s frustrating, how long this has taken, but most of what I’ve done that worked out well over the years, like the miniseries The Stand, took a long time,” Rubinstein said. “Since I know what I want, eventually, I’ll find someone who’ll agree with me. What I like is that talent has interesting things to say on how they would approach it.”
Kevin Misher was producing and Pierre Morel was set to direct. Morel and Chase Palmer worked on a version of the script that Rubinstein liked, so he may talk to them again about working on it if he can get the project settled somewhere else. But even if he does, it will be years away again as the project starts over (note: Paramount will get some money if a new production uses enough of the Palmer script). So Dune fans, your long winter of film discontent will continue for some time, I’m afraid.