There have been a couple attempts at television and motion picture treatments of Frank Herbert's epic science fiction novel Dune (and its sequels) over the years, but none can be called entirely successful. SciFi made an attempt at a mini-series adaptation of Dune and Children of Dune in the early 2000s. Most notably, however, was Dino De Laurentiis's 1984 adaptation, directed by David Lynch and starring Kyle MacLachlin, with a supporting cast that included Patrick Stewart, Sting, Sean Young, Linda Hunt, and more. While this movie version had/has a great cult following, upon its release it was considered a flop. And while I myself actually love the movie, I have always wished for a better adaptation that captured all of the amazing things from the book.
Now, we might just have the chance to have that.
The Frank Herbert estate has granted Legendary Entertainment both film and television rights to the novel Dune. This is exciting news, because in these days of CGI, things that were previously thought to be impossible to capture on film are now possible. And with movie goers becoming accustomed to longer flicks, as was the case with Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and other epics, an audience might be more receptive to a movie long enough to capture Dune's sprawling storyline.
Of course, as the opening lines of the 1984 release state, "A beginning is a very delicate time..." We don't have many solid details about the production plans for the movie, other than a few names of producers being dropped, and it's possible that this movie could prove a disappointment. Social media's response seemed to be a big mixture of excitement and "Oh, please just leave it alone!" But as always, we at O&FP are maintaining a position of cautious optimism. After all, why dismiss something before there is even any information out about it? Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope Legendary pulls through with an adaptation that is everything we could hope for.
Melanie R. Meadors is an author and editor of science fiction and fantasy, blogger at The Once and Future Podcast, and a professional author publicist. She studied physics and astronomy at Northern Arizona University, where no day was complete without a heated debate over relativity versus quantum mechanics. You can find her at her website, melaniermeadors.com, on Facebook, and Twitter, @melaniermeadors.