“Blade Runner 2049” was a financial disappointment for Warner Bros. this fall (it still hasn’t even crossed $90 million domestically), but for many critics and fans it will remain a major artistic achievement for director Denis Villeneuve. After making three acclaimed movies in three years with “Sicario,” “Arrival,” and “2049,” the director is set to take a small break before moving on to revive another ambitious science-fiction property: “Dune.”
Villeneuve is set to adapt Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi novel for Legendary Pictures, and he’s already gone on record saying the movie will be “the project of [his] life.” The decision to tackle “Dune” is a risky one, considering the material often gives filmmakers a ton of trouble behind the camera. Alejandro Jodorowsky famously tried and failed to adapt the book in the 1970s, while David Lynch disliked his 1984 adaption so much after being denied final cut privilege that he tried to get his director’s credit removed.
Speaking to Yahoo! Movies during a Facebook Live interview, Villeneuve told fans not to expect any similarities between Lynch’s adaptation and his own. While the “2049” filmmaker respects Lynch and considers him “one of the best filmmakers alive,” he just doesn’t envision Herbert’s novel on the big screen the same way Lynch does.
“David Lynch did an adaptation in the ’80s that has some very strong qualities. I mean, David Lynch is one of the best filmmakers alive, I have massive respect for him,” Villeneuve said. “But when I saw his adaptation, I was impressed, but it was not what I had dreamed of, so I’m trying to make the adaptation of my dreams. It will not have any link with the David Lynch movie. I’m going back to the book, and going to the images that came out when I read it.”
Villeneuve explained back in February that the images from Herbert’s novel have “haunted” him for 35 years. Legendary’s Mary Parent offered Villeneuve the chance to bring “Dune” back to the big screen, to which the filmmaker could not deny the opportunity. “Dune” will be Villeneuve’s third science-fiction movie following “Arrival” and “2049.”