Peter Berg is Directing Dune

Dune is getting the big screen treatment again, and today Paramount announced that actor-turned-director Peter Berg will be at the helm of the project. This was already widely known for some time, but the wheels now appear to be in motion and everything is official now. The good folks over at Variety tell us:

The project is out to writers, with the producers looking for a faithful adaptation of the Hugo- and Nebula Award-winning book. The filmmakers consider its theme of finite ecological resources particularly timely. New Amsterdam’s Richard Rubenstein, who produced Sci Fi’s “Dune” and sequel “Children of Dune,” is also producing alongside Sarah Aubrey of Film 44, Berg’s production banner. John Harrison and Mike Messina exec produce.

I’ve got to say I like this news for a couple of reasons. First of all Dune is a fantastic story and deserves another shot at a big screen treatment. I am not, nor have ever been a fan of the David Lynch 1984 version. You could see all the pieces there in that film… but to me it had no heart and never touched the essence of the story. As silly as it may sound, I actually MUCH preferred the mini-seres Dune that the Sci-Fi channel did a few years back. Yeah the production values were terrible, but I thought they got a lot closer to the essence of the tale than the Lynch movie did.

Secondly, I like this news because Berg is directing. No, I haven’t loved everything he’s done to this point, but “The Kingdom” was a damn hard project that I think was handled quite well, and “Friday Night Lights” is a terribly underrated film in my opinion.

Thirdly, I’m a sci-fi geek so anything in that genre gets my attention. Overall, this is good news and I can’t wait to see it. The only possible drawback is that it seems they’re aiming for just one movie. Dune is a HUGE story… one much more suited to a 4-5 hour telling (over 2 movies) than a single 2 hour telling. I’m not convinced they can do this story justice in just one film… which is probably why i thought the mini-seres was more successful than the original movie.

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