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I’m worried about Dune. Peter Berg was attached to direct an adaptation of the classic Frank Herbert novel back in March of 2008, and we’ve heard nary a word since. What we have had since is Hancock, an epically shitty Will Smith vehicle directed by Berg, and exactly the kind of disaster Dune fans have been worried the upcoming adaptation might devolve into.
Though we’ve heard precious little about it, it looks like Peter Berg’s Dune is still in development. He recently sat down with Sci Fi Wire to answer questions about the project and in the process allayed a few fears. For starters, he recognizes that David Lynch’s horrible 80s attempt at turning Dune into a movie is not the way to go. Says Berg, “I think I had a much more different experience, I think, with the book than David Lynch did.”
Instead of Lynch’s bizarre, introspective route it sounds like Berg plans to make this an action movie. That’s actually sort of a shame, since Herbert’s story is really more political in nature. His universe divided into ruling houses jostling each other for power and control of a precious substance called “mélange” which is only found in the gigantic worm infested sands of a planet known as Arrakis or Dune.
Everything that happens in the book and its sequels is a direct result of that complex power structure, but maybe not so much in Berg’s movie. He describes his take as “muscular and adventurous, more violent and possibly even a little bit more fun.” I wonder if he’s seen JJ Abrams Star Trek? If you’re going to suck some of the brains out of something without pissing off fans, that seems to be the way to do it. Maybe that’s even what Peter has in mind. Frank Herbert’s universe is massive and fully realized, why not stretch out your arms and have a little fun playing around in it?