When comparing two films of the same genre, you probably won't find two films more on opposite sides of the spectrum than Star Wars and Dune. Star Wars is the most widely popular sci-fi film, appealing to broad groups of people and critics. Dune is a bit more narrow in its appeal and was critically and commercially unsuccessful. They are two very different movies, but it's hard not to compare a sci-fi film to Star Wars, considering its wide reach and influence. Filmmaker Denis Villeneuve is prepping for a new adaptation of Dune, so how will he navigate the Star Wars of it all? Here's what he said:
Most of the main ideas of Star Wars are coming from Dune so it's going to be a challenge to [tackle] this. The ambition is to do the Star Wars movie I never saw. In a way, it's Star Wars for adults. We'll see.
George Lucas looked to a lot of inspirations from a wide range of work when he was first creating the original Star Wars. One of those sources was Dune, an influential sci-fi novel written by Frank Herbert. The two pieces of work actually share quite a lot of similarities to each other. Both feature a desert planet with a moisture based economy, spice smugglers, obese interstellar antagonists, and a mystical group with mind control that has great influence over galactic politics. So, when Denis Villeneuve says that there's a challenge of making a Dune movie that everyone will compare to Star Wars, he's got a point. Dune will have to look original, but Star Wars already took some of its original ideas.
As a way to get around this, Denis Villeneuve told FANDOM that he was going to try and make the Star Wars movie he never saw, which would be Star Wars "for adults." Shots fired? This writer doesn't really think so. While the newer movies are arguably targeted more to adults, those same adults used to be children watching the original trilogy. Those early movies were very much made with children in mind (especially certain elements of the prequels), but saying "Star Wars is for kids" can be kind of a hot-button issue in the community. I think what Villeneuve is saying is that his Dune will be more mature and won't be marketed for children. You won't be seeing any Dune backpacks at school.
Either way, Denis Villeneuve has more than proved his sci-fi clout at this point, what with his phenomenal Arrival and thoughtful Blade Runner 2049. We'll have to see how it all works out for Dune, but it's definitely got our attention if not for the filmmaker alone. Dune is still very early in development and does not yet have a release date.