Dune is almost certainly one of the densest science fiction properties out there, with the book series and David Lynch film telling a complicated story of political intrigue on a far-away planet. Now, the original novel is getting a new adaptation by Sicario director Denis Villeneuve, but the new film won't encompass the entire book. In fact, Brian Herbert (the son of original Dune author Frank Herbert) took to Twitter to reveal that the new Dune movie will adapt the first half of the book, writing:
I have just received Draft #4 of the DUNE screenplay from Legendary Pictures. This is for the first movie, covering approximately half of the novel DUNE. I'm very excited and pleased about this, and I'm beginning to burn the midnight oil.
This new reveal lines up with a lot of what we already know about the upcoming reboot of the Dune property. Denis Villeneuve has already made it clear that he's interested in making at least two different Dune movies over the course of the coming years, and Brian Herbert's reveal that the fourth draft of Legendry's Dune reboot encompasses the first half of the first book pretty much doubles down on that notion.
The fact that Denis Villeneuve is only going to adapt the first half of the original Dune novel actually makes a certain degree of sense when we look at how the Blade Runner 2049 helmer has talked about the material in recent years. It's clear that Villeneuve is taking a mature approach to the story, even going so far as to refer to it as the Star Wars franchise, but for adults in a recent interview. The mythology behind the property is incredibly dense, as it focuses on the political intrigue between warring noble houses on a planet called Arrakis, so more storytelling real estate spread out between two movies could be the best way to go.
It's also worth noting that this type of storytelling has its own merits in the grand scope of things. We here at CinemaBlend have already talked at length about the benefits of splitting movies into two-part affairs, with films like IT and Kill Bill standing out as two obvious examples of how the formula can work. So for Denis Villeneuve and screenwriter Eric Roth to go into this movie with the established knowledge that they have two whole films to tell the story could help make sure the first movie doesn't feel rushed or overly-bloated in terms of the narrative that it wants to tell. There's always the next movie to get those lingering plot threads wrapped up.
CinemaBlend will bring you any relevant updates and details concerning the new Dune movie as more pertinent information about the adaptation becomes available to us. Until then, you can head over to our comprehensive movie premiere guide to keep yourself in-the-loop on all of the films that are set to debut on the big screen in 2018.