Shortly after publication in 1965, Dune was identified for potential film prospects, and the rights to adapt the novel to film have been held by several producers since 1971. Multiple attempts to make such a film have been made, and it is considered to be a difficult work to adapt to the screen owing to its breadth of content.[4][5] Famously, filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky had acquired the rights in the 1970s to make an extravagant ten-hour adaptation of the book, but the project fell apart. The effort to make the film later was documented in the documentary film Jodorowsky’s Dune released in 2013.[6] There have been two separate live-action adaptations released prior to this film; 1984’s Dune directed by David Lynch,[7][8] and a 2000 miniseries on the Sci Fi Channel, which was produced by Richard P. Rubinstein, who held the Dune film rights since 1996.[9]

In 2008, Paramount Pictures announced that they had a new feature film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune in development with Peter Berg set to direct.[10] Berg left the project in October 2009,[11] with director Pierre Morel brought on to direct in January 2010,[12] before Paramount dropped the project in March 2011 as they could not come to key agreements with their rights expiring back to Rubinstein.[13]

Development[edit]

Denis Villeneuve has stated in interviews that making a new Dune adaptation had been a life-long ambition of his. He was hired to direct in February 2017.

On November 21, 2016, it was announced that Legendary Pictures had acquired the film and TV rights for Dune.[14][15] In December 2016, Variety reported that director Denis Villeneuve was in talks with the studio to direct the film.[16] In September 2016, Villeneuve expressed his interest in the project, saying that “a longstanding dream of mine is to adapt Dune, but it’s a long process to get the rights, and I don’t think I will succeed.”[17] Villeneuve said that he felt he was not ready to direct a Dune movie until he had completed projects like Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, and that with his background in science fiction films, “Dune is my world.”[18] By February 2017, Brian Herbert, son of Frank and author of later books in the Dune series, confirmed that Villeneuve would be directing the project.[19]

John Nelson was hired as the visual effects supervisor for the film in July 2018, but has since left the project.[20] It was announced in December 2018 that cinematographer Roger Deakins, who was anticipated to reunite with Villeneuve on the film, was not working on Dune and that Greig Fraser was coming onto the project as director of photography.[21] In January 2019, Joe Walker was confirmed to be serving as the film’s editor.[22] Other crew include: Brad Riker as supervising art director; Patrice Vermette as production designer; Paul Lambert as visual effects supervisors; Gerd Nefzer as special effects supervisor; and Thomas Struthers as stunt coordinator.[23] Dune will be produced by Villeneuve, Mary Parent, and Cale Boyter, with Tanya Lapointe, Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt, Kim Herbert, Thomas Tull, Jon Spaihts, Richard P. Rubinstein, John Harrison and Herbert W. Gain serving as executive producers and Kevin J. Anderson as creative consultant.[24][25] Game of Thrones language creator David Peterson was confirmed to be developing languages for the film in April 2019.[26]

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