Legendary Captures TV, Film Rights To ‘Dune’

By November 22, 2016
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Could another adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune series be in the works? We assume so, since it would make no sense for Legendary Entertainment to grab both the film and television rights for no reason.

The company behind recent films like WarcraftStraight Outta Compton and Jurassic World, picked up the rights with some of Legendary’s key executives – like founder Thomas Tull – automatically included as executive producers, according to Dark Horizons. Also included among those executive producers are Brian Herbert and Kim Herbert, the son and granddaughter of the late Frank Herbert.

Based on the 1965 novel (and subsequent books), Dune had originally been planned as a long film adaptation by Alejandro Jodorowsky in 1973. But since 14-hour films would be expensive to produce if they were indeed possible, the project was cancelled because of financial reasons.

stewartdune-inset112216Universal Pictures, however, jumped into the fray in 1984 when it released Dune starring Francesca Annis, Leonardo Cimino and Brad Dourif. It also had appearances from the singer Sting and an unknown British actor (at least to American audiences) at the time, Patrick Stewart.

Dune would gross just $27.4 million, or $64.1 million today. But it was a critical success, and became a cult classic, written and directed by David Lynch of Twin Peaks fame.

Universal held onto the rights, and with it planned what would become two highly rated miniseries for Syfy called Frank Herbert’s Dune and Frank Herbert’s Children of Dune in 2000 and 2003.

The rights were then picked up by producer Richard P. Rubinstein who planned a new film with Paramount Pictures in 2008 to be directed by Hancock director Peter Berg. He would drop out, and despite Paramount finding a new director to replace him, the studio itself cancelled the project in 2011.

The story, according to Dark Horizons, follows Paul Atreides as his noble family accepts control of the desert planet Arrakis.

As the only planet capable of producing (a) highly valuable resource, control of Arrakis is highly contested amongst the noble families. When Paul and his family are betrayed, the story explores themes of politics, religion and man’s relationship to nature as Paul leads a rebellion to restore his family’s control of Arrakis.

Legendary has set no timeline for the film, or even named a writer. But some of those details could come sometime in the next year.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael has spent more than 18 years of his way-long journalism career in entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based in New York City.