Frank Herbert’s Dune is widely held to be one of the most (if not *the* most) popular science-fiction novels of all-time. With a reputation like that, clearly a big screen adaptation should be a guaranteed success right? Well… not necessarily, as anyone who saw David Lynch’s 1984 film can attest. Lynch’s film starred Kyle MacLachlan, Patrick Stewart and Sting (among others), but did not perform well at the box office and received primarily negative reviews from critics. 16 years later, The Sci-Fi Channel produced a three-part TV mini-series based on the book that won 2 Emmys and went over a bit better with fans. For many this became the definitive adaptation, although there were a handful of changes made in this version as well.
Now it looks like there may be yet another Dune movie on the horizon. According to CHUD, Byron Merritt (the admin of the Dune Novel forums) has been reporting that a studio and director are close to finalizing a deal for another Dune feature film. How would he know? Well, he also just happens to be Frank Herbert’s grandson. There’s no word yet on who the interested parties are, but I sure hope it’s someone big. If they can’t surpass the first two attempts in terms of budget, effects and talent, then really, what’s the point? Personally I couldn’t get into either Lynch’s version or the mini-series, and I question whether Dune is suitable for a feature film at all. It’s just so dense and abstract at times, and there isn’t all that much action. No matter who is involved, I don’t think it can be turned into a Lord of the Rings-style blockbuster without some major alterations. What do you think… will the third time be a charm for Dune?