Dune Update: Who’s Replacing Peter Berg?

Published 5 years ago by

dune peter berg remake Dune Update: Whos Replacing Peter Berg?

Two months ago, director/producer/writer Peter Berg assured folks that his Dune project was still a go and that they were trying to hammer down a story from the complex book that would work for fans and non-fans alike. Now, we’re being assured that Berg isn’t even involved any more…

So, with him out of the picture, who will step in to take on the remake? Well, apparently it’s down to Neil Marshall (The Descent, Doomsday) and the recently popular geek icon Neill Blomkamp (District 9).

A feature film remake for Frank Herbert’s Dune has been in the works for quite some time. With Berg and his Film 44 production company backing out of the project, Paramount is on the hunt for a director to take over.

According to Pajiba, the director has to be able to do a few things:

  • Be able to make the movie for less than $175 million
  • Must be passionate about the novel

dune peter berg Dune Update: Whos Replacing Peter Berg?Reportedly, the two directors that are in Paramount’s eyes to replace Berg are Neill Blomkamp and Neil Marshall. We know both can make big movies on small budgets (District 9 was made with approx. $30 million!) and both can work with action.

Marshall is currently working on Centurion and last week, Blomkamp just got his financing for another Sci-fi project he’ll be working on. Blomkamp had this to say about it:

“I’m not particularly interested in massive budget films, or creating huge spectacles that some young directors might be attracted to… Hopefully, this will be a bit unique, very much a reflection of me. It is absolutely another science fiction film, quite different from `District 9,’ but some of the blending of genres and the tone might be within the same realm.”

Well, Dune is a big budget epic. I dug D-9 but I don’t want to see Dune made in that style – it needs to be more cinematic in my mind. I’d be interested to see what Blomkamp will do differently with his next sci-fi project or if it’ll be in the same hand-held doc style of his shorts, commercials and feature film debut.

Tidbit: We didn’t write this up before because there wasn’t much to it but Twilight’s Robert Pattinson was rumored to play the lead, Paul Atreides, but that was based on Peter Berg having a meeting with him – but he’s out now. Currently, there’s a script but no cast or director.

There’s some hesitance over passing such a large project over to Marshall but imagine if Pattinson was the lead (not as a creepy white-faced vampire) – Big marketing with him as the hero would certainly sell.

What do you think about Dune and who would you like to direct? Who should play Atreides?

Source: Pajiba

TAGS: Dune
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  1. Neil Blomkamp would have been perfect but paramount waited too long.

  2. Pattinson might make an interesting choice. He could definitely pull off the Paul Atredis part, but could he be a convincing Muad’Dib?

    I dunno. He might make that movie work really well, believe it or not.

  3. Well Tarsem Singh “The Fall” would be on a short list.
    First question for Tarsem. How would you spend the budget?
    If he said make the film I’d throw him out on his ear.
    Second. How familiar are you with the story?
    If not Tarsem then bring John Harrison back in. Which is possibly what they will do. Leave his costume designer in
    the Czech Republic. What he did was average but most hated
    the costume design.

    Darn, wish I was 20 years younger and a director I would love to do it. Robert Pattinson as Paul? He’s more popular and better known than MacLachlan when he started. He wouldn’t be my first choice he has a bad rep. with a lot of male viewers. You need someone that’s wiry who has two outstanding looks about him a soulful look and a cold hearted disturbing look. Alec Newman had those two looks down. As an actor he needs to be seasoned and project charisma. I’d have two Paul’s one older one younger. Gaius Mohiam, I’d definitely talk to Francesca Annis first. Her Lady Jessica was awesome. Now that she’s older, I would see what she could bring to the Emperor’s thruthsayer role. Duke Leto, here’s a man you have to admire but feel a little sorry for. William Hurt had all the qualities but I didn’t think much for the look.

  4. I think if you get the dude from twilight that you are killing off a good portion of your target audience. You would then have to do some major selling to get them back. Dune is a classic and has a big enough following that they should be able to pick someone right for paul without worrying about him putting people in the seats.

  5. I would say no to Neill Blomkamp for the same reason stated in the article, Dune shouldn’t be made in the style he seems to like from looking at the Halo and D-9 movies that he has made.

    I don’t know much about Neil Marshall, and hope Robert Pattinson wouldn’t be the lead…

    They might as well put Sam Worthington in the lead, you know it’s coming to that… lol, just kidding…

    My only directors I continually bring up are James Cameron and Martin Campbell, and I think neither would fit the criteria for this…

    What about Len Wiseman? From watching Live Free or Die Hard, I really like his ideas for where and how to place and move the camera, or is it someone else who makes those decisions? Anywho, I think with something like Dune with the big sandy landscapes and giant worms that kind of camera work will look pretty good… Yah, kind of a dumb reason to mention him, but can’t really think of anyone…

  6. @kenj
    yeah, When Avatar flops Sam W will be a great choice for paul lol!

  7. I doubt Bryan Singer would be able to fit it in, but I wouldn’t mind someone with his directorial sensibilities helming Dune.

    I know it shouldn’t matter too much for a Hollywood adaptation, but I got the impression that the Atreides family, at least the men, had a Mediterranean look. Olive skin, black or really dark brown hair. I can’t think of anyone specific I’d like to see as Paul, though. Eric Bana might be a good Leto.

    Maybe Naomi Watts for Jessica? She’s a good age and look for the part, and she’s got the physical grace that Jessica should have.

    Kevin McKidd (Vorenus from Rome) might make a decent Gurney Halleck.

    I wonder if Irulan could function as an occasional narrator.

    Lastly, I just have to second any and all distaste for the Sci-Fi miniseries’ costuming. (Children of Dune’s costuming was fine, though, at least if I’m remembering it correctly.)

  8. Terry Gilliam
    slam dunk

  9. Man, not a lot of Dune fans. That can’t be a good sign

  10. @vin

    Hey man, can you give me the winning florida lottery numbers for next wednesday? I’ll give you my email later so you can send it to me privately so nobody else gets it…

  11. Personally I feel that Robert Patterson would not make a good Paul. He would not be able to pull off Paul, after all he barely pulls Edward from Twilight off. No to mention you will be losing some of hte target audience. Don’t worry about filling the seats, if it’s Dune then people will come. Just like from Firefly, Star Wars, Star Track, and plenty others.

  12. Really until a director is picked who plays Paul is a ridiculously academic exercise. The reason is whoever directs will bring certain perceptions, desires, and needs to the project. They very likely have someone in mind. Blomkamp would be advantageous because as has been said Peter Jackson would very likely produce. Certain key people are of the opinion that it wouldn’t be a sure thing, after all Jackson’s “King Kong” remake only had a 2.5 multiplier. Three is considered minimum and four use to be expected from a well recognized story. Still I think Jackson unlike Berg knows when he’s dealing with epic stories and would have the common sense to encourage Paramount to see this as a multi- picture event.

  13. no twinkly vampires!!!!

  14. A prescient vampire. I guess that could be advantageous- you’d always know where your next meal was coming from. :)
    I wonder if you would thirst for only spicy food??
    list of things to do after becoming the kwisatz Haderach.
    1. Defeat the Emperor then drain him dry.
    2. locate Bene Tleilax blood bank.
    3. suck up to the Bene Gesserit…

  15. Neil Marshall? I thought Peter Berg was bad news, but Marshall? How can this become worse? I know … how about Hayden Christiansen starring Paul Atreides? Now he can ruin Dune AND Neuromancer! The Twighlight guy would be equally horrible …

    Ridley Scott or Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro would be a good choice!
    But that won't happen, since lousy movies became fashionable …

  16. Neil Marshall? I thought Peter Berg was bad news, but Marshall? How can this become worse? I know … how about Hayden Christiansen starring Paul Atreides? Now he can ruin Dune AND Neuromancer! The Twighlight guy would be equally horrible …

    Ridley Scott or Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro would be a good choice!
    But that won't happen, since lousy movies became fashionable …