It is safe to say that Denis Villeneuve is one of the most critically-acclaimed directors working in Hollywood right now. Over the last few years, his films have been praised across the board – with both the intense Prisoners and dramatic thriller Sicario being especially praised. He has since delved deep into science fiction with Arrival this year, a film that could earn him awards recognition as well. It is thanks to this track record that he was picked to tackle the long-awaited sequel Blade Runner 2049, a franchise that he could return to in the future.
Now it appears as though two sci-fi properties are not enough for Villeneuve. After previously expressing his dream to direct a reboot of Dune, he may finally be granted his wish.
Variety is reporting that Villeneuve is in early talks to direct a reboot of Dune, a property that originated with Frank Herbert’s first Dune novel back in 1965. David Lynch previously tackled a film adaptation of Dune in 1984 – and now that the movie rights have been purchased by Legendary, they are already making progress in locking down Villeneuve to bring back another cult-classic story to the big screen.
Dune is far from a known property at this point, even after achieving cult-classic status. The books were extremely popular, but so far any live-action attempt has had a difficult time at managing all the mythology that Herbert brough to the books. The story takes place in the distant future where humans reign on several planets across the galaxy. There are comparisons to be made to Lord of the Rings or even Star Wars in regards to having a wide open world to explore, nurture, and grow.
Bringing someone as high-profile as Villeneuve would absolutely bring more credibility to this project, especially if Blade Runner 2049 is a hit. After previously working with the likes of Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Amy Adams, and Jeremy Renner, Legendary should be able to draw top talent to the reboot.
While Villeneuve’s attachment is not yet official, it would be surprising to see him pass on the project after calling it a dream of his. It is unknown if he would stick on for potential future installments, but Herbert’s original novels have laid the foundation for multiple films, with six books in total rounding out the Dune story. If and/or when Villeneuve does join, the project could really pick up steam and begin casting to capitalize on the buzz that is attached to his name.
Dune is currently in development and does not have a release date.