Peter Berg’s ‘Dune’ Remake Will Be Very Different

Published 6 years ago by , Updated May 13th, 2013 at 7:36 am,

dune peter berg remake Peter Bergs Dune Remake Will Be Very Different

Have you ever seen the 1984 David Lynch film, Dune? How about the more recent TV mini-series of the same name from 2000?

Both are adaptations of Frank Herbert’s famous novel and there were quite a few differences from the movie and the mini-series from the source and each other. Now, there’s a remake on the way courtesy of director Peter Berg (Hancock, The Kingdom) which is supposedly set to be even more different from both of those.

The screenplay for the remake was written by Joshua Zetumer and in an interview with SCI FI Wire at the Television Critics Association summer press tour last week, Peter Berg talked a little bit about his take on Dune:

“I think I had a much more different experience, I think, with the book than David Lynch did… To me, I think my interpretation will feel significantly different from that and the [Syfy] Channel miniseries that aired. I have a different experience than both of those filmmakers did.”

The original Dune movie, which differed quite a bit from Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel, starred Kyle MacLachlan as Paul Atreides and its cast included big names Sting and Patrick Stewart. I remember liking it a lot as a kid but I enjoyed the mini-series quite a bit more. That series starred Alec Newman and William Hurt and spawned a sequel mini-series titled Children of Dune which brought back Newman as Paul “Muad’Dib” Atreides in a lesser role and helped kickstart James McAvoy’s career.

I’m excited to see Berg’s new take on the franchise and I’d like to see a big budget modern film bring to life the sand worms of Arrakis. From what he describes his vision as, we could be getting a more more action-packed epic than we have see from the franchise so far:

“[The book] was much more muscular and adventurous, more violent and possibly even a little bit more fun… I think those are all elements of my experience of the book that can be brought in without offending the die-hard fans of the Bene Gesserit and Kwisatz Haderach. There’s a more dynamic film to be made.”

Are you up for a new Dune movie and have you seen the previous incarnations?

Dune is tentatively set with a 2010 release date but expect it to come out later than that with Berg’s busy schedule which includes a documentary he’s currently working on as well as setting up the next season of Friday Night Lights.

Source: SCI FI Wire

TAGS: Dune
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  1. I liked both versions so far … no problem with this. Actually I am now looking forward to it.

  2. The original movie was decent but I never saw any of the series. A new take should be interesting.

  3. the mini series children of dune was amazing for something airing just from sci-fi. and i was pretty young to so the fact that the sand and (the spices if im remembering clearly) made them fast blurry fighting machines was awesome. I’d also love to see those huge worms on screen done well with expensive cgi.

    the original dune (remake) if speed up a bit could be a huge franchise, just gotta get the main characters casted well cause besides the setting and events, they are what will make or break it.

  4. The mini series was pretty good. Had more of the depth and intrigue of the book.
    Enjoy the movie a lot though. Mad but cool. 😉

  5. David Lynch’s movie was chopped into incoherence by the producers at the behest of Universal, and despite the exteriors being shot on location in Mexico, made Arrakis look grey and dirty, with the Fremen coming across like a dust-covered gang of bikers. The insanely overrated Carlo Rambaldi’s worms and his Guild Steersman were rubbish as well. On the plus side, some incredible baroque production design, and a solid cast (Sting notwithstanding). Patrick Stewart was definitely not a big name at the time, incidentally! This was three years before Captain Picard. About the only thing I remember him in prior to this was John Boorman’s Excalibur.

    The miniseries got the colour palette right despite being entirely studio-bound, and was a lot more faithful to the novel. Some…questionable costume designs, though at least the Fremen stillsuits covered the head and had cloaks this time around. I thought the Children Of Dune sequel was even better: covering the novel’s Dune Messiah sequel as well it had a far more varied plot to play around with, and a stronger cast. James McAvoy with Jessica Brooks as his sister played off each other particularly well.

    There’s enough ground for a new adaptation to cover, but we’re back to the old chestnut of the running time. The miniseries only achieved what it did because it was precisely that.

    Personally I’d love to have seen the version Alejandro Jodorowsky abandoned in the `70s. HR Giger designing the Harkonnen world (you can see echoes of his in Lynch’s movie: the face-type structure on Giedi Prime as Brad Dourif’s ship approaches, for one); Chris Foss doing the spacecraft (likewise, the barrel wheels on the spice mining vehicle are pure Foss); Moebius on the costumes. Salvador Dali playing the Emperor, and a soundtrack by Pink Floyd. Beat that, Mr Berg.

  6. @ The Big Dentist,

    No one knew Stewart at the time, I was simply naming stars we know now – hopefully to get ppl to go back and watch :)

    I have a feeling that this adaptation will not closely follow the book and will be more main-streamed if you know what I mean (like Star Trek). How do you feel about that?

    Good pt. on the running time

  7. Fair enough, I see what you mean, Rob! The main reason the novel’s acknowledged as a classic (and I can’t think of another that’s been up for a screen adaptation three times in 25 years) is the sheer depth and detail Frank Herbert brought to his universe. Forty pages of appendices, and years of research that went into it beforehand. It’s an epic in every sense of the word, contemplating both technological and psychological manifestations of humanity in the distant future. Once you start hacking chunks out of the overall structure just to fit a standard 2-3 hour movie format and make it “a little bit more fun”, then you may as well be on Tatooine!

    Only a visionary like Jodorowsky could have got away with that (and I don’t mean this like the tagline “Visionary director Zack Snyder”), in the same way that Stanley Kubrick transformed every piece of source material he ever worked with – making his movies into a kind of hybrid. I may be doing Peter Berg a disservice, but I don’t see that kind of singular spark coming out of him.

  8. @ Rob Keyes

    I knew of Patric Stewart from John Boorman’s Excalibur THE BEST EXCALIBUR/KING ARTHUR MOVIE EVER, before I ever saw Dune or TNG.

    As long as they have the sound weapons, th

  9. personally i didnt like the first dune movie
    and its mostly because its very boring to me. The game “a building of a dynasty” was amazing tho for its time

    i love the franchise and if done well this project would generate amazing buzz…its like, combine the world of warcraft movie or lord of the rings (im simply reffering to the idea of multiple races and their armies colliding) and the add some futuristic “SPICE” like star trek with resource gathering and you will have an amazing formuala

    everything this is better with spice lol
    and i think that

  10. I really liked the Dune computer games I have played too.

    I think Stewart spent years on stage so has few films before becoming Picard. Great in both Dune and Excalibur.

  11. Steven, he’s in Waiting For Godot with Ian McKellen at the moment – that’d be worth seeing!

    Rob, just out of interest where’s that artwork at the top of the page from?

  12. I thought those two were brilliant in XMen. Every scene they did together was perfect for me as to how the characters were close friends and yet utterly opposed.

  13. I think Harrison’s version proved that to really tell the story in a satisfying way takes at least 6 hours. Seven or seven and a half would be better. It should be done in two productions. The first two thirds at once and the third in a separate production. Then just space their release three to six months apart from each other. I questioned ahem a certain investor in the production not too long ago and what your going to get will play a lot like “Star Wars” episode 4.

    While Frank made no bones about the fact that “Star Wars” ate a lot of “Dunes'” best material for lunch and coughed it back up for the youth of the 70’s, notice how the revised Sarlac now looks like a sandworm? It couldn’t bring you the subtle, mind blowing concepts that Frank cooked up. “Greatness is a transitory experience it is never consistent it Depends in part on the myth making imagination of humankind.” How do you translate such awesome verse into screen story?? If you cut the story out of the socio political ramifications, the idea that through thousands and thousands of years of time you could lose, what we today think of as modern society. Then through more Millennia rebuild a society founded on much different principles, sociological, technological, political, and financial, you then lose the heart that pumps the life giving blood through the story.

    Given the very limited runtime alloted I think the only thing I can hope for is an excellent portrial of Duncan’s last fight with the Sardaukar. I cried when I first read that back in the 60’s and was butchered and misinterpreted in both film efforts.

    What I think we’re seeing is akin to the gospels about Christ. One author, in this case picture can’t tell the whole tale. In each retelling the overall framework that the reader/viewer gets is a more complete picture. Finally after four or five re-tellings with different details fleshed out we get as much of the true story as humanly possible to tell.
    I really believe it’s shaping up to be just that way…

    Give it another twenty years and the next generation will find out.

  14. What a waste! No one can properly translate “Dune” to the big screen. This will be a failure, just as the Lynch version was a failure. If what I’ve heard is true. Leonardo DiCaprio is attached to this film: he is far too old to play Paul. I would suggest that Hollywood try to come up with ORIGINAL ideas – and stop ripping off the classics.

  15. I still enjoy watching the David Lynch Dune, although I did feel that it dragged on in parts and constantly made me feel that I was missing the point. I avoided the mini-series as poor quality CG distracts and ruins things for me.

    I’m by no means afraid of some good drama and I really enjoyed the books, but I still feel that it could do with some more energy. Frankly, most people find Star Trek boring, but the new film not only catered to most tastes… it added some excitement and action in an appropriate way. I hope Peter Berg follows Abrams lead and reaches those that couldn’t get past the politics and subtlty of the original.

  16. Uhh I hope he realizes that the movie is heavily based on Phylosophy and politics. Those are to two main strings in all of Frank Herberts work… If this remake becomes some kind of action packed Arnold Schwarzenegger type movie I would be really upset.

  17. That’s not what I’m saying at all. There is room for both and a skilled director can pull it off. Take The Boiler Room for example. Who the hell would have thought you could make a movie about the stock market exciting?! but they did. There was PLENTY of action in the book of Dune.

  18. When I first read the books in the 70’s, the imagery was so clear and well defined that I couldn’t imagine the story not playing out on the screen someday. I was disappointed with the 1984 version, then, not because of the effects, or the casting, but because so much of the story was lost trying to make the entire book fit into 2 hours: And that was the problem. The first chapter has enough action and information to become a feature-length film of incredible depth. With Hollywood’s apparent need for every film to become a franchise, how better to develop the new incarnation of Dune, than as saga of at least three parts just to get us through the first book? The other books are certainly no less adaptable to the screen, and I think we should be seeing sequels (in the fashion of the western serials of the 1950’s) for the next generation – we can actaully watch Paul age as the actor portraying him does so.

    I have to agree with the previous comment about H.R. Giger influenced sets, though I always envisioned the guild navigators more that way. Certainly, the stillsuit’s very function evokes Giger’s art.

    Pink Floyd isn’t quite right for the sound track though (and with Rick Wright gone, Dave Gilmour wouldn’t be able to get the proper sound anyway.) As I think about the kind of sound Dune needs, a band like Evanescence works better: just as dynamic as Pink Floyd at their height, but with more of the epic and dark tones Dune conjurs up. Maybe get someone like Conrad Kleiger or Keith Emerson performing on a Richard Bond pipe organ with 32′ stops for a little more depth on the keyboards…?

    In any case, I’m interested to see how the new (2012?) movie works out. I’d love to be part of its development. It would be really fun to take the imagery in my head and get it done in CGI, huh?

  19. Berg clearly has no clue how a Dune film should be. I do.

  20. Both the David Lynch and the Scify version are absolute trash. Its a sad fact that the bar is already set so low that even a guy who made such awful movies like Hancock and the Kingdom could do better.