Last week news emerged that Taken director Pierre Morel was brought on-board to direct Dune, replacing previously attached director, Peter Berg. This came as a bit of surprise as two other fairly big directors – The Descent‘s Neil Marshall and District 9‘s Neill Blomkamp – were likely candidates to take over where Berg left. Nonetheless, I think Morel is a solid choice even if he isn’t the first director I’d think of for the project.

At the time of the announcement, word was that Morel plans on making a very faithful adaptation of Frank Herbert’s original 1965 book. Now we get more of a confirmation of that notion as, during an interview with MTV, Morel talked more about his directing intentions for Dune and how faithful he’s planning on being to the source material. Here’s what he had to say:

“Oh my God yes, I’ve been a fan of that book – because I will not refer to [Lynch’s] movie – I’ve been a fan of the book since I was a teenager… as a David Lynch movie, I loved it. [But] as a ‘Dune’ fan [of the book], I was not such a big fan.”

“I’ve been reading it [the original book] over and over again – well, I’m 45 now, so for 30 years… So, by the time I bought the sixth book I had already read the first one six times! So, I’m a hardcore fan.”

“[My movie] is all about the first book. I’m trying to be very respectful to the original novel… But it’s a challenge; there’s a lot of expectation, all the readers will be waiting for me with their shotguns. All the non-readers will also be waiting for us, because it’s such a complex, rich novel and you have to make it accessible to those who have not read the book. So, it’s a tough challenge but I’m very excited about that.”

That’s what we want to hear from the guy tasked with bringing us a new adaptation of Dune. It’s going to be a tough thing for him to accomplish as, like Morel says, it’s a complex novel with a lot going on. Even as a David Lynch mega-fan, I still admit the problems his ’80s movie version had. And I never did catch the TV mini-series, although admittedly, I’ve heard it’s worth a look.

It’s certainly great to hear that Morel is such a big fan of the book as it means we’ll get the faithful adaptation he’s aiming for (read: it’s not a random director who isn’t familiar with the book coming in and messing everything up).

Morel told MTV he hopes that Dune is his next directing gig after the crazy-looking, From Paris With Love, and that he hopes people will revisit his adaptation again and again as they do the original book.

I was looking forward to Peter Berg’s version of Dune, and I was surprised when he left the project (he was supposedly knee-deep in developing it). A new writer is set to be brought in to alter the draft written by Josh Zetumer (Bourne 4) in order to incorporate Morel’s vision. Does this hiring of a new writer mean that Berg’s version wouldn’t have been all that faithful to the source material? Interesting question…

Are you happy with Pierre Morel helming the latest Dune adaptation? Are you glad they’ve got someone who’s a huge fan of the source material?

There’s currently no word on when we might see Dune go into production or when it’ll hit theaters. But the project is reportedly being considered high priority by Paramount, so we may very well hear word pretty soon. Stay tuned.

Source: MTV (thanks to First Showing)