Dune is one of those classic novels whose adaptation to the audiovisual medium has been cursed, at least until now. If not, then ask David Lynch about his 1984 version of this science fiction milestone penned by Frank Herbert, an ambitious blockbuster that ended up being a critical and box office failure.
It is not surprising that the director himself has disowned the film and that a year ago he assured that he had zero interest in the new adaptation led by Denis Villeneuve. Now it has been the Canadian, who will release his Dune on September 17, the one who has referred to Lynch’s battered film in an interview for Empire. In the words of the filmmaker, that Dune did not leave him entirely satisfied and he felt that there was more to be told with Herbert’s work.
“I’m a big David Lynch fan, he’s the master,” Villeneuve explained: “When I saw [Lynch’s] Dune I remember being excited, but his take… there are parts that I love and other elements that I am less comfortable with. So it’s like, I remember being half-satisfied. That’s why I was thinking to myself, ‘There’s still a movie that needs to be made about that book, just a different sensibility.’”
Villeneuve has previously claimed that he had wanted to adapt Dune for years, but that it wasn’t until he collaborated with composer Hans Zimmer on Blade Runner 2049 that he really got to work on this adaptation. Zimmer, also a Dune fan, is in charge of the soundtrack to Villeneuve’s film.
Frank Herbert’s classic is a very long book and, for this reason, Villeneuve has decided to approach it not with one film, but with two. David Lynch also wanted to divide his adaptation in two until producer Dino De Laurentiis intervened and forced him to condense the story into a single film. With this precedent, Villeneuve only agreed to direct the new adaptation of the classic if they allowed him to divide the book in two.
Thus, the Dune we will see in October is only the first part of the story, centered around Timothée Chalamet’s character, although the director is already moving full steam ahead on the sequel. In addition, Villeneuve has recently assured that he would not mind if Dune became a trilogy through the second book in the saga, Dune Messiah.
It should be reminded that, before hitting theaters, Dune will premiere on September 3 out of competition at the Venice Film Festival.