EXCLUSIVE: ‘Dune’ Remake Will Have ‘Hard PG-13′ Rating With Franchise Potential, Reveals Peter Berg

Is Peter Berg’s adaptation of the sci-fi classic “Dune” going to happen? Almost two years have passed since the director confirmed his involvement with the project, a potential third take on Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel after David Lynch’s ’84 movie and a Sci Fi Channel miniseries in 2000. While a first draft of the script has been completed, we were starting to wonder if Berg’s “Dune” was one of those tantalizing cinematic possibilities that just never became a big screen reality.

Not so, Berg told MTV News. “Dune” is very much on—and to prove it, the director shared some details about what he has planned.

“There’s definitely a franchise potential,” he said, though he hastened to add that he has to complete the first one successfully before he can set to work on a second.

But there’s certainly enough material. Josh Zetumer’s script, Berg revealed, is almost 200 pages long—”a massive epic,” Berg said—and it could potentially spawn more than just the one film. With the project still in the script phase, the task now for Berg and his team is to “figure out how we can beat [the script] into something manageable without offending the purists,” he explained, as “filmmakers have struggled [in the past] because it’s a very complicated book to crack.”

As the creative beating and cracking continues, Berg promised his “Dune” won’t be a retread of Lynch’s avant-garde flick or the Sci Fi series, with its cable TV budget and special effects. “My experience with the book was different than David Lynch’s experience or the people behind the Sci Fi Channel’s experience. I found it to be more of an adventure tale, more of a muscular action/adventure story. I think that’s my approach, not as an R-rated film, but as a pretty hard PG-13 film about a young man dealing with issues of vengeance over the death of his father and wanting some payback and having to come to terms with his destiny along the way.”

What about those highly speculative rumors that Berg has his eye on “Twilight” star Robert Pattinson for a starring role, perhaps as the hero Paul Atreides, played by Kyle MacLachlan in 1984? When it came to casting talk, all Berg would say is he’s looking at “guys in their late teens.”

Does that disqualify the 23-year-old Pattinson? We’ll have to wait and see.

Are you on board with Berg’s intended “muscular action/adventure” treatment of Frank Herbert’s classic novel? Which of the two existing “Dune” adaptations do you think was more effective? Which would Berg do best to borrow from?