Sigh, seems like two wrongs DON'T make a right after all.
Despite both David Lynch's 1984 disaster and the Sci-Fi Channel's deadly-dull miniseries from 2000, "Dune" has somehow continued to be a tantalizing movie property. For the last four years Paramount has been actively developing a new feature version of Frank Herbert's science fiction classic, with the idea that a story about a superpower starting a war in a desert over natural resources is somehow relevant today. As if!
Well it looks like those plans to finally do cinematic justice to the best selling sci-fi novel of all time are just dust in the wind. Deadline reports that Paramount has scrapped any and all plans for their big budget take, failing to reach an agreement with mini-series producer and gatekeeper to the "Dune" legacy, Richard P. Rubenstein.
No stranger to making the same movie twice, having overseen both the original and remake of "Dawn of the Dead," Rubenstein hired director Peter Berg ("Hancock") to take on the epic story involving prophecies, giant sandworms, and a substance called the Spice Melange (or "the spice" as it's known on the streets) which either gives you longer lifespan or makes you trip balls, depending.
Berg later ditched the politically complex tale of Machiavellian maneuvers and Shakespearian deceit to go sink some battleships for Milton Bradley. Frenchie Pierre Morel ("Taken") took over and along with screenwriter Chase Palmer crafted a script that managed to streamline the dense plot into a fast-moving feature length, something that was well beyond Lynch's grasp. Unfortunately the poor performance of Morel's "From Paris With Love" was undoubtedly a contributing factor to the studio going sour on this take of the $100-million+ "Dune."
He who controls the spice controls the universe, but he who holds the movie rights to "Dune" may still be sitting on a potential goldmine, so the producer is not giving up.
“I’m going to look at my options," says Rubenstein, "and whether I wind up taking the script we developed in turnaround, or start over, I’m not sure yet.”