Peter Berg Talks Dune

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Last year it was announced that Peter Berg would be directing a new adaptation of Frank Herbert‘s massive and influential novel Dune. We haven’t yet heard much about what Berg plans to do with his version, which will be the third filmed take on the story. SciFiWire caught up with Berg, who reveals that there is not yet a script, but says “there’s a more dynamic film to be made” from the novel.

[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.

‘Dynamic’ I can see. David Lynch’s 1984 version was ponderous (though it has moments of exaltation and amazing sets) while the 2000 Sci Fi Channel mini-series was overly pagebound. It kept a lot of the details Lynch had to cut, and left out most of the art. Yet scripting a dynamic film that properly deals with two warring political houses who are scrabbling over the planet Arakkis and the valuable spice it exclusively produces has proven to be a difficult task, if those previous efforts are any example. There’s a lot of politics to cover, a great deal of mystical mumbo jumbo and no small amount of pure science fiction.

But audiences now are accustomed to a faster storytelling pace, especially when it comes to establishing settings and background, so Berg may have a little wiggle room that Lynch didn’t. Just look at the opening titles to Berg’s The Kingdom, which you can see at Yahoo, for an example of how he might contract years of galactic history and intrigue into a few minutes. I do hope Berg has better luck than Lynch. “Dune took me off at the knees. Maybe a little higher,” Lynch said of his experience, which was a difficult and expensive production that earned scathing reviews.

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