Posted on Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 by Russ Fischer
When Pierre Morel was announced as director for the new version of Dune, Brendon wondered, “is it reasonable to assume we’re on for a rather ballistic version of the story?” Yesterday the director spoke about his love of the book, and it seemed like he was trying to be right on the same page as ol’ Frank Herbert. Now more of his ideas are being reported, and he’s definitely going for something with a little more zip. Or, as he says with respect to David Lynch‘s 1984 adaptation, “faster and more modern.”
First things first. Morel says he and his team are starting from scratch, rewriting the script. That writing process doesn’t start for a couple weeks, he says. Remember that cracking the script is what delayed former director Peter Berg for quite a while and ultimately pushed the movie off his plate.
“I’ve been reading [Dune] over and over again – well, I’m 45 now, so for 30 years,” Morel says. His film “is all about the first book. I’m trying to be very respectful to the original novel.”
But the question is: how to properly represent the future? He’s going by the hard-and-fast timeline of the book, which puts it thousands of years in the future. As Morel talks about this, minor alarm bells go off.
“We’ll try to figure out what things may look like 10,000 years from now; it’s all about reconfiguring the entire universe,” Morel says. He mentions wanting to modernize the clothes, and talks about plans that include “working with design concepts, futurists and scientists who will give us a vision of how technology may evolve with certain conditions.”
The latter point sounds good, since the whole idea should be to figure out what is appropriate to the characters based on the lives they live. Start ‘modernizing’ things left and right, and you get some instantly dated embarassments. I expect that Morel is just picking random points off the top of his head to get MTV off his back, and so I’m not putting a lot of emphasis on this stuff yet. Lets see if he can get the story and the politics condensed down into 150 pages and then see where things land. Odds on that actually happening: I’d go with about 40% for, 60% against. Dune has defeated many adaptations.