By Michelle Lynn Tackett
Lord of the Dunes!
Lord of the Rings was a monumental achievement in filmmaking. No film had the ambition that LOTR had, and no modern movie comes close. Next October, Denis Villeneuve will attempt to make the next LOTR with Dune, the classic sci-fi book series that’s been a movie and a mini-series.
Neither captured the essence of the books. Denis has success doing sequels to classic sci-fi property with Bladerunner 2049. Which ranked no1 on my favorite movies of 2017, so Dune is in good hands.
Dune’s Troubled Past
Past attempts to adapt Dune have failed miserably. Production and script problems ruined David Lynch’s version. David Lynch hates the movie so much, he disowns it and refuses to do a director’s cut. The Sci-Fi miniseries was a misstep the whole way. Does this sound familiar? Some fans argue that Dune is unfilmable. Similar to how fans of LOTR felt. Then, Peter Jackson came along and changed that.
Dune hasn’t been as relevant as Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. A great movie by Denis could change that. Dune has a huge fanbase, but tons of people have never touched the books. Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter benefited greatly from their movie tie-ins being huge successes.
How to Make Dune Great?
Dune is a giant undertaking of a movie, and no regular director would do. Dune needs a world-class director. Choosing Denis was a great choice. Denis has done Prisoners and Blade Runner, so he has experience making critically acclaimed, visionary projects. Adapting Dune to the big screen isn’t the same as adopting a Marvel comic book. Dune requires more time to set the story up, whereas Marvel comics stories are universally known, Dune’s story is more complex and takes longer to tell. Denis should make Dune a trilogy of movies.
A TV series on Netflix or any streaming service would be the better way to go. Make four seasons with ten episodes each, and end it with a bang. Movies are restrictive by their time limit, so here is hoping Denis can find a way to condense the complex story and characters successfully. With LOTR, it was the scale that was hard to duplicate. With Dune, it is not the scale. It is the stories and characters that need more time to develop.
No book is unfilmable. Lord of the Rings proved that. Getting Denis was a great move. He has the talent to spin a complex yarn and make the audience care. His brilliant work with visual storytelling will help this version of Dune succeed. If Warner Brothers stay out of his way and let him make the movie he wants. Dune could be WB’s flagship franchise for years. WB, you have the keys to the golden kingdom, don’t ruin it.
Photos courtesy of: http://riotheatre.ca/event/the-lord-of-the-rings-trilogy/