According to author Brian Herbert, the son of Dune author Frank Herbert, the first of an expected two-part adaptation of the 1965 best-selling sci-fi novel from Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve will cover approximately half of the first novel in the six-book saga.
"I have just received Draft #4 of the DUNE screenplay from Legendary Pictures," the author wrote on his Twitter account. "This is for the first movie, covering approximately half of the novel DUNE. I'm very excited and pleased about this, and I'm beginning to burn the midnight oil."
I have just received Draft #4 of the DUNE screenplay from Legendary Pictures. This is for the first movie, covering approximately half of the novel DUNE. I'm very excited and pleased about this, and I'm beginning to burn the midnight oil. pic.twitter.com/nIfgb2zJ2J— Brian Herbert (@DuneAuthor) July 23, 2018
Brian Herbert wasn't the only one to receive a draft of the script as frequent collaborator Kevin J. Anderson, with whom Herbert has written a series of Dune prequels and short stories, has also been given a copy to read before sending back to Legendary Pictures with comments. "Reading DUNE screenplay + taking notes. Kevin reading it, too, + when we're ready we'll put our heads together to make our comments to Legendary" Herbert wrote in another tweet. "Some fans are asking detailed questions, + I'll look at them when I can. I'm happy to see all the excitement in the Dune Galaxy."
Herbert and Anderson's involvement in the screenwriting process should serve to appease fans of Dune who've been disappointed in previous adaptations and question whether the novel can be adequately transferred from page to screen. Director David Lynch's (Twin Peaks) 1984 adaptation was critically panned and was a box office flop that failed to recoup its budget of $40 million. John Harrison's subsequent miniseries adaptations, however, were better received, winning two Emmy Awards for cinematography and visual effects.
Set in the distant future amid a feudal interstellar society, Dune tells the story of a family that gains control of Arrakis, a desert planet that’s the source of a drug known as “the spice.” Soon after, the family is betrayed and must lead a rebellion to restore their rule of the planet.
Academy Award-winning screenwriter Eric Roth has been tapped to pen the script for Villeneuve’s adaptation. Academy Award nominee Timothée Chalamet is in final negotiations to star in a leading role, however further casting information and a release date have not yet been announced.