Paramount has allowed its rights to lapse for Dune, bringing to an end its four-year struggle to adapt Frank Herbert’s classic science fiction novel, Deadline reports.
That’s not entirely unexpected, considering that producer Richard P. Rubinstein sounded the alarm in November, saying that he and the Herbert estate “don’t want to extend an option and watch the studio take seven years. This is on a short tether.”
Too short, it turns out, for Paramount, which had moved cautiously — even glacially — in the face of the expected $100-million budget. In that time, the studio lost both Peter Berg and Pierre Morel to other projects, leaving Dune with a script but no director.
Rubinstein, who said Paramount’s departure was spurred by money, told Deadline, “I’m going to look at my options, and whether I wind up taking the script we developed in turnaround, or start over, I’m not sure yet.”
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