From Alejandro Jodorowsky to Ridley Scott to Peter Berg, many directors have attempted to tackling Frank Herbert's Dune. And Arrival director Denis Villeneueve has added his name to that list.
While talking to Variety (as spotted by The Playlist), Villeneuve said adapting Dune is a "longstanding dream," but added that it is "a long process to get the rights." He also expressed doubts that he would be able to secure the rights to the novel.
Dune was adapted in 1984 by David Lynch for Universal. It was remade again as 2000 Sci-Fi Channel miniseries. For a number of years Paramount Pictures developed a new version with Peter Berg attached to direct. When Berg left the project, Pierre Morel signed on as his replacement, but the studio finally abandoned the project in 2011.
Of course, Herbert's novel is not the easiest thing to adapt. It takes place in a universe of astounding detail. And despite the action scenes devised by Lynch in his version, it isn't exactly a Star Wars style actioner. Indeed, most of the battles in the book take place between chapters with the characters discussing the results. And it is doubtful a studio would spend hundreds of millions for a filmmaker to shoots parlor scenes.
At the same time, Dune will eventually get remade again. It seems inevitable, even if it takes a Kwisatz Haderach to do it.