Frank Herbert’s acclaimed literary sci-fi saga that began with 1965’s Dune is lined up for yet another adaptation, with Legendary Entertainment announcing this week that the studio acquired the movie and television rights to the franchise from Herbert’s estate.
The deal includes development of both big- and small-screen projects based on Dune and its sequels.
The deal puts Legendary in the position of becoming the latest studio to adapt Herbert’s novels, following a 1984 movie directed by David Lynch and a 2000 miniseries that aired on SyFy. Several other attempts to bring Dune to the screen have been made over the years with varying success, including one fantastic, aborted attempt by Alejandro Jodorosky that was chronicled in the critically praised 2013 documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune.
Dune follows orphaned royal heir Paul Atreides as he attempts to win back control of the desert planet of Arrakis after his family is betrayed by a competitor who wants control of the planet’s most valuable resource: the drug known as “spice.” Subsequent novels expanded Paul’s journey to understand the planet’s relationship to the mysterious drug and maintain control of the massive, interstellar society that has developed around the harvest and distribution of spice. The saga explored various themes including politics and religion, ecology, and the evolution of technology.
Legendary has proven itself more than capable of handling massive, visually stunning epics like Herbert’s Dune saga, having co-produced 300, Pacific Rim, Interstellar, and Jurassic World, among a long list of other large-scale, tent-pole features. The studio also has a positive pedigree in the television world, having co-produced The Expanse, Colony, and other well-received series.
There’s no timetable on when the studio will begin work on its first Dune-related project.