It seems that Peter Berg is off of Dune. I can’t say that I’m terribly broken up about that. Berg hasn’t shown me any indication that he can take on this canonical work without going Hollywood on it. And yes, “going Hollywood” on it is NOT a good thing. Never a good thing.
The two names that I’ve seen attached to Dune now give me some hope.
Neil Marshall, he of Dog Soldiers and Doomsday, isn’t a bad choice. Much like Peter Jackson before the Lord of the Rings, Marshall has shown real brilliance, even if he has never handled so large a project.
Now I haven’t seen District 9 (when is it coming out on DVD?), but Neill Blomkamp is kind of in the same boat as Marshall. Right now, if the choice were mine, I’d have to go with Marshall just as a known quantity, but Blomkamp has shown he is capable with SF. Neither has done a “big” movie, but neither had Jackson, and that turned out pretty well for everyone involved.
I have to admit to having a soft spot for the David Lynch version of Dune. I actually saw it before I read the novel. I don’t think I would have been as happy with it had I not. The Dune miniseries from the Sci Fi channel was okay, but it didn’t really grip me. Lynch’s Dune had inspired casting. The miniseries had William Hurt, who was great, but no one else really made an impact on me. I really did not like Alec Newman as Paul Atreides. Of course, that’s just me.
In the end, I’d be excited to see another version of Dune. I don’t think we’ll ever get the definitive one. Still, if someone makes it, I’ll likely watch it. Maybe by the time it’s out, I’ll be back to seeing movies in the theatres.