Dune Production is In Trouble

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Admiral_Young, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ This is why I hated the treatment. The writer did nothing new except combining the two characters which really makes no sense. As Skywalker indicated Duncan IS a critical and important character throughout the series, so is Gurney to both Paul and Jessica.

    I too think that both of the mini-series were incredibly well done and John Harrison deserves more credit than he is given for writing and directing brilliant adaptions. I have too many problems with the Lynch version despite it being my initiation to the whole Dune universe.

    A David Fincher directed, Steve Zallian adapted "Dune" movie would be epic in my opinion but it would never happen. John Harrison is the closest that we've got to getting a "God Emperor of Dune" movie. I think GEOD had it ever been made would have been one of the most ambitious and bold mini-series in history...and certinally a ratings winner for then Sci-Fi Channel. James McAvoy would have been able to sink his acting chops into some of the most beautifully written words in all of science fiction with Leto II's lamentations and internal monologues. Duncan would have been brought back. It would have been interesting to see who was cast as Leto's dear, Hwi.

    My friend and I attempted a "God Emperor of Dune" adaption starting with the prologue and the finding of Leto's Stolen Journals but got about twenty pages into the project before we began faltering and realizing just how damn difficult this was going to be.
     
  2. O'Dib

    O'Dib Commodore Commodore

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    I had always thought the Dune universe was well suited for an anime treatment. I wonder, if Paramount were to publish a DVD of Dune animated shorts that would introduce and broaden the universe of an eventual movie, whether that would be enough to allow them to retain rights; as well as to gauge interest via DVD sales.
     
  3. Kirkman1987

    Kirkman1987 Commodore Commodore

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    While I believe a great Dune series could be made, I'm not sure any studio would be willing to put the resources into it needed to make it a worthy film. I just don't see Dune as Summer blockbuster material. Too complex.

    That said, Ideally we would see something similar in scope, budget, and skill that was evident in the Lord of the Rings films. Dune would also be wise to follow Jackson's example of releasing extended versions down the road for those who want a more complete vision.

    I Love the 1984 film, but I say that as a guy who likes David Lynch more than Dune.

    I get that the miniseries is the most complete filmed version, but I've never cared for it. It's just lacking the budget and acting talent to make it very special.
     
  4. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    James McAvoy started his career with "Children of Dune" and was brilliant. It has Ian McNiece as the Baron Harkonnen who's brilliant performance dominants the first mini-series. William Hurt does a suitable Duke Leto, and Alec Newman comes into his own during "Children of Dune" as well as the more mature Paul. I disagree that the acting talent isn't there.
     
  5. Kirkman1987

    Kirkman1987 Commodore Commodore

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    I will concede that I've only seen the first mini-series. I've heard Children of Dune is vastly superior in all respects.
     
  6. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Out of curiosity, how was that meant to work? I can sort of see the logic from a story mechanic perspective. They're both lieutenants with close ties to Paul and his training, one of which is killed off a third of the way through while the other disappears until the latter third.

    I'm picturing this Duncan Halleck (or Gurney Idaho?) taking Duncan's role for the first half of the film and Gurney's for the latter half. Being the one sent ahead to contact the Fremen, helping Paul and Jessica escape and thought killed by the Sardaukar only to turn up later with the smugglers. It could work if all you care about is making the one film but it would rather mangle the plot of any future films, unless he's killed off when they retake Arrakeen, or when baby Leto is killed...

    I actually had a lot more problems with the 2000 mini-series than I did with Lynch's film. Style counts and the mini always felt more like a stage production and a film. I'm not just talking about the poorly matched desert backdrops and the glow in the dark contacts but the whole colour pallet was practically in primary colours, many of the costumes were chronically over-designed (with some very silly hats) and the acting was very patchy. The absolute nadir of it for me was a moment in the third part (I think) when Paul is being urged to challenge Stilgar and this acting student with a middle class accent, pretending to be a Fremen yelps out "you are the Mah-*squeek*-di". Took me right out of it. Oh and that siech orgy scene; they took what should have been a primal outpouring of emotion and turned it into an impressionist dance routine.

    Having said all that, CoD addressed most if not all of my concerns and was several orders of magnitude better. Alec Newman was pitch perfect as the preacher, something I never would have expected based on his previous performance. Oh and this bit was fantastic. ;)

    I think GEoD would work best as background material for a Heratics/Chapterhouse adaptation rather than trying to make it stand on it's own. Aside from Leto squishing a few people and the death scene at the end, there's not much in the way of action, suspense or intrigue which would make it VERY tough to sit through even a breezy 2hr adaptation.
     
  7. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I would try and craft them a trilogy.
     
  8. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^I think the problem with that is that "Part 1" would be little more than an extended prologue that actually has very little to do with anything that happens in parts 2 & 3 and only one character appearing in all 3 parts...after a fashion at least since it's a different Duncan between 1 & 2 and then it's all the Duncans in 3. For one thing the actor playing Duncan would ave to be different in Part 2 as he's a much younger character. Fudging his age would destroy the father/son juxtaposition with Duncan and Teg as they essentially swap roles in Chapterhouse.

    What you'd probably have to do is either cram GeOD & Heratics into one film, either with a LotR style extended prologue that touches on Leto, the Scattering and the Bene Gesserit's finally stepping forwards befor getting on with the actual plot or as I suggested before, weaving the essentials from GEoD into both Heretics and chapter house in the form of flashbacks and narrative back story.

    I just can't see God Emperor working as an introduction to a trilogy on it's own. It's a slow burning book about introspection that focuses on the lonely agony and boredom of immortality and prescience. Not the most exciting way to kick of an epic space opera about the rise and fall of empires and the fate of all humankind... ;)
     
  9. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Duncan was only a few years older than Paul in Dune. When he reappears as a ghola, he's about the same age from what I remember.
     
  10. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Duncan is actually more like in his 30's would be my guess, and is considered one of Paul's teachers and mentors, the Duncan portrayed in the Lynch films looked like he was in his early 40's. The Ghola Duncan was of course the same age when he died on Arrakis.
     
  11. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's what I thought. I guess he's around something or so. He's old enough to hold a position of power, but still young enough to relate to Paul. He's more of a friend that a mentor to him.
     
  12. O'Dib

    O'Dib Commodore Commodore

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    I'm in the middle of reading Brian Herbert's sequel to Chapterhouse, which describes the process of growing gholas as a traditional 9 month coming to term of a baby, without any accelerated growth afterward. And it's not a matter of lost Tleilaxu of the Scattering forgetting advances in cloning technology, considering Scytale, the last original Master, utilizes the same methods. Aside from the ability to birth one baby after another, the whole thing almost defeats the purpose of Axlotl tanks, as I thought the mutated "mounds of flesh" women would've been able to birth full grown men. Makes me wonder how closely they actually followed Frank's notes.
     
  13. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^There's a joke among Dune fans that the 'found Frank notes in a vault' story is a made up thing and they made most of the stuff up.
     
  14. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's not a joke. Some people hate Herbert & Anderson so much they've sent death threats.
     
  15. Brandonv

    Brandonv Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I for one would like to see another attempt made at a Dune movie. With a good script and art direction I think it has the potential to make a really epic sci-fi movie.

    I actually think the 1984 version came pretty close to getting it right. My main complaints with the Lynch version are:

    1. Too much use of guns. Why is everyone using projectile weapons in the fight scenes? When reading the novel, I was under the impression that most combat was done with knives and swords, because shields where effectively impenetrable (and potentially dangerous if hit by a laser).

    2. Weirding modules. I understand that the weirding way would have been hard to show in 1984, so I can kind of give them a pass on this one. But the whole concept of the weirding module never made much sense to me.

    3. The confusing script. This is a really important area, and to be honest I don't know if there is really any way to translate the complexities of the Dune universe for a general audience. I think the key is to somehow explain the relationship between the Imperium, the Spacing Guild, and the Bene Gesserit. The Lynch film used a lot of exposition and inner monologues to try to explain these things, but it just left audiences confused.
     
  16. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    They passed out guides to the Duniverse in some theaters in '84. :lol:
     
  17. Hound of UIster

    Hound of UIster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They didn't. Kevin J Anderson if he is unknown to you is a hack writer who churns out novels for licensed properties. He is well known for 1) dictating his works via tape while hiking and then having a secretary transcribe them and 2) being hated by almost anyone who has read his licensed material.

    After he got ran out of several licensed properties including Star Wars, he set his eye on Dune and was able to convince Herbert's gullible son to have him expand on the original work. The discrepancies and mistakes are undoubtedly the result of laziness on their parts and sacrificing faithfulness to the original material for dramatic license.
     
  18. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I was talking about Duncan's age difference between God Emperor, Heretics & Chapterhouse. In the first I think he's about the same age he was when the original Duncan died, the next book skips a thousand or so years and has a new Idaho ghola, this time just a boy (about 10 I think) then by the next book he's something like 20.

    As for the original Duncan, I think he was always a good decade or two older than Paul, who, let's remember was barley a teenager when the first book starts.

    I don't doubt they did follow his notes, they just aren't any near as good at actually writing as Frank was. Just like an excellent script can be utterly destroyed by a hack director, the best story notes in the world can't write themselves into even a "good" novel.
    One of the best things about Frank for me wasn't so much what he did write about as what he didn't. He may have worked everything out in painstaking detail but that didn't mean he had to spell out every last step. Had he written the last book himself, it wouldn't have been half the length of either of those two wastes of good paper. He respected his readers enough to let them think for themselves and could deftly cover in a single paragraph what it takes his son and Anderson about three chapters to plod though.

    I'm not sure how much of that is lack of talent, but I rather suspect it had more to do with padding it out to wring as many books as they could out of the franchise.

    It's been a while since I've read any of them but I'm pretty sure the BG intentionally only grew the Duncans (and later, Teg) to a "natural" term. They didn't want fully grown and awakened Gholas, they wanted children they could raise and assure control over. It stands to reason that the same would hold true on the no-ship.
     
  19. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    You are indeed correct. The Duncan Idaho and Miles Teg gholas seen in Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse Dune were created as babies and grew naturally before having their memories awakened. And since this happened in Frank Herbert books no one can blame Brian Herbert for continuing to do this in his books.
     
  20. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think people blame Pinky and the Brain for bringing Omnius into sequels, and regrowing Paul, Leto and original character Gholas. I really can't see Frank wanting to bring back his original characters like that.