The most headline-making film in the first month-and-a-half of this year has to be Denis Villeneuve’s new adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi epic “Dune”. The filmmaker is assembling one of the most impressive ensemble casts ever and the news about them has been smartly drip-fed out one name at a time.
“Call Me By Your Name” breakout Timothee Chalamet takes on the lead role of Paul Atreides in the new film, the third actor to play the part on screen following “Twin Peaks” alum Kyle MacLachlan’s turn in the 1984 David Lynch-directed adaptation, and Alec Newman in the 2000 mini-series.
Lynch’s film remains one of the most famous examples of a noble failure. Massively over-budget and something of a narrative mess, it has earned a cult following over the years with MacLachlan’s performance considered one of the stronger elements. Speaking with AM to DM this week, MacLachlan was asked about what he thought of the new take:
“I’m curious to see what happens, you know, he’s [Denis Villeneuve] getting together a great cast obviously, really talented people. It’s a challenging piece of material to try to bring to the screen, so I wish him luck with that, if anyone can do it, he’ll do a great job. He’s a terrific filmmaker….The book, I’m kind of a nerd about the book. I read it when I was 15 for the first time. I know the book very well. There are three sections, you can break that into three movies and still have a lot left over.”
At present it’s believed the film will only cover the first half of the novel, following comments from Frank Herbert’s son Brian last year which indicated he’d just read a draft of the screenplay. Asked if he had any advice for Chalamet, MacLachlan says: “He’ll be great… [and] go easy on the spice.”
Production on the new film is expected to start this spring in Budapest and Jordan ahead of a November 2020 release.