back to article Coming to the big screen: Sci-fi epic Dune – no wait, wait, wait, this one might be good

The legendary sci-fi novel Dune is going to be turned into a movie again – and, thanks to director Denis Villeneuve, it may not suck. As the largest-selling sci-fi book of all time, Dune, written by Frank Herbert, is revered for its epic scale as much as for its insights into the human psyche. Despite its seemingly cinematic …

  1. tjdennis2

    Can't be a single movie

    There is far too much content in the book to make a single 2 or 3 hour movie. Even the 3 part mini-series left out a lot of details. Now, if they could do something similar to LOTR with 3 or 4 movies...

    Not sure how well the movie would be received these days though considering Paul leads a series of terrorist attacks against the local government to finally take power from the Emperor.

    1. seven of five

      Re: Can't be a single movie

      It is not terrorism if the good guys do it. Ask your local CIA for details...

      1. Matthew Smith

        Re: Can't be a single movie

        Its certainly not terrorism if they ride giant sand worms.

      2. h4rm0ny

        Re: Can't be a single movie

        But in this case, it's almost inescapable that the USA are the parallel to the Bad Guys. Paul Atreides joins a bunch of semi-nomadic desert people whose homeland is being mercilessly exploited for its natural resources by an empire and trade guild using better technology, air support, etc. and appointing the plum job of regional governor to their own upper class politicians. (Baron Harkonen, Duke Atreides...) It's essentially Lawrence of Arabia in Space.

        Fremen or Yemen, the parallels are pretty starkly drawn. If they do this, they should absolutely carry it through to how Paul leads a semi-religious war against the rest of the galaxy leading to billions of deaths. People don't seem to do Tragedy in the classical sense anymore. It would be good to have the full arc. And I don't mean just making him a Hard Man Making Hard Choices anti-hero. I mean actually follow the path of the noble and caring leader through to the slaughtering despot he becomes.

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: Can't be a single movie

          But Paul doesn't lead it - it's done in his name. He resists the path of murdering despot as much as he can, until the Sardaukar murder his son.

      3. Michael Thibault
        Coat

        Re: Can't be a single movie

        >Ask your local CIA for details...

        You have their number?

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

          Re: CIA phone number

          (703) 482-0623 (during normal business hours)

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: CIA phone number

            Outside normal business hours just speak into the light switch

        2. David Roberts Silver badge

          Re: Can't be a single movie

          Just post here.

          The CIA will get back to you.......

        3. LaeMing Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Can't be a single movie

          >>Ask your local CIA for details...

          >You have their number?

          Just send an email to any random address. They will read it.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Can't be a single movie

      I agree about the length and breadth of this saga. I have read all of the "Dune" books.

      About Paul being a terrorist, just remember the victors (re)write history?

      1. stephanh
        Mushroom

        Re: Can't be a single movie

        It's quite explicitly stated in the book that Paul's revolution is a rather morally ambiguous undertaking at best. In "Dune Messiah", it is explicitly stated that he is responsible for more deaths than Hitler and Genghis Khan.

        It seems unavoidable that this essential part of the narrative gets whitewashed in a Hollywood production.

        Icon to show what he did to a "natural barrier" to reach his emperor as soon as possible.

        1. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge

          Re: Can't be a single movie

          You have to remember that the society that Dune is set in is not a naturally evolved one, but rather a post-apocalyptic wreckage. At a point earlier in time, they had produced powerful artificial intelligences, but had not managed to keep these either friendly or on a short enough leash. Nor, apparently, had humanity started to turn into cyborg post-humanity, since the entire scenario turned into the Butlerian Jihad where the AIs got wiped out.

          This left the society with a weird wreckage of AI technology, much of which was useless in fundamental ways. They had gravity control but only on a limited basis. They had shields which work well against most projectiles, but which fail badly if hit by laser-like weapons; their laser weapons in turn are deadly if used on shielding. Presumably AIs were capable of managing the technical intricacies of stacking shields or something.

          Their technology included some form of faster than light drive, which worked but dropped the ship out of space without the ship being able to see what was actually there at the end point ahead of time. Again, AI presumably had an answer (or several answers, like only doing long distance jumps between known-empty points of space) but humanity wound up using Spice-addicted individuals who are able to predict whether dropping into normal space at a certain point will be deadly or not; very limited but accurate prescience.

          This society is living in the wreckage of a much greater one; there's not really any surprise that thus handicapped they carry on messing stuff up. Indeed the movie is a repeated series of "How will they get out of this one" scenarios.

          1. IT Poser

            Re: Can't be a single movie

            The technology of the AI was laid out fairly well in the prequels. While it's been years since I've read them I believe "Dune: The Bultarian Jihad" is the most relevant. The entire series is worth reading, and remembering, if one is to jump into a discussion involving the feared AI technology.

            Sadly I don't remember to books well enough to tell you why lasguns(I think that was the term) were not typically used in space combat before Holtzmann shields were invented. I know the history of melange was also explored in depth but, once again, I am uncertain of the details.

            1. CliveS

              Re: Can't be a single movie

              "The technology of the AI was laid out fairly well in the prequels. "

              Argh, the dreaded sequels. Eclipsed only in awfulness by the sequels written also written (if that is the right word) by Brian Herbet and Kevin J Anderson. The chances of anything in those novels being canon are slim to put it generously.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Can't be a single movie

            This left the society with a weird wreckage of AI technology, much of which was useless in fundamental ways.

            Is this about Dune, or a prediction of the future of current technology?

    3. Blake St. Claire

      Re: Can't be a single movie

      I guess Peter Jackson wasn't available.

      1. macjules Silver badge

        Re: Can't be a single movie

        He was, it's just that there are not many deserts in New Zealand. Nor gigantic worms for that matter.

        1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

          Re: Can't be a single movie

          "Nor gigantic worms for that matter."

          They did conjure some up for the last film in The Hobbit series.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Terrorists

            Dune does have a lot of what is now called Asymmetric Warfare, but then so does Lawrence of Arabia.

            The list of contents from Dune's Wikpedia page make's a good summery of themes that are as relevant today as they ever have been:

            4.1 Environmentalism and ecology

            4.2 Declining empires

            4.3 Middle Eastern references

            4.4 Gender dynamics

            4.5 Heroism

            4.6 Zen

        2. Youngone Silver badge
      2. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: Can't be a single movie

        Now, if they could do something similar to LOTR with 3 or 4 movies...I guess Peter Jackson wasn't available.

        To the first, I agree provided the new production doesn't gut the ending...which in turn leads me to say "Great!" to the second. Skipping the resolution and heading straight to the epilogue in the LotR movies was a disappointing finish to an otherwise great cinematic work. Dune is already acknowledged to be quite difficult to adapt. If Villeneuve doesn't work out, I would suggest Lana Wachowski or anyone else who helped bring Cloud Atlas to film.

        1. macjules Silver badge

          Re: Can't be a single movie

          I would be so there with Lana Wachowski being involved. Cloud Atlas is on my all-time favourite list.

          "So who's expired in an ending flat and inane quite beyond belief now?"

          -Dermot Hoggins

      3. Kiwi Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Can't be a single movie

        I guess Peter Jackson wasn't available.

        After seeing The Horrid (or a few minutes of it in my case), aren't you glad? He didn't do too badly on the LOTR (since I hadn't read any of the books at that stage) but I had read The Hobbit several times in my teens and a couple of times later..

        What he did to that story makes me ashamed to share the same planet as him, let alone country.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can't be a single movie

      It may indeed have problems. Especially as the terrorists are "future Muslims" of Arabic Bedouin culture, and they subsequently take over the inhabited universe in a jihad. Also, the hero is the descendant of classical era Greek warriors and much of the cast spend a significant amount of time out of their mind on drugs.

      Who knows, Trump might even ban it.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Can't be a single movie

        > Especially as the terrorists are "future Muslims" of Arabic Bedouin culture

        Although with blue eyes - so you just have to make them blond as well and the Americans will be alt-right behind them

        1. Jeff Cook
          FAIL

          Re: Can't be a single movie

          Speaking as an American, why would you screw up the presentation of the Fremen that way? Stop painting in broad strokes.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Can't be a single movie

            It will just need some minor changes:

            The real story is about the brave miners reducing dependence on foreign spice to make Arakis Great Again - and a bunch of no-good hippie protesters going on about destruction of sandworm habitat.

      2. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        Re: Can't be a single movie

        "Who knows, Trump might even ban it."

        Thus ensuring it will be an outrageous box office success.

    5. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Can't be a single movie

      The 1984 movie was an unmitigated disaster.

      The miniseries were good. While I agree that the 3 part mini-series left out a lot of details it was probably for the better. Putting everything in would have resulted in losing the plot. The way it was done was good enough.

      In fact, it was surprisingly good considering the relatively low budget and 2nd tier cast. My only objection to the mini series is that the director and script writer should read more carefully the description of Chani - the book says "Elfine", not "Elephantine".

      1. gandalfcn

        Re: Can't be a single movie

        Elephantine? Please explain.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Can't be a single movie

        "The 1984 movie was an unmitigated disaster."

        Frank Herbert wrote about the making of it from his point of view. It seemed that whilst Lynch had everything sorted, when they moved the filming to Mexico a lot of sequences were arbitrarily dumped because the production company claimed they were too hard to film.

        He indicated that the film wasn't too bad from his point of view - just "rushed" and I think he's right, which is the way I felt on seeing it. Novels like Dune are too long to be a single movie (the best movies are made from short stories) and unless you know the book well (I'd read it a half dozen times) there was no way of keeping up with the movie's plot.

        Whilst the film was an unmitigated commercial disaster in the english-speaking world, he pointed out that it was wildly popular in Latin America from the outset. Herbert didn't live long enough to see it turn into a cult film in other countries.

    6. Duffy Moon

      Re: Can't be a single movie

      I believe that the plan is to make more than one. Exactly how many films has yet to be revealed.

    7. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
      Alien

      Re: Can't be a single movie

      Perhaps if they ran it really, really fast forward......

      You can't create an entire universe with ten thousand years of history and describe all the numerous but important groups and their relationship to each other in two or three hours.

    8. Doc Ock

      Re: Can't be a single movie

      I agree with the first comment that the book is unfilmable in a single standard length movie and would leave members of the audience who haven't read the book somewhat bemused as the breadth is just too vast; Consider Phlebas would have similar difficulties.

      The oil spice must flow, clever bloke Frank Herbert.

  2. Blake St. Claire

    I thought Arrival was decent.

    Right up to the last ten minutes.It felt like they needed to bring the movie to a close after nearly two hours, so bam, time travel. done. There's no problem so big that it can't be solved with time travel.

    Maybe I can expect this new Dune to be okay, right up to the last ten minutes?

    (And FWIW IMDB doesn't seem to be confused about who directed the 1984 version. My copy lists Alan Smithee as the director, which wikipedia says is "... a common pseudonym for directors whose film was clearly taken away from her/him and recut heavily against her/his wishes in ways that completely altered the film." Not sure who to blame for it.)

    1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: I thought Arrival was decent.

      "There's no problem so big that it can't be solved with time travel."

      A modern variant of deus ex machina. Works for most people, except for cynical bastards like us.

    2. baseh

      Re: I thought Arrival was decent.

      Just a small point about Arrival. I read the story a few years before the film and that made readily understandable the whole film.

      The film explained but not clearly and without emphasizing strongly enough the difference between the human and alien perceptions: humans view time as a linear stream advancing forever in the direction of the unknown future while the aliens view time as a fourth dimension that can be traveled at will in any direction as we travel in the three spatial dimensions so the future is known. This perception is mirrored in their writing which is circular and can be written and read in any order and has no beginning or end, it is a indivisible whole.

      Studying and internalizing the alien language unwittingly shifts the protagonist perspective to the alien one and so she can visualize her whole life past-present-and-future as a whole and not as a linear story.

      She performs all events in her personal life even after knowing the end because in the alien philosophy you do what you have to do - it is preordained and there is no choice really (Was edited to avoid spoilers)

      The alien viewpoint vs the human one is the real kernel of the story and film and it is a pity that most people (including my wife and friends) did not get it - I see it as a fault of the film - it is "boring" to explain but really necessary.

      1. Blake St. Claire

        Re: I thought Arrival was decent.

        yes, all that was evident in the movie. Still comes of as "bam, time travel, done"

        IMO.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: I thought Arrival was decent.

          >yes, all that was evident in the movie. Still comes of as "bam, time travel, done"

          IMO.

          Most time travel movies have the plot: "Find or invent time machine. Travel in time. Mess with something. Discover bad unintended consequences. Try to fix it. Fix it. The End.*" Arrival was not like that.

          *Of course we get themes and variations, where multiple time loops get invoked, or the bad stuff can't be undone. Perhaps the best of these is Primer.

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: I thought Arrival was decent.

            ...or the plot, "Bad guys go back in time to try to kill good guys but fail. Party on dude / I'll be back."

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I thought Arrival was decent.

          There wasn't any time travel in Arrival.

          Spoiler

          Just someone who gained the insight to see all points of her personal timeline at once - so able to remember her own future in the same way as we remember our own past. So no free will as everything is known, nothing can be changed. The entire history of the universe is mapped out.

      2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: I thought Arrival was decent.

        Were these aliens from a wormhole near Bajor?

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: I thought Arrival was decent.

          Were these aliens from a wormhole near Bajor?

          IRT as "from a wormhole near Bangor"..

          1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

            Re: I thought Arrival was decent.

            Worthy of a day trip then.

            1. Trumpet Winsock

              Re: I thought Arrival was decent.

              Chapeau Sir

            2. David 132 Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: I thought Arrival was decent.

              Worthy of a day trip then.

              I'll raise a (Fiddler's) dram to that.

          2. Tom 64

            Re: I thought Arrival was decent.

            >> "Were these aliens from a wormhole near Bajor?"

            > "IRT as "from a wormhole near Bangor".."

            IRT as 'from a wormhole near Bognor'

      3. cray74

        Re: I thought Arrival was decent.

        The alien viewpoint vs the human one is the real kernel of the story and film and it is a pity that most people (including my wife and friends) did not get it

        Heh. My father and I left the theater starting to agree that it was a pretty solid movie and the ending, if a bit McGuffin, was understandable. However, our conversation was drowned out by an elderly roar from higher in the seating: "THAT WAS THE STUPIDEST MOVIE I'VE EVER SEEN!" A cane was, in fact, waved in the air from that gentlemen's seat.

        I assume the pensioner film critic has been spared Lawnmower Man 2 and Battlefield Earth.

    3. Andrew Moore

      Re: I thought Arrival was decent.

      It wasn't time travel, it was the ability to perceive time in a non-linear fashion.

      1. Mark York 3 Silver badge
        Terminator

        Re: I thought Arrival was decent.

        People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect. But actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey… stuff.

        Sally: Yeah, I’ve seen this bit before. You said that sentence got away from you.

        The Doctor: It got away from me, yeah.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    mm a counter revolution to create a fanatical theocracy... sounds like progressives to me!

    Anyway, one of the things I found made the mini series good was the accents. A big budget production should include lots of European accents to really get that feel of feuding feudal lords.

  4. Yesnomaybe

    I am obviously alone in this.

    I think Lynch's Dune is actually very good. OK, he had to "skim over" quite a bit, but if you have read the books then the film makes a lot more sense.

    I know I am pretty much alone in my opinion, but I rate Lynch's Dune as one of my all-time favorite movies.

    1. Dr Scrum Master
      Coat

      Re: I am obviously alone in this.

      Lynch's version was promising but it did have a Sting in the tale.

      1. Joe Werner Silver badge

        Re: I am obviously alone in this.

        > ... but it did have a Sting in the tale

        Some of my colleagues like it for that. I do have to admit he is well trained - I am more Rabban shaped

        1. Yesnomaybe
          Thumb Up

          Re: I am obviously alone in this.

          "but it did have a Sting in the tale"

          Upvote.

      2. creepy gecko
        Pint

        Re: I am obviously alone in this.

        Upvote, and a beer.

    2. 0laf Silver badge

      Re: I am obviously alone in this.

      I rewatched Lynch's Dune after reading the book and had a lot more sympathy for him. It is unfilmable in the book form and I thought the film made a decent stab at translating some of the more ephemeral elements to screen.

      I've not watched the mini series but the longer format probably makes sense.

      Quite glad it's not Peter Jackson doing it, imho although I liked his early stuff (Bad Taste, Braindead) and LotR I've found the rest of his stuff self indulgent crap for the most part..

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I am obviously alone in this.

      I think it's a good sci fi film.

      Is it good Dune, dunno, it's like a picture book version of dune and that's okay.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: I am obviously alone in this.

        There are some brilliant aspects to Lynch's Dune - especially set and costume design. The noble houses were well differentiated. I also liked some aspects of the special effects, such as the Navigator. However, the special effects in some of the exterior scenes let it down a bit. Imagine if it boasted David Lean's cinematography from Lawrence of Arabia....

      2. h4rm0ny

        Re: I am obviously alone in this.

        I'll say this for the Lynch version. If it had been a bog-standard Space-epic of its era, few would be talking about it here now. The spectacle of the floating baron ripping plugs out of people's hearts (why?) or enormous baroque fish-tanks being wheeled into an emperor's audience chamber, eyebrows like someone threw two jungle caterpillars at someone face at high speed... It may or may not be good, but it certainly makes one Hell of an impression.

        1. Missing Semicolon

          Re: I am obviously alone in this.

          Indeed. I came at it from the other direction - saw the film, then read the book.

          The film made the book considerably less confusing....

        2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

          Re: I am obviously alone in this.

          "...or enormous baroque fish-tanks being wheeled into an emperor's audience chamber..."

          IIRC, when the Navigator turns up in Dune Messiah, that's exactly what happens.

          1. Kristian Walsh

            Re: I am obviously alone in this.

            IIRC, when the Navigator turns up in Dune Messiah, that's exactly what happens

            Ah, but that book was written after the film was produced. It's a long time since I read these, but I remember with that book in particular thinking "oh, that's just like the film" several times, whereas the earlier descriptions don't necessarily match the production design of the Lynch/De Laurentis film at all.

            In his foreword for that book, Herbert echoes some of the praise and criticisms of the film: the production design impressed him greatly, but he felt that the final theatrical release was not long enough to capture the story he'd written. Interestingly, (and again, if memory serves) he mentioned that for some reason the shooting script worked out at enough for at least a pair of films, running to over four hours, and when this was whittled down to under two hours, a lot of important exposition and background was jettisoned.

            It's certainly a film like the voiceover-less versions of Bladerunner(*): if you already know what the hell's going on, you can sit back and enjoy the spectacle, but viewed cold, it does a poor job of answering viewer's questions about why stuff is happening.

            (* for the record, I think the one without the voiceovers is superior, but only if you've seen the film before; if you haven't, then the voiceovers do fill in some of the film's more elliptical moments... think of them like the introductory descriptions in an opera programme)

            1. P.B. Lecavalier

              Re: I am obviously alone in this.

              > Ah, but that book was written after the film was produced.

              No. Dune Messiah was published in the late 60s. You might be confounding this with the publication date of paperback reissue.

              1. Kristian Walsh

                @P.B. Lecavalier - publication order.. mea culpa.

                My mistake - as I said, it is a long time since I read these!

                I seems I've mixed up the order completely. So: all of my previous comments actually refer to one or other of the last two books (which would be "Heretics of Dune" or "Chapter-house: Dune"); the author's introduction I was referring to was also from there.

            2. CliveS
              FAIL

              Re: I am obviously alone in this.

              "IIRC, when the Navigator turns up in Dune Messiah, that's exactly what happens"

              "Ah, but that book was written after the film was produced."

              Dune Messiah was first published as a serial in Galaxy magazine in 1969, whereas Lynch's movie came out in 1984 so somehow I don't think the film inspired the sequel...

    4. Snow Hill Island

      Re: I am obviously alone in this.

      I enjoyed the film too.

      Even though I found the "Weirding Modules" pretty irritating, they still somehow managed to not ruin the film for me. Saying that, I've tried (and failed) to enjoy other David Lynch films...

      1. Tim Jenkins

        Re: I am obviously alone in this.

        'Weirding Modules' killed it for me; a major part of the genius of the Dune universe is that FTL travel is possible, but projectile weapons are useless (and lasers worse), so combat is gladiatorial. Giving the rebels guns was such a cop-out...

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: I am obviously alone in this.

          Also, the actor playing Paul. Erk. Or, to be fair, maybe it was his script. All those times when he has to mutter to himself doing his best Basil Exposition really didn't help. So it had real acting/script problems, which are a lot less forgivable than the dodgy special effects.

          The eyebrows are brilliant though. Denis Healey INNNNNN SPAAAAAAAAACE!!!!!

          1. Andrew Moore

            Re: I am obviously alone in this.

            The actor playing Paul went on to become Agent Dale Cooper in Twin Peaks...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I am obviously alone in this.

        I didn't like the weirding modules either. In the book the Fremen clearly learn a very advanced martial art of some sort, with lots of lethal strike points. I'd go with something based on traditional juijitsu / kung fu

      3. Mark York 3 Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: I am obviously alone in this.

        & then it rained....

    5. P.B. Lecavalier

      Re: I am obviously alone in this.

      The treatment of the narrative in Lynch's movie is merely "ok" (and very disappointing if you read the book beforehand), but what saved it for me is the visual and audio, which are absolutely perfect. When I read the novel, I am pleased to see what was depicted in the movie. It seems accurate, and for things which are difficult to think of, the movie is an excellent companion.

      The soundtrack gave the movie a uniquely mystique flavor, very palatable yet way different from say John Williams style. Remember who made it: Toto, a hip hop band. In fact, the story is that Lynch offered a recording of Symphony no.11 by Shostakovich to the young musician. "You liked it?" "Oh yes", he replied. "Good, I want something done in this style."

      Weirding modules were a weird addition, but how can you depict Fremen to be so formidable warriors as to best Sardaukars in melee combat with little effort?

      Another "not in the book" the cardiac plugs on Harkonnen subjects. It's not in the book, but it is cunningly fitting.

  5. King Jack
    FAIL

    Make something new

    Why not just make something that has not been made before? Why must Hollywood churn out the same films over and over again. There comes a point where you've seen all future films before they are made. Instead of enjoying the film you spend all you time comparing it to the original and why this version sucks balls. Then Hollywood blames piracy for low turnout, rinse and repeat. Make a TV series instead.

    1. 0laf Silver badge

      Re: Make something new

      Dune has never really been done well, so I think it has scope. But I agree with you about remaking films that were really good first time round.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Make something new

      > There comes a point where you've seen all future films before they are made.

      And some people think that we humans only tell five or so basic stories.

      1. P.B. Lecavalier
        Trollface

        Re: Make something new

        > > There comes a point where you've seen all future films before they are made.

        Prescience! Given such oracular faculties, I see that the Bene Gesserit breeding agenda worked well for you.

    3. Mark C 2

      Re: Make something new

      Agree. There is so much Sci Fi written in the last 100 years there is a wealth of material that could be turned into a film, if done correctly, especially with advances in CGI.

      How about a classic like Larry Niven's Protector, or Alan Dean Foster's Orphan Star? Or something more modern like an Ian Banks (RIP) book or David Eddings' Belgariad series? Or the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant? I guess that Holywood is cautious about trying something new and wants to keep re-hashing known stories but some of them could spawn multiple films. It would also encourage people to actually read books.

      Maybe something completely wacky like a story line that navigates you through someof the CISSP material so you can sit the exam after watching the movie(s) and improving IT security for all. OK....maybe not!

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Make something new

        Hell, if you fancy a bit of massive special effects good guys vs bad guys space opera, what's wrong with Doc Smith? I'd pay to see a decent Lensman film.

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: Make something new

          Doc Smith would need to have some serious updating - the man couldn't write female characters for love nor money.

          1. Toltec

            Re: Make something new

            "Doc Smith would need to have some serious updating - the man couldn't write female characters for love nor money."

            The storylines and characters can be updated, can't you see the cgi effects when you smash a planet with another planet being moved into position with an inertialess drive? Then top that using an anti-matter planet

            The Lensman series pretty much defined space opera and the weapons used make the death stars look tame. If any books were waiting for the latest cgi to bring them to life it is these. They are not exactly intricate works of literary greatness so simply taking the concepts could work well. Should tie in well with the current demand for Marvel/DC films and TV series.

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Make something new

          Doc Smith? I'd pay to see a decent Lensman film.

          You'd have to edit it pretty mercilessly to take all the racism, sexism and American Exceptionalism out.. (I read those books avidly as a 10-12 year old - tried to re-read them a year or so back and couldn't get past all the flaws that I hadn't seen the first time round..)

          A better candidate might be Anne McCafferys Pern dragonrider series. Sci-fi with some fantasy tropes but well written and not suffering from the same flaws as the teen-aimed dragon stuff now.

          1. Justicesays

            Re: Make something new

            "A better candidate might be Anne McCafferys Pern dragonrider series. Sci-fi with some fantasy tropes but well written and not suffering from the same flaws as the teen-aimed dragon stuff now."

            Did you try re-reading those recently?

          2. Esme

            Re: Make something new

            Upvote from me. The Darkover series by Marion Zimmer-Bradley is another good series that could have a few films made of it, and that would appeal to both SF and fantasy fans.

            As for an SF series - my vote would be for Niven's 'Tales of Known Space', but 'The Mote in God's Eye' by Niven and Pournelle, or 'The foundation Trilogy' by Asimov could make good films/series of films too.

          3. the Jim bloke Silver badge

            Re: Make something new

            "You'd have to edit it pretty mercilessly to take all the racism, sexism and American Exceptionalism out.. (I read those books avidly as a 10-12 year old - tried to re-read them a year or so back and couldn't get past all the flaws that I hadn't seen the first time round..)"

            A lot of the authors I loved as a kid, actually seem pretty ordinary now. Values and perceptions have changed and I am comfortable with that. Smiths superhuman alphamale heroes casually committing genocide, Larry Niven and his martian colony failing pretty much from homophobia (no idea what Larry Nivens views are on the subject, but he obviously considered it a valid motivation in the story).

            Harrison, Norton, Eddings, McCaffery, even more recent authors like Weber are less enjoyable on recent re-visits, but then again, some (many) of the new authors being pushed by amazon would probably benefit from an editor telling them to take their manuscript back, work on it a lot more, and dont bother bringing it back....

          4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: Make something new

            "A better candidate might be Anne McCafferys Pern dragonrider series"

            Agreed. It's been kicked around a few times over the years, but the argument was always that the dragons would be shite. But as we've seen from other dragon based films, it seems very do-able now.

        3. Roo
          Windows

          Re: Make something new

          "what's wrong with Doc Smith?"

          Not much IMO, but I suspect the pipe-smoking, somewhat outmoded portrayal of women and genocide may not sit well with current audiences. :)

          "I'd pay to see a decent Lensman film."

          Have an upvote. Loved the books, I'd like to see a Skylark film too. :)

        4. OrientalHero

          Re: Make something new

          Yeah, I'd love a Lensman movie. Perhaps it's been done already in Anime! I keep seeing animes about Arisia and Lensman but never had the chance to explore. (seems it was really bad).

          1. GregC

            Re: Make something new

            Greg Bear's Eon. I'd love to see that on the big screen, though it might need to be a two-parter.... Come to think of it, Forge of God could work too.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Make something new

        David Eddings' Belgariad series? Or the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant?

        Please - no. There are far, far better candidates (the Joe Abercrombie books or the Steel Remains books by Richard Morgan).

        If you want Sci-fi then the Honor Harrington books (or the early ones anyway) by David Weber. Lots of explosions and action, even if the good guys always win..

        I suppose the Thomas Covenant books could be compressed down to about 1/2 an hour of film but you'd be getting people slitting their wrists about 15 minutes in.

        1. Another Brick

          Re: Make something new

          If you're going to do a Richard K. Morgan book, it has to be Altered Carbon ;-)

          1. 0laf Silver badge

            Re: Make something new

            I do love that trilogy but the 3rd gets a bit bogged down in politics.

            I'd go for Neal Asher's Polity series but particularly the Spatterjay books.

      3. Allonymous Coward

        Re: Make something new

        Snow Crash. Now *there's* a book I'd like to see done well as a movie.

        No idea how you would though.

      4. Missing Semicolon

        Re: Make something new

        The Stainless Steel Rat series?

      5. Patrician

        Re: Make something new

        The problem that Hollywood has regarding making films of SciFi books is money; With a few exceptions like Dune, War of The Wolds and, to head into fantasy, LoTR and The Hobbit, SciFi/fantasy books are not "mainstream". Although Harry Potter etc.have made Fantasy more generally appealing I suppose.

        It would be a tremendous gamble to take, for instance Larry Nivens Rigworld and turn it into a film; no matter how much I wish they would. It would attract many SciFi readers (fans) but would it attract enough of the general film going public to make a profit? A film of Ringworld for instance would take quite a sizeable budget to make correctly and I cannot see it would generate enough of a profit for the Hollywood studios.

      6. redav

        Re: Make something new

        Funny you should mention Iain Banks. His book "Transition" has a paragraph about precisely this.

        "And don't forget Goldman's Law: nobody knows anything. Nobody knows what will work. That's why they make so many remakes and Part Twos; what looks like lack of imagination is really down to too much, as paranoid execs visualise all the things that could go wrong with a brand new, untested idea. Going with something containing elements that definitely worked in the past removes some of the terrifying uncertainty."

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Make something new

        Stainless Steel Rat.

        That is all.

      8. nichomach

        Re: Make something new

        Peter F. Hamilton - Night's Dawn Trilogy. I'd love to see them bring Voidhawks to the screen.

        1. SteveastroUk

          Re: Make something new

          ....speaking of unfilmable epics PFH would be high on my list. Especially Night's dawn. Keep it to something like the length of Nanoflower and its bearable, but Nights dawn was two volumes too long

      9. Pirate Dave Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: Make something new

        "Or the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant?"

        That could be cool, if done properly. Giants, Bloodguard, rock ships, and leprosy, all in the same movie. What's not to like?

        Anti-hero stories might be a hard sell to the general public, though. There's nobody to cheer for...

        1. Mark York 3 Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Make something new

          ........you forgot the rape of Lena.

          Icon just for Lord Foul......

      10. rdhood

        Re: Make something new

        Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever... man that takes me back.

    4. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Make something new

      Excellent idea. I'd love to have a seriously good bitch about how they've fucked up an Iain M Banks novel.

      1. zebthecat

        Re: Make something new

        Long form TV, however, would be a perfect fit.

        I'd love to see Netflix/HBO/whoever take on Use of Weapons

    5. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      Re: Make something new

      > Why must Hollywood churn out the same films over and over again.

      This.

      What's worse is that terrestrial TV then stops showing the original, only the remake. And since the remakes tend to be shite in comparison, you get to suffer doubly.

    6. Steve Graham

      Re: Make something new

      I think it might be something to do with the way Hollywood finances its movies. Basically, you have to tour many potential backers with your "idea" or "concept" and get enough of them to commit money.

      You can guess that "Remember that great movie (or 60s TV series) you all loved? We're going to do a new version. BUT EVEN BETTER!" will score more than "There's this book you haven't read. But it's really, really great.".

    7. rdhood

      Re: Make something new

      This. Why have we never seen the The Foundation trilogy turned into a movie? It makes so many excellent points on monetary, technological hegemony, and the whole idea of prediction of masses of people (and the inability to predict the anomalous unpredictable individual, but setting up a storage of human knowledge for the inevitable day when civilization collapses.

      Or a movie like "Time enough for love". The idea that our abilities and interest span many professions and would take many lifetimes, but we are limited to ONE. We don't get to pursue so much that we would like to pursue because we are so time limited.

      WAY too much good Sci Fi, and it gets ignored to rehash Dune one more time? Sci Fi got close to nailing it... they needed about twice as much time to do it right. It is definitely a 15 hour (without commercials) movie.

      1. fandom

        Re: Make something new

        "Why have we never seen the The Foundation trilogy turned into a movie?"

        Because the trilogy is mostly people in rooms talking.

        Works great in a book, my copies are in bad shape after reading them so many times, but it would be hard to pull off in a movie.

        1. DropBear Silver badge

          Re: Make something new

          "Because the trilogy is mostly people in rooms talking."

          Hey - movies have been done with less: a single person in a single phone booth talking... I always thought it was actually a pretty decent movie.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Make something new

          "The Foundation trilogy...Because the trilogy is mostly people in rooms talking....Works great in a book,"

          Plenty of successful films have been made over the years which rely on the audience not only having a clue, but also some intelligence and a willingness to watch a film that is not all bangs, crashes, explosions and "perfect" heroes winning out against insurmountable odds.

    8. P. Lee

      Re: Make something new

      >Why must Hollywood churn out the same films over and over again.

      Because if it provoked a strong reaction in the past, you have a confirmed fanbase of people who will pay to see it.

  6. Alastair Dodd 1

    Lynch's Dune was good, lots of people agree

    "Lynch has repeatedly disowned the film and even had his name replaced in the film's credits."

    No he is still credited with it and has his name on it, just not all cuts. The studio did a butchered god awful cut of it which is credited to Alan Smithee. Lynch has issues with this version but still support his version the theatrical release

    If villeneuve pulls off Blade Runner and they have a good script for Dune we'll see.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lynch's Dune was good, lots of people agree

      Blade runner is already ruined because they ruin the main mystery of the original film, is Decker a replicant?

      Well no coz he's in the new film and he's aged. Fuck you Hollywood.

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: Lynch's Dune was good, lots of people agree

        I got the impression that he and Rachel didn't have the lifespan limit switch turned on?

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: Lynch's Dune was good, lots of people agree

          "I got the impression that he and Rachel didn't have the lifespan limit switch turned on?"

          That's true in the theatrical version, but not in the director's cut, where that bit (like all the voiceovers) is removed.

        2. israel_hands

          Re: Lynch's Dune was good, lots of people agree

          It's not a case of switching it on though. As the "God of Biomechanics" explained to Roy Batty "the flame that burns twice as bright lasts half as long". Replicants aren't robots, they're gene-tweaked humans who basically burn out their bodies within 4 years. The entire futility behind Batty's doomed crusade to live longer is that he just can't be given an extended lifespan. In the end he accepts that.

          Also, Gaff mentions it's too bad Rachel won't live. She was Nexus-5 (probably same as Deckard as neither of them knew what they were) and she clearly had the same lifespan issues so there's no reason to think he wouldn't also.

          If they change that for the sequel (and it looks like they've either done that or ignored the whole thing about Deckard being a replicant) then they've fucked it before the opening credits have rolled.

          Personally, I don't think Dune will work as a film. For some reason I don't trust Hollywood to be able to deal with pretty much any aspect of the book without fucking it up completely. Can you see them advertising a film with a protagonist called Mua'dib leading a group of fanatical warriors in an almost-accidental jihad against the entire rest of the human universe? May as well call it "Dances with Sandworms".

          Oh, and if Frank Herbet's son is involved in any way whatsoever then I'd expect it to be a complete and utter pile of shit that contradicts itself every other scene.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Lynch's Dune was good, lots of people agree

            > Can you see them advertising a film with a protagonist called Mua'dib leading a group of fanatical warriors in an almost-accidental jihad against the entire rest of the human universe?

            The film is called Lawrence of Arabia and it received huge critical acclaim.

            1. Rich 11 Silver badge

              Re: Lynch's Dune was good, lots of people agree

              Do you think Lawrence of Arabia would have received quite the same reception if it had been made in the last 15 years instead?

              1. h4rm0ny

                Re: Lynch's Dune was good, lots of people agree

                I think if Lawrence of Arabia had been made to day, there would be an extremely vocal grouping of people who decried it as "having a White protagaonist who saves the day for the brown people" and demand that it be changed so Lawrence wasn't the hero.

        3. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

          Re: Lynch's Dune was good, lots of people agree

          A switch in the genetic sense.

          And does Gaff know that for sure, or just know she's a replicant and assume she's the same as all the others?

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Lynch's Dune was good, lots of people agree

        >is Decker a replicant? Well no coz he's in the new film and he's aged. Fuck you Hollywood.

        So, someone turned off Decker's DRM - big deal.

        Replicants were built with a finite lifespan as a form of security, that is to say that the finite lifespan was a human creation and not an inherent property of Replicants. Not only does it seem plausible that this limitation could be removed (either because someone found a backdoor or other security hole, or the company that built him had its own reason for removing it - or not actually implementing it in the first place), but it seems implausible that such a security measure could never be circumvented.

        1. israel_hands

          Re: Lynch's Dune was good, lots of people agree

          "Replicants were built with a finite lifespan as a form of security, that is to say that the finite lifespan was a human creation and not an inherent property of Replicants."

          Where did you get that from? It's not mentioned in the film at any point. See my comment directly above yours for the reasoning behind their short lifespan.

          1. SundogUK

            Re: Lynch's Dune was good, lots of people agree

            It might not be referenced in the film but it is explicit in the source book - which also leaves it completely open as to whether Deckard is a replicant.

            1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

              Re: Lynch's Dune was good, lots of people agree

              "It might not be referenced in the film but it is explicit in the source book - which also leaves it completely open as to whether Deckard is a replicant."

              What setting have you dialed into your Penfield mood organ? Because it's central to the plot that Deckard is a human. (The android's can't do shared consciousness.) Although Deckard does run into an andy who thinks he's an Android-hunter.

          2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

            Re: Lynch's Dune was good, lots of people agree

            "Where did you get that from? It's not mentioned in the film at any point. See my comment directly above yours for the reasoning behind their short lifespan."

            Dave has one theory, you have another. All we know from the film is that the replicants were genetically engineered and given a shortened lifespan. Since the genetic engineering is a fictional technology, it's open to the new film makers to decide that the lifespan limitation can be reversed on an individual basis. Does that 'spoil' the original film? Possibly, but it would take more than just contradicting what Roy Batty was shown to have "accepted". We'll just have to wait and see.

          3. Missing Semicolon

            Re: Lynch's Dune was good, lots of people agree

            In the book, androids die early because they could not get cell replacement to work properly in thse constructed beings.

  7. ukgnome

    Get me high on spice and I will try and like this idea.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Happy

      Re Get me high on spice...

      Get me high on spice and I will try and escape to another planet, why not...

  8. Torben Mogensen

    SciFi Channel version

    SciFi Channel made a low-budget, but decent adaptation as a TV miniseries (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0142032/), followed by a somewhat-higher-budget version of Dune Messiah/Children of Dune as another miniseries (just called "Children of Dune"), which was also quite decent.

    I agree that a single film is not enough to give a decent treatment of the book. A GoT-scale TV-series would be best, but a film trilogy could also work. Then one film for Messiah and another trilogy for Children. If all succeed, one film for each of the following books (God Emperor, Heretics, and Chapter House) is a possibility.

    1. EddieD

      Re: SciFi Channel version

      I was reasonably faithful to the book, the script was fine, but some of the acting was awful - Gurney Halleck in particular springs to mind.

      Any book thicker than about 1cm will need serious trimming to make a movie that isn't split into bits - although as LOTR and The Hobbit showed, you can go too far and add shed loads of content that isn't in the original.

      1. SundogUK

        Re: SciFi Channel version

        I think he mainly got away with it in LOTR (except for the Elves turning up at Helms Deep, obviously.) The Hobbit on the other hand...

      2. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: SciFi Channel version

        And as LOTR showed, not include lots of stuff from the original e.g. Tom Bombadil that many fans of the book would have liked even though Jackson (could have been done without singing, or if included singing would have been better than singing near start of first hobbit film)

      3. Patrician

        Re: SciFi Channel version

        Well LoTR didn't have anything added that wasn't in the book (including the appendices that is) although it was messed around with for reasons I've never been able to understand, despite Jackson stating why he gave Arwen a much more prominent role in the film than she had in the main part of the book.

        But The Hobbit was expanded beyond belief to stretch it to a more "adult" audience and to three films.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: SciFi Channel version

          "But The Hobbit was expanded beyond belief to stretch it to a more "adult" audience and to three films."

          I still say Peter Jackson hasn't made the book, "The Hobbit", into a movie. He has, however, made a movie from a book that largely plagiarized from "The Hobbit".

          And to the LoTR, how could Jackson take the most influential book of my childhood and turn it into ~9 hours of suicide-watch? IMHO he completely and utterly sucked the beauty and joy and magic out of Tolkien's tale.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: SciFi Channel version

            Just to be clear - Jackson never wanted to make the Hobbit movie, but Guillermo del Toro pulled of directing during pre-production. The nature of the studio contract was that Jackson had to take on the reins, and couldn't put back the release date, forcing him to write the script as he filmed.

            As for LotR, Jackson celebrated the landscape of NZ, just as Tolkien used a lot of words to describe Middle Earth.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: SciFi Channel version

          "Well LoTR didn't have anything added that wasn't in the book (including the appendices that is) although it was messed around with for reasons I've never been able to understand, despite Jackson stating why he gave Arwen a much more prominent role in the film than she had in the main part of the book."

          From a radio interview I heard some years ago (might have been Jackson), they had to cut loads out to make the story fit, but some of the scenes and characters which had to be cut did actually have a some important lines. Where those lines were needed for the plot, they were put into the mouths of other characters.

          Even a normal sized novel, when read as an audiobook or dramatised in full, if often 20+ hours of listening time. To make film true to a novel, the added visual medium can let you cut out a lot of descriptive text, but you'd probably still need something like 10 hours of viewing to do an uncut film

        3. Kiwi Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: SciFi Channel version

          "But The Hobbit was expanded ruined beyond belief to stretch it to a more "adult" [insert term of choice here] audience and to three films. chances for JRT fans to waste money watching utter shite, in the hopes it would end up being as reasonable as LOTR was"

          FTFY. You're welcome.

      4. Pedigree-Pete
        Thumb Up

        Re: SciFi Channel version

        Gurney Halleck, Agreed, but Patrick Stewart is one difficult act to follow.

        1. PhilBuk

          Re: SciFi Channel version

          A cardboard cutout with an attached tape recorder would have made a better job of Gurney Halleck than the guy who played him in the mini-series (P.H. Moriarty). But, apart from that, I quite enjoyed their take on Dune and the next two books. As mentioned before, the lack of budget showed in the FX and the outdoor shots. The guy who played Stilgar was a particularly good fit.

          Phil.

    2. Sooty

      Re: SciFi Channel version

      I was going to bring these up, they are actually pretty good, but do suffer a little from budget. It felt like the effects budget was blown very early on.

      Otherwise a lot more faithful to the books that the Lynch version

  9. Steve Crook

    Not. Holding. My Breath.

    Got paperback copy of Dune in the early 70s. It said "soon to be a major film"

    HA. HA. HA.

    1. Steve Crook

      Re: Not. Holding. My Breath.

      In other breaking news Valve announce HL3 for Q1 2018

    2. Number6

      Re: Not. Holding. My Breath.

      The full Dune series covers about 15,000 years. On that timescale, anywhere in the next hundred years would be 'Coming soon'.

      Except we appear to have bumped into Kralizec already. Two weeks into the final whirlwind.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear. Another egregious Trump reference...

    Dontcah know Obee wan Trump is a Jedi master, disguised for his own safety as a buffoon, and together with Jedi Sir Nigel Skywalker is intent on freeing the lesser peoples from the Darth Vader assisted European and American Empire of Cultural Marxists, hell bent on enslaving the worlds innocents?

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Oh dear. Another egregious Trump reference...

      "Dontcah know Obee wan Trump is a Jedi master, disguised for his own safety as a buffoon, and together with Jedi Sir Nigel Skywalker is intent on freeing the lesser peoples from the Darth Vader assisted European and American Empire of Cultural Marxists, hell bent on enslaving the worlds innocents?"

      Trump just casually discussed invading Mexico. I think it's clear which character most suits him from that film.

      1. Dr Scrum Master

        Re: Oh dear. Another egregious Trump reference...

        "Trump just casually discussed invading Mexico. I think it's clear which character most suits him from that film."

        Woodrow Wilson?

        James Polk?

  11. creepy gecko

    "the best sci-fi film never made"

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/04/27/sci_fi_movie_poll/

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/11/sci_fi_poll/

    Unfortunately the page with the results appears to be a dead link.

  12. 0laf Silver badge

    No Giger

    HR Giger was involved in preproduction for the Lynch Dune and some of his storyboards of sets are pretty awesome even though they were never used. It's a shame he can't be involved in any new production but maybe they could include some of those visual elements now since visual effects have caught up enough now to do them. His stuff was/is appropriately disturbing.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: No Giger

      Well some of the Jodowosky Dune team - including Giger, Foss and Bannon - went on to make Alien with Scott. The French artist Mobius was also part of the Dune project, and he's to have his Valerian work brought properly to the silver screen by Luc Besson this summer - though he got a credit on Besson's 5th Element to settle an IP dispute.

      Whilst Giger might have been a good match for Jodowsky's Dune, I never saw the biomech aesthetic in Herbert's Dune - but thats just my opinion!

      1. Kristian Walsh

        Re: No Giger

        I thought the design of the stillsuits in the Lynch movie owed a lot to Giger's style, but there's not much else I could pick out.

        Oh, and thanks for the heads-up on Valerian. Had a quick look at the teaser, and visually, my first reaction was: "at last, a sci-fi film with a full colour gamut!" The Hollywood habit of grading all films into a narrow band along the teal-orange axis is so prevalent that it's only when you see someone who doesn't do it, you realise how drab everything else has become.

        Fifth Element was visually amazing, but let down a little by its storyline, so this shows some promise if they hold on to the source material.

  13. Dabooka Silver badge
    Stop

    I can't help but wonder something.

    How many have actually read the book as opposed to basing their knowledge on the movie and / or mini series? And of course when I say book I appreciate the plethora of sequels, but for the purposes of this we're talking Dune.

    I agree that one movie wouldn't be able to impart all of the book so they have a choice; cut loads out and make a movie with just the main elements in it, or span it out over a trilogy. Personally I'd go the former, I'm sick of dire films made from excellent starting concepts (books, comics etc) and I'd rather appreciate a good film with bits hacked out from the book. It'd be more likely made into a trilogy anyway and there's loads of material to continue forward, and some excellent films don't follow the book accurately but are still watchable.

    Finally although it was along time ago when I read it , and I was a lot younger, I know I had to frequently refer back and reread bits when I'd lost the plot. Doesn't quite work out the same if you have to do that with a film.

    Anyway we all know why Dune failed, it lacked Ewoks or a Jar-Jar character for fans to attach too....

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: I can't help but wonder something.

      I'd still like to know what Lynch would've done with Jedi.

      1. Dabooka Silver badge

        Re: I can't help but wonder something.

        I'm guessing road trip, with a pet toad.

    2. AndrueC Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: I can't help but wonder something.

      I've read everything up to Chapter House Dune. I actually quite liked God Emperor of Dune. It's a bizarre premise but I think it caps off the first part of the series really well offering a lot of answers to why Paul did what he did and what he failed to do.

    3. PhilBuk

      Re: I can't help but wonder something.

      I've read all of them but have to say the the ones by his son go a bit bat-shit

      crazy.

      One thing I did notice was that there was quite a difference between the UK and US editions of the original. I bought my copy when I was in the states in 1979. When that started to fall apart, I bought a copy in the UK. When I read it, something jarred so I went back to the US edition and found that whole paragraphs had been re-written, sometimes there was a least an extra page difference between editions. My quick assessment was that it seemed that quite a bit of waffle had been edited out of the UK edition.

      Phil.

      p.s. there are six brick-sized sequels too.

      1. PhilBuk

        Re: I can't help but wonder something.

        Oops. I meant prequels.

        Phil.

    4. the Jim bloke Silver badge

      Re: I can't help but wonder something.

      Sorry, was going to upvote in support of actual reading of the books, but then you mentioned the abomination.

      1. Dabooka Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: I can't help but wonder something.

        Ha ha!

        Asked for that, I'll take a down vote for a gag though!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Watched David Lynch film and I was more confused than a penguin in the Sahara.

    Which led me to read the book which I enjoyed immensely.

    Watched film again and understood and also thought it was quite good.

    I do hope this attempt manages to capture the book and not just for those that have read it because it's a very good story. Not got round to watching mini series as I'm not sure a mini-series from the sci-fi channel is going to match the film.

    1. Jay 2

      I think having read the book makes Lynch's Dune a tad more understandable. Also lurking somewhere on t'interwebs there's some sort of fan edit of the film which takes the theatrical version, the extended TV version, some deleted scenes and mashes them all together with some story-friendly editing. The result gives a nother step towards coherence (though you'd probably still need to read the book).

  15. jake Silver badge

    And all this time, I thought ...

    ... "Dianetics" was the largest-selling sci-fi book of all time,

    Mea culpa. I stand corrected.

    1. FuzzyTheBear

      Re: And all this time, I thought ...

      According to my data , the bible would be it ..

      1. King Jack

        Re: And all this time, I thought ...

        The bible is fiction not sci-fi.

        1. Michael Thibault

          Re: And all this time, I thought ...

          of the Bible as fantasy.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And all this time, I thought ...

          "The bible is fiction not sci-fi."

          Yep and one day someone will find the first page that reads "This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental."

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: And all this time, I thought ...

        The bible, which does contain elements of sci-fi, is the most distributed, not sold, book. Subtle difference, but a difference nonetheless.

  16. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    I watched Arrival...

    And similarly to the movie The Usual Suspects, when I had finished watching it I wasn't quite sure what I had watched, or that I had even understood it. Loving that Amy Adams though.

    So I've gone and bought the collection of short stories that the Arrival story is based on and hopefully it'll make some better form of sense after reading it.

    Roll on Blade Runner 2049.

  17. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Headmaster

    I always thought Obama would be a good stand-in for Pieter de Vries

    Prescient? As downright weird as Lynch's version is, it had some characters that are strangely recognizable. On the left Baron Harkonnen; on the right, top presidential advisor Steve Bannon.

    This kind of "wink wink , nudge nudge" throwaway lines are becoming tiresome fast. Yes, we know some people want to be on the goodside when the pink color revolution comes. Please stop it aynway.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: I always thought Obama would be a good stand-in for Pieter de Vries

      Pink Revolution is already taken. So is Orange, which is a shame. Perhaps Tangerine or Vermilion will do?

  18. oldcoder

    Too bad the books universe is absolutely the worst.

    There was no reason at all it to exist. Nothing useful in the economy. There was no basic trade going on. Only spice trade.

    And the only reason for the spice was to supply the Navigators...

    The only reason for the Navigators was the spice trade...

    And since only the super wealthy could afford the spice for medical use...

    Why bother?

    And yes, I have read the series. It did take a very long time to realize it was totally stupid.

    1. Justicesays

      "There was no basic trade going on"

      I'm not sure what logic you are using to think this is wrong.

      How much stuff do you think we would import from Mars were we to establish a colony on it?

      Even one that was hugely successful and producing a surplus?

      The only thing that would justify space shipping would be super high value, low weight items like "spice".

      Elon Musk could afford to have stuff shipped back from Mars.

      Normal people couldn't.

      The fact the whole economic basis of space travel in dune is super rich people prolonging their lives seems reasonable to me.

      Current trends on earth mean space travel is now in the hands of wealthy individuals, not just governments.

      Sci-fi settings with "space truckers" moving around holds full of space wheat are typically the unrealistic ones.

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        "Sci-fi settings with "space truckers" moving around holds full of space wheat are typically the unrealistic ones."

        That is a complete non sequitur. It all completely depends on how costly space travel actually is - if it is "realistically" expensive (and I put that in quotes just to remind everyone that there isn't actually such a thing as practical space travel of any length as of yet) then sure, space trucks sound weird, and this kind of thing would apply to Dune. But as long as we don't have a clue how exactly is it supposed to work there's no reason it couldn't feasibly be as affordable as actual trucks are today - remember, in the age of donkey carts telling someone you can haul a few container's worth of stuff over a whole continent for less than a princely sum would have sounded decidedly crazy...

    2. 2Nick3

      CHOAM?

      "There was no reason at all it to exist. Nothing useful in the economy. There was no basic trade going on. Only spice trade."

      There is a huge amount of trade in the Dune universe. Caladan exports Pundi rice, Hagal jewels, Theilaxu was the source of a lot of medical supplies, the list goes on. Yes, Melange is the most valuable substance in the universe, but certainly not the only one.

  19. Deimos

    The book is superb

    I read the book in the year before the film was made and still think its one of the greatest sci

    fi novels ever. The film and tv series are both excellent in different ways, but I think the

    actual novel is almost unfilmable. I also put "hardwired" and "the forever war" into the same category.

    Great but almost impossible to film. Read all three of those novels asap, your life will be better for it.

    Don't read Dianetics unless you have a real need to punish yourself and if you've been that evil recently- then goodbye Mr President.

  20. Alan J. Wylie

    Chris Foss's artwork and a little known fact

    The artwork is so obviously by Chris Foss, as any avid reader of Science Fiction in the 70's will recognise.

    http://www.chrisfossart.com/ confirms it.

    Little known fact: he also did the artwork for The Joy of Sex.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Chris Foss's artwork and a little known fact

      Foss also did a book called Diaries of a Spacegirl, combining b&w line drawings of naked women on some pages, and his full colour airbrushed work (as seen on many an Asimov paperback) on others.

      I believe he also paints steam trains. Last i checked, he's still alive. Some contempory conceptual artist copied a Foss painting wholesale but made it much bigger. Weird.

  21. Sean o' bhaile na gleann

    If someone can re-make Dune (and hopefully make a better job of it), then perhaps someone else can correct the heinous wrong done by Paul Verhoeven to Heinlein's "Starship Troopers".

    I shan't hold my breath, though...

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Starship Troopes

      Awful adaptation, but an excellent film. Do you want to know more?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

        Re: Starship Troopers

        It wasn't meant as an adaptation. Verhoeven started working with a different script. Somewhere along the way they had an idea to buy rights for ST and mash some ST elements (characters, plotlines) into their story.

        As has been frequently commented - Verhoeven achieved a decent piece of satire, thus making it watchable. Whereas Heinlein's book is hopelessly serious.

    2. Toltec

      Just go straight to Number of the Beast, Friday or Glory Road if you want to film a Heinlein book. Have Spacesuit Will Travel could be a big pre-teen hit.

      Better going for Neal Asher's Gridlinked though.

      There is an independant author called Peter Cawdron that has written some novels that would make good real SF films too. Xenophobia, Feedback and Mars Endeavour for example.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Podkayne of Mars could be a big hit with slightly older teens as well. It's a little bit less soppy than Have Spacesuit.. and in the final few scenes are quite dark, especially if they include the original ending.

  22. MJI Silver badge

    Dune film

    Seen it, still no idea what it was about.

    I think Forever War could be filmable, book was very good.

    As to Starship Troopers, I really enjoyed the film, but I have not yet read the book.

    But so many books out there to try, imagine Eon or Eternity on the big sscreen

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dune film

      A Starship Troopers remake is overdue - just do the first couple of chapters and leave out the moralising.

      A very small squad of very heavily armoured mariness on the bounce laying waste to a planet after being dropped from a ship. The bugs (ie Russians) are fairly numerous and but less aggressive. The book mentions them being roughly equal to a human in combat, but there are many more of them. Only the soldier bugs fight, so learn to tell them apart from the workers.

      The book has at least one other alien race - the skinnies.

      When is Old Man's War coming out?

      1. King Jack
        Alien

        Re: Starship Troopers

        There is a CG animated show called Roughnecks with 7 chapters lasting abut 90mins each. It is Starship Troopers done right. It is a bit dated now but still worth a look. Ricoooo...

      2. Number6

        Re: Dune film

        +1 for Old Man's War

  23. WibbleMe

    Well Patrick Steward and Sting are still around so hopefully they will get an invite

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Please, no more 'easter eggs' for geeks... Such things scratch at the forth wall.

    2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      I'd like to see Sir Patrick as Shaddam IV.

      1. PhilBuk

        Funny, that casting came to my mind too.

        Phil.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spoilers much?

    I've both seen Arrival and read Dune, but if I hadn't I'd be somewhat miffed at an article that starts with a spoiler for a completely unrelated film, and ends by giving a plot summary of the in-production film the whole article is about

    1. Kiwi Silver badge

      Re: Spoilers much?

      I've both seen Arrival and read Dune, but if I hadn't I'd be somewhat miffed at an article that starts with a spoiler for a completely unrelated film, and ends by giving a plot summary of the in-production film the whole article is about

      I happened to start watching Arrival moments before reading the article. The comments helped make Arrival a much more interesting and understandable work (haven't read the book(s) it was based on).

      Have read one of the Dune books, one of Brian's ones. Loved the game and found the film OK. Still play the game every few years.

      Main point is I am grateful for the comments and spoilers - didn't actually spoil Arrival for me, though that said I could kill if someone was to ruin a film I wanted to enjoy.

  25. kmac499

    But what about..

    Asimovs Foundation series. Just as big a scope as Star Wars, as many episodes as LOTR. Some great characters in Hari Seldon and Hober Mallow. With loads of spacey stuff for the CGI wizards to play with.

    (FWIW I think TV Dune better than Film Dune)

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: But what about..

      I think the Caves of Steel would be more fun as film than the later Foundation series. The sequel to the Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun, featured a cover by Chris Foss that was more Arakis than Solaris. Of course, The Naked Sun wouldn't feature much more than a beautiful woman on a lovely planet... a challange for any cinematographer for sure.

  26. ScissorHands
    Megaphone

    I'm only interested in seeing Jodorowsky's version

    Too bad he's set for 3 more autobiographical movies. At one each two years, we'll never make it alive.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: I'm only interested in seeing Jodorowsky's version

      Also, his choice of actor for the role of Emperor is long dead.

  27. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Prediction: suck.

    Oh, it'll start put well, but before the quarter is out there will be the Money Men insisting on more of that suff they had in Avatar and there will go the shooting match.

    Jodorowsky's version would also have been a confusing mish-mash of religeous piety and deus ex machina if the recent documentary is any indication. He went on record explicitly saying he was not going to be filming the book, but his own story inspired etc etc blither drool.

    I dunno why the film-makers always emphasize the religeon either. They entirely omit to mention in any of the exsisting versions that the whole Fremen Prophecy was a scam planted possibly centuries before by the Bene Gesserit as a lifejacket for stranded sisters.

    And if Herbert junior is involved the seal of doom is already attached. He managed to take an awesome series of books and naff them up good and proper, destroying the sense of the weight of centuries in the elements of the saga and filling the gaps left with eighties/nineties speech rhythm and mannerisms, and brought to bear a vision that stretched only about three generations.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      >Jodorowsky's version would also have been a confusing mish-mash of religeous piety and deus ex machina if the recent documentary is any indication.

      And yet the talent he assembled was damned good. Foss, Giger, Bannon, Mobius, Pink Floyd, Dali...

  28. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    SciFi channel did some very good adaptations of the first few books. Very faithful to the original stories.

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Very faithful Sci Fi Channel version

      Oh yeah?

      Where are the mentats then? Absolutely central to the story and judged superfluous in the SciFi Channel minds. And Kull Wahad! Those bloody hats!

  29. Paul Westerman
    Thumb Up

    And how can this be?

    For he is the Kwisatz Haderach!

  30. myarse

    I loved the film but what an intro

    Probably my favorite intro of any film I've seen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6H5jeLxUy-0

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: I loved the film but what an intro

      Oh fank thuck - I thought you were going to link to the animated intro that some TV broadcasts of Dune had!

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: I loved the film but what an intro 4 Dave 126

        That is the verson Lynch had his name pulled from. Basically an attempted Director's Cut using unfilmed scenes replaced with color drawings based on the story boards and footage lacking the required post-production to make work properly - such as in the Big Battle Scene where guns and Weirding Modules recoil and hit their targets but lack any "Zap" and "Flash" FX.

        For all its faults I'm fond of the Lynch movie. It had many good ideas buried in amongst the naffery. As did. The Sci Fi Channel's take on it.

        Funny that each fell over the same stupid mistake - burning valuable footage time on showing the space travel in graphic detail. In the story it is elided entirely, as the point is not the spectacle but the understanding of how the Spacing Guild's monopoly works in terms of resources and remoteness of same.

  31. P.B. Lecavalier
    Stop

    Think Complex != Big Screen

    To make a non-brainless and non-disappointing movie out of Dune is like making one out of K.S. Robinson's Red Mars, that is to say highly unlikely. Both books are complex in nature, where the plot is almost secondary to exploring the underlying narrative universe, interspersed with various essays from the authors.

    I have come to believe that such works cannot be satisfactorily rendered by movies, period. Further, keep in mind that the vast majority of movies that came out in the last several years were targeted to teenagers and dimwit adults (and abundantly, if not exclusively featuring such like-minded characters). All this point to a massively dumbed down production. There could be some hope in terms of TV series (did not see the miniseries), as you can afford the luxury of character and plot development (that could explain why people with a brain moved away from the big screen market lately).

    If you want to make a movie, why not create something **NEW**, tailored to be a movie?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Think Complex != Big Screen

      New? From the so-called "entertainment" industry? It'll be a cold day ...

  32. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Happy

    Speaking of Trump administration similarities...

    "We're going to have these worms--the best worms. They are going yuuugge. I mean enourmous. Nobody breeds worms like we do. People are talking about how great these worms are."

    More seriously A) I don't think you can do a decent job of even the first Dune book in one movie and B) If you try, please deliver a better characterization of Baron Harkonnen than in the David Lynch movie.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Speaking of Trump administration similarities...

      I'm just waiting for the Mexicans to use atomics against the shield wall...

  33. bin

    Space Opera at its finest

    What I've always hoped for would be Doc EE Smith's Lensman series - filmed in true retro-tech style as it was set and described in the 30's, Giant machines where now there would be a couple of micro-chips, goodies and baddies and the plucky hero always wins whilst uniting the galaxy with his species inclusive band of chums!!!

    The Skylark series would be another good romp as well - I'm sick of all the modern gritty moralising realism, cinema should be fun - but then I enjoy panto so I'm probably in a minority...

    1. David Roberts Silver badge

      Re: Space Opera at its finest

      Tricky ending to the Lensman series, though.

      The specially bred replacement for the human race are lonely; they will eventually realise that incest is the only answer to their problems.

      Justifying breaking the incest taboo seems to be a ScFi theme for some (*cough* Heinlein *cough*).

      Granted that the cultural taboos are based around the problems brought on by inbreeding which should not be an issue for the genetically perfect.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: Space Opera at its finest

        How about the Family d'Alembert novels? Gina Carano would make a great Yvette.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Space Opera at its finest

          Gina Carano? Not exactly what I would call "an hourglass-and-a-half figure" ;-)

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Space Opera at its finest

      The only time I have ever read about a Diesel powered space ship

  34. Brew

    Suck? What are you talking about the original movie was a classic.

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