There’s a rumor floating around the intarwubs that Paramount is thinking about taking another stab at adapting Frank Herbert’s seminal sci-fi novel Dune. Here’s why I think this is an awesome idea:
1) It’s a fantastic book. Really. One of a handful of unqualified sci-fi masterpieces. And if you think it’s all about Sting (pictured) in awkward codpieces and sand wedged in uncomfortable places, peep this quote, attributed to Herbert: “I had this theory that superheroes were disastrous for humans, that even if you postulated an infallible hero, the things this hero set in motion fell eventually into the hands of fallible mortals. What better way to destroy a civilization, society or a race than to set people into the wild oscillations which follow their turning over their critical judgment and decision-making faculties to a superhero?”
If that’s not perfectly in sync with our current Heroes/comic-book pop-culture obsessions, I don’t know what is.
2) Neither of the previous adaptations have lived up to the book’s promise, not David Lynch’s 1984 film (with Kyle MacLachlan as the superhero in question) nor the Sci-Fi Channel’s 2000 miniseries. (I have a weird fondness for the Lynch. It doesn’t make sense, but it absolutely feels like we’re peering into an alien world, and you can’t say that for most movie science fiction.) This material ripe for reinvention.
Good idea or bad idea? What other classic sci-fi texts would you love to see on the big screen? Asimov’s Foundation saga? Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land? (Personally, I vote for Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game.)