Here’s some spicy news for fans of Frank Herbert‘s Dune saga: Not only is the acclaimed sci-fi story getting a cinematic reboot directed by the Oscar-nominated Denis Villeneuve (Arrival), it now boasts an Oscar-winning screenwriter as the pen behind the script. Eric Roth, who won an Oscar for Forrest Gump but also wrote The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Munich, will be tackling the notoriously difficult adaptation.
As Variety reports, Roth is writing the script for Villeneuve and Legendary; the studio locked up both film and TV rights in a deal with the Herbert estate late last year. Producers include Mary Parent and Cale Boyter, with Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt, and Kim Herbert serving as executive producers.
In a recent chat with Villeneuve for Arrival, the talk eventually turned to Dune. At the time, nothing had been written, though the director confirmed that it will be his next film. Here’s what he had to say:
It’s a book that I read when I was 13 years old. Since then, I’m dreaming … The books were with me since then, you know? I was very excited when I learned that David Lynch was doing an adaptation. I felt his adaptation had some strength in production design and his directing ideas were fantastic, but it’s not the “Dune” I was dreaming myself. I have my own vision about it, but nothing is written yet. We’re literally at ground-zero. We’ll start work on it in a couple of weeks. That’s going to be the biggest adventure of my life as a filmmaker and it’s my oldest dream.
Let’s hope that Roth’s writing and Villeneuve’s dream vision for the story gel well together. For the uninitiated, Dune tells the tale of the Atreides Family, which controls the desert planet Arrakis and its valuable spice mines, but their rule is contested by competing noble families. A political story of betrayal, rebellion, and redemption, Dune looks to be a signature film in Villeneuve’s already stellar career. I just can’t wait to see the sandworms.