‘Dune’: Legendary Lands Film and TV Rights to Frank Herbert’s Sci-Fi Classic

     November 21, 2016


Legendary has gone and done the damn difficult, and acquired the rights to Frank Herbert‘s venerated science fiction classic Dune. The geek-centric movie studio behind blockbuster spectacles like Pacific Rim, Godzilla and Warcraft has reached an agreement with the Frank Herbert estate for the film and television motion picture rights to beloved novel, which has earned a reputation as one of the most sought after and difficult-to-acquire sci-fi properties of all time.

While no specific project is on the docket just yet, any future projects will be produced by Thomas TullMary Parent, and Cale Boyter, with the Herbert estate heads Brian HerbertByron Merritt, and Kim Herbert serving as executive producers.


Image via Hodder & Stoughton

For the unfamiliar, here’s the Dune synopsis via the press release:

Set in the distant future, Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides whose family accepts control of the desert planet Arrakis. As the only producer of a highly valuable resource, control of Arrakis is highly contested among the noble families. After Paul and his family are betrayed, the story explores themes of politics, religion, and man’s relationship to nature as Paul leads a rebellion to restore his family’s control of Arrakis.

The 1965 sci-fi epic, which is the first in a long-running series, took home a Hugo Award (which it tied for with Roger Zelazny’s This Immortal) and the inaugural Nebula Award for Best Novel, and has gone on to become one of the best-selling science fiction novels of all time with more than 12 million copies sold. Alejandro Jodorowsky famously attempted to adapt the property in the mid-70s, and that doomed project has been chronicled in the documentary Jodorowsky’s DuneDavid Lynch adapted the novel in 1984 with the Kyle MacLachlan-led film of the same name, which has gone on to cult status, but was received at the time as a critical and commercial failure, grossing only $30.9 million for its $45 million budget. Dune also received an Emmy-winning SyFy miniseries back in 2000 from John Harrison.

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