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#1 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 06:14 AM

I'm probably late with the news, but apparently Peter Berg is directing a new interpretation of Dune.

I'm one of the people who sees flawed genius buried in the Lynch version of 1984, an opinion which will make you a laughing stock or someone's new best friend in approximately equal measure, and I found the Sci Fi miniseries a bit cheap-looking - I have no idea how cheap-looking translites are cheaper than just going to the desert, but either way it looked shoestrung, and some of the design choices were really questionable.

Therefore, and uncharacteristically, I am prepared to allow that there may be a case for a remake, both because I enormously enjoyed the novel (the prequels and sequels leave much to be desired, sadly) and because the oil-war allegory inherent to the plot has rarely been more relevant. If done, it needs to be done on a scale simplar to Lord of the Rings, and I suspect it won't be because science fiction so rarely commands the respect that fantasy considers its due. And about the only person I'd trust with it is - well - not Peter Berg.

Probably the problem I have here is that I'd so much enjoy seeing it done well that I'm holding out too much hope for something which is almost inevitably going to turn the Herbert novel into a popcorn-selling, grubby, sci fi action movie (although to be fair there's much opportunity for action). Anyone approaching this needs to understand that the beauty of the Lynch was its unconventionality, but that unconventionality probably isn't saleable enough to make it to the screen intact. Dune needs to be wierd, or it just won't feel like the year twenty thousand and something.

And they need to recognise that Lynch got the stillsuits exactly right. This is very important.

P
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#2 David Auner aac

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 06:19 AM

I'm probably late with the news, but apparently Peter Berg is directing a new interpretation of Dune.

snipped

And they need to recognise that Lynch got the stillsuits exactly right. This is very important.


Hi Phil,
I fully agree with you. Having read the series cover to cover I think Lynch's version is closed to the story. They got the feel quite right and of course the stillsuits. The ships too IMO. And I think it was cast pretty well, I really dig Sting's part :D

Before LOTR was done I always felt that only the Lynch Dune ever came close to capturing a world so vast in a way I could accept as having read the book before seeing the film.

Cheers, Dave
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#3 A. Whitehouse

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 06:54 AM

Hi Phil,
I'm a big fan of the book and Lynch film as well (game too, even though I'm sure no one remembers that...). I didn't like the first mini series at all. It felt all too made for tv and I thought the casting was awful but you may enjoy the second miniseries which roles a couple of the sequel books into itself and I thought was much better than the first.
Unfortunately I predict an awful CG hodge podge is in the works, shot far from any sand dune inside a green screen studio near you.
Fingers crossed but I wont hold my breath.
Sasha
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 07:26 AM

Oh but I do:
Posted Image

Walk without rhythm...
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#5 Tim Partridge

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 07:46 AM

I don't know the books at all but certainly as far as visuals go you cannot beat the design work (and execution) of the Lynch film. Mr. Francis' beautiful Lightflex tinted photography, Mr. Master's gigantic, awe-inspiring sets, evocative Whitlock matte art, Mr. Smithies brilliant (largely in camera) miniature work and Mr. Rambaldi's living/breathing creatures. Even the optical compositing is impressive in it's scale and ambition, even if it does not always suceed. Plus, DUNE had a cast to die for, with real actors, and watching the likes of Jessica Alba or whoever they get for the new one isn't going to come close to seeing the likes of Francessca Annis and Max Von Sydow (or even Sting) on the big screen.

As with every current movie today, I am sure the new DUNE will have a wall to wall cast of twenty somethings and be filmed in front of a greenscreen on long lenses and wobbly cam, with Hans Zimmer or someone just as "delightful" doing the music.

This is a great site by the way:
http://www.duneinfo....designthumb.asp
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#6 David Auner aac

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 08:23 AM

Hi Phil,
I'm a big fan of the book and Lynch film as well (game too, even though I'm sure no one remembers that...).


Which game? Dune 2? Or the original which was a strange kind of RPG/adventure blend I enjoyed a lot.

Cheers, Dave
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#7 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 08:53 AM

As with every current movie today, I am sure the new DUNE will have a wall to wall cast of twenty somethings and be filmed in front of a greenscreen on long lenses and wobbly cam, with Hans Zimmer or someone just as "delightful" doing the music.


I agree with that. This project would take a very visionay crew and cast to rival the work of Lynch. And I don't see the talent or the commitment from financiers for that at the moment - esp. with what is happening with "Battlestar Galactica" or the new "Star Trek" film (those teaser aesthetics remind me of "Triumph of the Will"...), let alone what Lucas did and might still do to "Star Wars" (oh, I am such a pussy traditionalist who records "Next Generation" Season 5+ re-runs on BBC 2, thinking back of the liberal 1990s... ah well :D )

Lynch already had to work under restricted conditions, and De Laurentiis is rather know as someone giving talent great leaway. In today's framework, I envision "New Dune" to be something that will worryingly resemble "The Chronicles of Riddick", and hence be disappointing in too many ways.
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#8 Sam Wells

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 09:15 AM

I don't know the books at all but certainly as far as visuals go you cannot beat the design work (and execution) of the Lynch film. Mr. Francis' beautiful Lightflex tinted photography, Mr. Master's gigantic, awe-inspiring sets, evocative Whitlock matte art, Mr. Smithies brilliant (largely in camera) miniature work and Mr. Rambaldi's living/breathing creatures. Even the optical compositing is impressive in it's scale and ambition, even if it does not always suceed.


I would add Alan Splet's - and Ann Kroeber's - amazing sound design to these superlatives.

What _I'd_ like to see, well hear is a DVD edition of Dune where all there work doesn't get buried under the score in the mix.....

-Sam
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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 10:00 AM

> I envision "New Dune" to be something that will worryingly resemble "The Chronicles
> of Riddick"

Oh, God, that's a faintly terrifying thought. It's going to take me all day to get that image out of my head. Thanks a lot.

Has anyone seen the HD-DVD? Is it a decent transfer and sound mix? I have two DVDs, both of which are intensely feeble in both departments.

Phil
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#10 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 10:11 AM

> I envision "New Dune" to be something that will worryingly resemble "The Chronicles
> of Riddick"

Oh, God, that's a faintly terrifying thought. It's going to take me all day to get that image out of my head. Thanks a lot.



Well, I thought that to celebrate your 5400th post, it should better be accompanied by a challenging visualisation that will eventually become reality. Have a nice British Sunday ;) .
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#11 Paul Bruening

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 10:14 AM

My wife and I still make Dune references whenever we can squeeze one in. "Dune. Dessert planet. Never one drop of pudding on Arrakis."
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#12 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 10:24 AM

I was intensely disappointed in the Lynch "reinterpretation" of the incredible DUNE story. Most fans of the book agree. Almost nothing was done correctly, including the stillsuits. The production design was bad, the casting was wrong, and they altered the story unnecessarily. Just horrid from beginning to end.

The recent miniseries was indeed much much closer to telling the story, but as pointed out, it suffered from lack of budget. While something as epicly sweeping as DUNE requires a massive budget, it is also far too complicated to squeeze into a single two-hour feature format. The only way to really do DUNE right is to give it a feature budget but in multiple episodes, like a long miniseries or episodes like Star Wars. It's just too big for anything less. And that's just book one!

The rest of the series, including the newer prequels and the recently released post-quels are definitely on-par with Frank Herbert's originals and while it would be great to see the entire epic on a big screen one day, the reality is that it will never happen. Audiences don't have the patience to sit down and read books like this much less stick with an incredibly long storyline. Feature financiers would never commit to such a thing and no television network would be able to invest enough money to make the story live up to its potential.

Some books just need to stay books and let the readers create their own movies in their minds. Compromising the intent for the sake of making a few bucks isn't worth it.
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#13 Tim Partridge

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 12:38 PM

> I envision "New Dune" to be something that will worryingly resemble "The Chronicles
> of Riddick"

Oh, God, that's a faintly terrifying thought. It's going to take me all day to get that image out of my head. Thanks a lot.



Nothing to do with your own experiences here, but the very thought of that new DUNE immediately conjuered up images of what is seen in that MUTANT CHRONICLES trailer. Not being a fan of the source material, maybe that will do the job more than Lynch's epic vision?
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#14 Keith Walters

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 06:23 PM

I'm probably late with the news, but apparently Peter Berg is directing a new interpretation of Dune.

I'm one of the people who sees flawed genius buried in the Lynch version of 1984, an opinion which will make you a laughing stock or someone's new best friend in approximately equal measure, and I found the Sci Fi miniseries a bit cheap-looking - I have no idea how cheap-looking translites are cheaper than just going to the desert, but either way it looked shoestrung, and some of the design choices were really questionable.

Therefore, and uncharacteristically, I am prepared to allow that there may be a case for a remake, both because I enormously enjoyed the novel (the prequels and sequels leave much to be desired, sadly) and because the oil-war allegory inherent to the plot has rarely been more relevant. If done, it needs to be done on a scale simplar to Lord of the Rings, and I suspect it won't be because science fiction so rarely commands the respect that fantasy considers its due. And about the only person I'd trust with it is - well - not Peter Berg.

Probably the problem I have here is that I'd so much enjoy seeing it done well that I'm holding out too much hope for something which is almost inevitably going to turn the Herbert novel into a popcorn-selling, grubby, sci fi action movie (although to be fair there's much opportunity for action). Anyone approaching this needs to understand that the beauty of the Lynch was its unconventionality, but that unconventionality probably isn't saleable enough to make it to the screen intact. Dune needs to be wierd, or it just won't feel like the year twenty thousand and something.

And they need to recognise that Lynch got the stillsuits exactly right. This is very important.

P

I seem to remember reading somewhere that they originally had enough footage to make a 5-hour (or thereabouts) film, and the final product suffered terribly from the pruning necessary to get to a watchable length.

If that is the case, I'm surprised there has not been some sort of multi-DVD "Director's cut" produced.

Edited by Keith Walters, 06 March 2008 - 06:24 PM.

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#15 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 06:54 PM

Apparently Lynch won't, and in any case, there's only about twenty minutes missing. Much of the cut material is on Youtube anyway...

I'd have thought it would definitely stand a twenty-er-somethinth anniversary sprucing up, though - you could fix all the iffy FX.

P
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#16 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 07:25 PM

Paint can be thrown on a turd, but it's still a turd. :blink:

The original Lynch theatrical release was a major letdown to anyone who had read the books. I still remember one of the reviews that began with the words, "Frank Herbert is easy to please" as Frank was just happy that somebody had finally gotten some version of the movie on screen. That the film had very little do with the actual story (where exactly did those voice things come from and why?) had little to do with Herbert's reaction.

Then came the tv release which added footage and a "narration" with the intention of trying to explain the story to everyone who was confused in the theater. Ever the optimist, I decided to give this new version a try just in case I was being unnecessarily harsh the first time. The warning was there for all to see in that Lynch had his name removed and I indeed managed to watch about twenty minutes worth of that abomination (Dune reference!) before I decided I had had enough. The Lynch version was a complete failure from beginning to end.

On occasion, I come across a few people who inexplicably enjoy(ed) that film. I still try to find any redeeming qualities in the movie itself much less any way to reconcile it with the amazing literature that "inspired" it.

Anyone truly serious about creating a filmic version of the story would know immediately that it simply cannot be done correctly within the parameters of a theatrical feature release and would stop themselves and others from making the Lynchian mistake. The best anyone could do would be to write a ROOTS sized epic with a Lord of the Rings budget to match.
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#17 Paul Bruening

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 07:35 PM

Hello Brian,

Sure. The movie stunk compare to the book. But, here's the thing: enough of the information from the book made it into the movie to psychologically impact viewers. It's the ideas that make Dune kick our butts... even the stinker-Lynch version.
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#18 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 09:22 PM

Hello Brian,

Sure. The movie stunk compare to the book. But, here's the thing: enough of the information from the book made it into the movie to psychologically impact viewers. It's the ideas that make Dune kick our butts... even the stinker-Lynch version.


Hmm. The problem is that the movie didn't only stink compared to the book, but it stunk well enough on it's own. It's the same as the Star Wars Prequels. Not only were they disingenuous to the established continuity of the original trilogy, but they were inherently bad films on their own. The Lynch Dune merely used the Dune characters and a scant version of the events, but it was anything but the Dune that created the fans of the literary version in the first place. The voice "thingie" was ... well, what WAS that anyway and where the hell did it come from? The stillsuits weren't described as anything like the ones in the movie. Baron Harkonnen didn't fly around like a some kind of festival balloon that a kid mistakenly let go. Anyone who actually read the books would know that that Lynch "Dune" was nothing other than ridiculous on every level. It certainly can be its own movie, but it shouldn't try to capitalize on the Dune name or reputation in any way.

And yes, the movie did indeed psychologically impact viewers... but probably not in the positive way that was hoped for. Put it this way... I was embarrassed for everyone involved.
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#19 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 09:36 PM

I wasn't even able to sit through the prologue in the beginning of the Lynch version, which has prevented me from seeing it all this time.

I tried watching a few minutes of the mini-series, but found that intolerable as well.
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