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Berg off Dune?

PeterBerg.jpgThere's a rumour going round just now that the planned new adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune by Peter Berg has hit a roadblock, and that roadblock is the loss of Peter Berg from the project, the man who was driving it and set to direct it.

Now I do warn you, this is a rumour from a blog source and there's no other confirmation, personally I'm struggling to believe it as it would be pouring out of the trades right now if it were true.

Well we can wait a few days and see, for if this is the news then it's pretty big for the proposed Dune adaptation because the proposed names are definitely going to be delivering something a few hundred miles away from Peter Berg's Dune.

According to Pajiba through Cinema Blend, Peter Berg is off the project for some unknown reason, a reason which could be connected to the fact the rumour also suggests that Berg was meeting with Robert Pattinson for the lead of Dune.

Now I don't know about you, but the suggestion of the male lead of the Twilight series taking over the lead of a new Dune that is supposed to be closer to the original stories than the David Lynch version of Dune, sees a little stretched to me.

I'm not saying Pattinson is a bad actor, just that I don't think he's had enough experience to step into a performance and film like this. Maybe if it was a much cheaper and lighter version then it might work, and that leads me onto the rumour of who the two directors are who are being considered.

Neil Marshall is the first. Now while I think he has delivered some good horror films with interesting characters, strong dialogue and bags of tension, however the complexities of Dune? We saw what happened with Doomsday (Filmstalker review).

So the other choice? Well he really is a newcomer, Neill Blompkamp, with only one film under his belt and a huge brush off with the Halo film, I don't see him as the ideal option. He's good, but does he have the expertise to pull off a film this big?

No offence to either of these directors, but I just don't see either of them being in the position to create a better Dune than David Lynch. What do you think? It just feels that this project was aiming so high and suddenly we're being told to believe it isn't?

The rumour states that the studio wants Blomkamp over Marshall, and it states that it's because they are scared about handing over a US$175 million project...

"...to a somewhat unknown director whose only hit was the modestly successful The Descent."

Wow, is that what Neil Marshall is with Dog Soldiers, The Descent (Filmstalker review), Doomsday and now Centurion, Drive, and possibly Sacrilege and Burst 3D is known for?

Well with Blomkamp having just delivered District 9 (Filmstalker review) we're expected to believe that the studio think Marshall is the long shot?

The story over at Pajiba also states that it's fortunate that the studio are looking at...

...directors who could do the Herbert source material justice, and God knows, it'd be hard to mess this thing up worse than Lynch did.

Well the Lynch version wasn't awful, I mean put me in charge of it and I'm sure I could mess it up more, indeed there's a ton of directors who could do worse, especially since they might not be able to handle projects of that scale and budget.

It's a stretch to say that Blomkamp could leap straight in there, he's good but could he really take such a big project straight away? Marshall I think could, but does he have the proven width to do it? His successful films have been similarly themed horrors.

I think the rumours here are just that, and that Berg may well still be on the project, or at the worst case he's off and they're looking for someone else and these are the two rumoured names for the moment.

I don't know. How does this feel to you? Truth or rumour? Are Marshall and Blomkamp the saviours where Berg failed?



If it's true it puts the production in an even bigger hole than it was in. Harrison had the right idea, you divide the story up. Yes it's far more money but you can make a profit if you're willing to take the pains and do it right. If you can't do that then make a prequel to the "DUNE" saga.


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