Morel ditches Berg's Dune
Pierre Morel has been talking about the new version of Dune that he picked up after Peter Berg left the project, and he's revealed that they are starting again, from scratch, and that means leaving behind the script that Peter Berg had ready to film and making his own.
When I heard this at first I wasn't positive, Morel has District 13 (Filmstalker review), Taken (Filmstalker review), and From Paris with Love to his name, films with fast pace and high action to their name, with Taken starting to really delve into the thriller area more than the action, but still, none of this seemed like Dune.
However, reading his comments today has made me reconsider that a little, and it sounds like he has a good strong base for the film.
The big surprise was that he's totally dropping the script that Peter Berg was going to be filming from Joshua Zetumer, the writer who has also been attached to the next Jason Bourne film, although we're likely to see Dune first at this rate.
That script doesn't seem to have been to Pierre Morel's liking:
"We're starting from scratch…Peter had an approach which was not mine at all, and we're starting over again. I don't think we're going to keep any elements of the Peter Berg script."
Wow, not even a single element? That really does sound like they are taking a completely different direction on the film, however speaking to IGN through MTV he does reveal that we should get word sometime next week of an official deal and perhaps then we'll hear of the screenwriter for the project. That name should give us more of an idea of the direction of Morel's version of Dune.
Mind you, he's given us a little feel of that direction already with what he has been saying on the project:
"Everybody refers to both the book and to David Lynch's film, which was in a way a monument to the '80s…in a way it kind of marked and printed an image on Dune. Everybody now who reads Dune reads it with David Lynch's images in mind. So we have to get away from that. It's not a remake of David Lynch's movie. We're doing a re-reading, a brand new approach on the book, a very true approach to the book, the original material. So we will have to deal with trying to erase the image that David Lynch did so we can propose our image"
To be fair I think Peter Berg had much the same idea and wanted to walk away from that version and return to Frank Herbert's original novel, and that's something you'd expect a film-maker on the project to say, after all if they were to say anything different I think fans would be up in arms.
He talks about the problems of how to address the long monologues and bring them to life, but so far there's no clear answer, I presume a lot of that will depend on the adapted script:
"Everything that is in Paul's head, we'll have to show it on screen and find the right approach to make it visually interesting. But I think the technology we have now allows us much more than we could do before, so we'll see"
So we're looking at a lot of CG to bring to life the world and the thoughts of the characters, and nowadays that brings about the 3D question, something that Morel is happy to talk about. He says that he would love to do it in 3D, as he loved what Avatar (Filmstalker review) did, and hints at the fact that the scope is so huge (as huge as Avatar was) that it seems to call out to the same style of 3D implementation.
Still it's early days, he's not sure if he will actually get the chance to do it in 3D, and that decision is still to be made. If he had the choice though, he's clear he'd say yes.
So if it worked it would be an Avatar 3D type Dune, with extensive CG to bring to life the world and the story.
I'm still not convinced that Morel will give us a huge budget spectacular Dune film or a huge budget spectacular action film, but either way the outcome is good isn't it? As long as it's a spectacular film?