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Mark Antony

Denis Villenueve to direct Dune

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6 hours ago, Ran said:

I have no problem with his visual aesthetics -- the man can make jaw-dropping beautiful films -- but I'm very concerned about his instincts when it comes to storytelling, and his taking the notoriously difficult Dune as the first project he's lead writer on feels like it's tempting fate.

Well the story is there for him to adapt, and not make up something new, which was what BR2049 was. I think we all agree that 2 movies is required to do the novel justice, so I'm confident he'll be able to tell the story in its full, and use his skills for the visual to hit all the right notes.

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19 hours ago, Heartofice said:

 

I cant think of anyone who combines mainstream and arty so well. There are plenty of directors out there who create amazing looking movies but they struggle to tell a coherent story.. I’m thinking of Del Toro or Gilliam. I think Villenuve is above them

Off the top of my head I'd say "Christopher Nolan" That guy is a Hollywood dream in the sense you give him a bigger budget and he delivers a bigger box offices.

A lot more thinking leads to the following;

JJ Abrams to a much lesser extent achieves this with his films and arguably TFA may have succeeded without him but both star wars and trek had less successful films after his departure.

Del Toro and Gilliam are still gambles as both can have projects that flop. Del Toro's hit:miss ratio isn't one that makes backing him a guaranteed success.

Tarantino is also a very bankable creator but I'm not sure he deals in mega budget films (they all look great and cost a bit but it's only really the westerns that go outside a modern era comfort zone). I'd be interested to see how he'd handle star trek if that project ever goes forward. I'd say the same thing with scorcese who has a strong track record and makes beautiful looking films but doesn't dabble in SFF which is what we're talking about regarding Dune. This criteria is why i'm crossing off Damien Chazelle although he's edging towards been trusted with big budgets and delivering consistently. First man is almost Sci-Fi and if he could make SF as "real" as he did the space program it'd be very interesting. 

Alejandro Inarittu is probably the "one to watch" in terms of trajectory and skill although he does seem to make films at his own pace and gets distracted by technology which in many ways makes him similar to the grandfather of big budgets and returnability - James Cameron. Hollywood must weep that they can't get him to make more than a film every decade but they live it when he does.

The weird thing is that even though all of the above directors are better choices for getting a financially successful "Dune" film - i think i'd still go for villeneuve over any of them. With the possible exception if Inarittu but weirdly i think that would be a much bigger gamble.

Ryan Coogler, russo brothers I'd need to see some more outside the marvel comfort zone.

 

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Err, Alfonso Cuarón? I'd be much more excited if it were Cuarón over Villeneuve.

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2 hours ago, Ran said:

Err, Alfonso Cuarón? I'd be much more excited if it were Cuarón over Villeneuve.

I'd love to see him return to SF and big budget films. I was just wondering if he's now more interested in personal films like "Roma" although it could well be that was a passion project for him and he'll consider SF/blockbusters in the future. Children of men is still one of my favourite films of the last 20 years so I'd have a lot of faith in him doing Dune - or anything for that matter.

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Definitely Cuaron is another director i’d be happy to see on projects like this, you can see what he brings to something like a Harry Potter movie that elevates it above a standard kids movie. 

Nolan I have kind of forgotten about for a while , he has his issues too though.

Abrams I tend think of as a bit of a hack really , I’m not a fan of the Star Trek movies at all, and I think he gets by on flashy visuals and workmanlike storytelling.

However I still reckon Villeneuve is at the top of his game and has an almost flawless list of movies , I’m super hyped he is on Dune 

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5 hours ago, red snow said:

Off the top of my head I'd say "Christopher Nolan" That guy is a Hollywood dream in the sense you give him a bigger budget and he delivers a bigger box offices. 


Christopher Nolan is great when he's focused but he's had some moments where he's lost control of his story.


Del Toro should do Revelation Space. I know he's not really shown an inclination to outright SF but its creepy elements and the general atmosphere seem like they'd be right up his alley.

 

Abrams doesn't belong in this conversation at all. He's a pure spectacle director but even on that metric he's a bit better than Zack Snyder but a lot worse than Matthew Vaughn and I think he's been outpaced by people like Justin Lin and James Wan.


I think Duncan Jones might be a guy who can be in these conversations in the future but needs to find a comfort zone when making blockbusters, as he clearly failed with Warcraft (where he goes with Rogue Trooper will be interesting). Similarly Gareth Edwards- Godzilla was awkward, Rogue One was better but still a bit emotionally mechanical- but he's apparently taken time off from blockbusters, quitting Godzilla, to do smaller stuff, for a while, which is probably a good idea.

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3 hours ago, polishgenius said:


Christopher Nolan is great when he's focused but he's had some moments where he's lost control of his story.


Del Toro should do Revelation Space. I know he's not really shown an inclination to outright SF but its creepy elements and the general atmosphere seem like they'd be right up his alley.

 

Abrams doesn't belong in this conversation at all. He's a pure spectacle director but even on that metric he's a bit better than Zack Snyder but a lot worse than Matthew Vaughn and I think he's been outpaced by people like Justin Lin and James Wan.


I think Duncan Jones might be a guy who can be in these conversations in the future but needs to find a comfort zone when making blockbusters, as he clearly failed with Warcraft (where he goes with Rogue Trooper will be interesting). Similarly Gareth Edwards- Godzilla was awkward, Rogue One was better but still a bit emotionally mechanical- but he's apparently taken time off from blockbusters, quitting Godzilla, to do smaller stuff, for a while, which is probably a good idea.

Don't get me wrong i wouldn't want Abrams anywhere near Dune and i agree with your concerns about some of the ones I've mentioned but my point was mostly regarding how those directors are bankable - especially Nolan who doesn't need a superhero or star wars for a big box office.

I hope jones and Edwards bounce back same with the guy who directed fant4stic.

Good shout with Justin lin and james wan being Rising stars.

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I actually don't think adapting Dune is as hard as it's made out to be. The problem with the book is that it's 500 pages long, which is an awkward length: too long to be a single movie (as Lynch discovered), too short to be an ongoing TV show (I think Dune's sequels are borderline unfilmable, only the original book would translate to the screen well). The mini-series approach was promising, but lacked the budget to make it work. Two movies to cover the book with a reasonable budget should get it done reasonably well.

Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 were a monstrous, huge one-two punch of intelligent, engrossing and visually sumptuous SF movies which also had a bit of heart to them, which sets Villeneuve apart from other visually intelligent directors who sometimes had problems getting to the emotion of the story (Kubrick, sometimes Nolan when he mistakes schmaltz for emotion). Was BR2049 too long? I never really felt it when watching it. Each sequence of the movie feels just right and logical.

 

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While ridley scott can opine on why Villeneuve's film failed I'm releived Scott was only a producer. His recent track record highlights how bad the sequel could have been under his direction. Look at scott vs villeneuve in terms of their last several films. I know which one I'd rather have tackling Dune as well.

As a producer who was the primer motivator on getting the movie made, Scott's opinion is important but also suspect: he was in full damage control mode for the investors and studio, so his statements can be seen as a bit of arse-covering on his own behalf.

The fact is that Blade Runner 2049 has near-unparalleled blanket critical praise on release and the marketing was reasonable. People can argue about why it didn't do better and many of those arguments are convincing - the run time, the rating, the lack of a mass-media franchise (the number of relative youngsters who've seen Blade Runner is fairly low, I suspect; the review team at io9 even had a weird thing about boasting they'd never seen the original film because it was crusty and old and not hip, or something), Gosling not being an automatic star box office draw - but ultimately the audience just didn't show up, despite the film being brilliant. That happens sometimes, and may happen again with Dune.

As for Scott's own track record, yes, he's hitting a very low average. With the sole exception of the very solid The Martian, he hasn't made a good movie for 12 years (to American Gangster, and then another 6 years before that to Black Hawk Down), and Prometheus and Covenant did a lot of negative damage to the Aliens franchise brand.

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Christopher Nolan is great when he's focused but he's had some moments where he's lost control of his story.

Nolan is a solid visual director, but he has problems with story, structure and pacing, particularly in longer movies. Dunkirk was superb because he pared all of that down to the bare essentials. InterstellarInception and his three Batman films all had wonderful imagery but were also quite baggy and had moments of incoherence (even the otherwise splendid Dark Knight is let down by trying to shoehorn Two-Face into the film without the time to do him justice and Joker simultaneously). Before Dunkirk, I would say that Nolan's more cohesive, strongest movie was The Prestige.

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Del Toro should do Revelation Space. I know he's not really shown an inclination to outright SF but its creepy elements and the general atmosphere seem like they'd be right up his alley.

I suspect that wouldn't be his jam, although I could see him doing Chasm City (the story is a lot stronger and the Melding Plague imagery is more in his wheelhouse).

However, I still have money riding on the idea that Del Toro's next or next-but-one film will be Fevre Dream.

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I think Duncan Jones might be a guy who can be in these conversations in the future but needs to find a comfort zone when making blockbusters, as he clearly failed with Warcraft (where he goes with Rogue Trooper will be interesting). Similarly Gareth Edwards- Godzilla was awkward, Rogue One was better but still a bit emotionally mechanical- but he's apparently taken time off from blockbusters, quitting Godzilla, to do smaller stuff, for a while, which is probably a good idea.

I think with one-two failures with WarCraft and Mute, it might be a while before we see Jones tackling a big-budget project of this kind.

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I don't have an issue with Dune being a duology. My concern is that they aren't filming it all in one go as it increases the possibility significantly that the second part is never filmed. It's quite common these days for films split into 2-3 films to shoot the whole thing as i imagine it saves a lot of money. But if Dune comes out to Blade runner/typical villeneuve box office numbers then it's probably far easier for producers to throw in the towel if the sequel requires starting from scratch vs having principal filming in the bag and just post production to do. They could still can the project at that point too and possibly regret making both parts at once. But that's sort of the point, they seem to be going into this with the assumption it could be a financial flop.

The Martian was a rare example of a great ridley scott film. My theory is that scott has no way of judging a script meaning his films are mostly reliant on that as we know he can direct the shit out of a film when he wants.

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I actually really liked the Sci-Fi miniseries and had it on DVD. I think it did a pretty decent job of translating the two sequels to screen ( I think it did anyway, its been a long time). I can't remember how faithful they were either, but they certainly held together as a story a lot better than the Lynch movie. 

I would like to see at least 2 movies in the series, even though I think the whole thing would work better as a tv show.

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1 hour ago, Heartofice said:

I actually really liked the Sci-Fi miniseries and had it on DVD. I think it did a pretty decent job of translating the two sequels to screen ( I think it did anyway, its been a long time). I can't remember how faithful they were either, but they certainly held together as a story a lot better than the Lynch movie.

The adaptation of Dune wasn't entirely faithful - it cut out some subplots and added others (such as giving Irulan a significant role) - but overall I thought it did a decent job of adapting the story. The Children of Dune miniseries was a bit less faithful, but given that the books it was based on were so tedious that they killed any desire I had to read any more of the Dune sequels I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing.

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5 hours ago, red snow said:

My concern is that they aren't filming it all in one go as it increases the possibility significantly that the second part is never filmed.

Co-signed. That's a major issue unless the budget is very conservative so that it has less headway to make to turn a profit.

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14 hours ago, Werthead said:

I suspect that wouldn't be his jam, although I could see him doing Chasm City (the story is a lot stronger and the Melding Plague imagery is more in his wheelhouse).


Hard SF definitely isn't Del Toro's immediate comfort zone, but even in Revelation Space proper (I just re-read the first book) there's a lot of the atmosphere and creepy body stuff that I think would appeal to him. Particularly the Nostalgia for Infinity strands.

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Wow!!! What is this movie's budget?

Edited by Corvinus

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On 2/10/2019 at 2:33 AM, Werthead said:

Nolan is a solid visual director, but he has problems with story, structure and pacing, particularly in longer movies. Dunkirk was superb because he pared all of that down to the bare essentials. InterstellarInception and his three Batman films all had wonderful imagery but were also quite baggy and had moments of incoherence (even the otherwise splendid Dark Knight is let down by trying to shoehorn Two-Face into the film without the time to do him justice and Joker simultaneously). Before Dunkirk, I would say that Nolan's more cohesive, strongest movie was The Prestige.

IMHO, Dark Night would have been a much stronger film without Two Face. There is no need for the rush to jump cut from Harvey Dent into the origins of Two Face, but instead give Harvey Dent more initial screen time or introduce him as the DA in the previous film. Also Nolan's films kinda ignores that one of the big recurring motifs of Harvey Dent/Two-Face's character is Bruce Wayne/Batman's commitment to redeem him.

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Jason Momoa as...Duncan Idaho?

First casting decision to make me go hmm. Momoa is a charismatic performer, but I not at all what I saw as Idaho. I suppose they're thinking they needed a star for Idaho given his importance to the over-arcing story of the whole series.

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I really can’t see him as Idaho, kinda dissapointed actually. I’ll just have to trust Villeneuve on this one.

I wish someone like Benicio del Toro, Viggo Mortensen or Pedro Pascal would’ve been cast as Idaho tbh

Anyway, I wish they get Charles Dance to play The Emperor :P

 

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