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Mark Antony

Denis Villenueve to direct Dune

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Unless I misunderstand , you make it sound as though the people from James Bond decided to get away from Villeneuve, which is not the case. Villeneuve said he really wanted to do a James Bond movie one day, but Dune was more important for him and decided to pass. Craig personally wanted him, by the way, and if they are willing to put up with him and give him all the money that he wants, I'm sure going for a director of his choice was not a problem.

 

 

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13 hours ago, boojam said:

Dune is good space opera and could make sophisticated adventue as film. There are better 'adult' space operas in the prose form. James Blish's Cities in Flight, Asimov's Foundation (it could be action-o-fied) or that great over the top baroque space opera by Alfred Bester The Stars My Destination these have better stories than Dune.

I can't agree with Cities in Flight being better than Dune, the basic idea of the spindizzies is fun, but the plot was tedious and the characters flat. 

The Stars My Destination could make a good adaptation, it would probably be a lot easier to adapt than Dune and while it doesn't have the same depth it still had a certain grand ambition to it.

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4 hours ago, The Unborn said:

Unless I misunderstand , you make it sound as though the people from James Bond decided to get away from Villeneuve, which is not the case. Villeneuve said he really wanted to do a James Bond movie one day, but Dune was more important for him and decided to pass. Craig personally wanted him, by the way, and if they are willing to put up with him and give him all the money that he wants, I'm sure going for a director of his choice was not a problem.

 

 

It's good that's the case as Villeneuve makes excellent films but they never become financial hits (although his films are earning more each time, they cost more). This is unlike Christopher Nolan who is a safe financial bet ever since Batman.

But I'm relieved if Hollywood recognises the guy's talent as he's probably the best out there of the "new" directors. I really thought there'd be a limit to skill over box office as far as film financiers are concerned.

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Dune is good space opera and could make sophisticated adventue as film. There are better 'adult' space operas in the prose form. James Blish's Cities in Flight, Asimov's Foundation (it could be action-o-fied) or that great over the top baroque space opera by Alfred Bester The Stars My Destination these have better stories than Dune.

 

I think SF really needs to admit at this point that Foundation is really not a very good book (and neither are its sequels). It's extraordinarily badly written, its characters are forgettable nobodies, the plot doesn't really hang together, its central concept is clever for about five minutes and then you realise it doesn't make sense (and Asimov's attempts to rationalise it get increasingly ludicrous). The sole reason it's even talked about now is because of its age and who wrote it. Same with Lensman, actually. People keep pushing these two book series to get made despite the fact they are, by any objective measure, terrible. At least Lensman is a harder sell because it was already partially remade as (the far superior) Babylon 5.

I would take a more faithful version of I, Robot, the Elijah Bailey mysteries or a mini-series based on Nightfall, though.

The Stars My Destination would make an excellent two-hour movie but it doesn't have the legs for much more.

Edited by Werthead

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Asimov's Foundation books may have been influential, but they aren't very good and the rules change with each instalment. GRRM has published some of his early efforts in Dreamsongs, and I'd put Foundation on par with what he wrote as a teenager.

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

I think SF really needs to admit at this point that Foundation is really not a very good book (and neither are its sequels). It's extraordinarily badly written, its characters are forgettable nobodies, the plot doesn't really hang together, its central concept is clever for about five minutes and then you realise it doesn't make sense (and Asimov's attempts to rationalise it get increasingly ludicrous). The sole reason it's even talked about now is because of its age and who wrote it. Same with Lensman, actually. People keep pushing these two book series to get made despite the fact they are, by any objective measure, terrible. At least Lensman is a harder sell because it was already partially remade as (the far superior) Babylon 5.

I would take a more faithful version of I, Robot, the Elijah Bailey mysteries or a mini-series based on Nightfall, though.

The Stars My Destination would make an excellent two-hour movie but it doesn't have the legs for much more.

Yes indeed. Foundation is reductive nonsense. Oh look a whole planet of people who are all the same, just like every American wears cowboy boots and every Australian is Crocodile Dundee. 

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I'll give boojam credit for one thing though: Foundation is better space opera than Dune. Because Dune isn't space opera (the first one at least).

Neither is The Stars My Destination really...

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16 hours ago, Triskele said:

What makes you say that?  Because it's mostly just set on Arrakis?

Most of the Foundation books are also set primarily on one planet (Prelude and most of Forward are set entirely on Trantor, for example).

"Space opera" seems these days to just mean any SF series set in a multi-planet science fiction universe.

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3 hours ago, Werthead said:

Most of the Foundation books are also set primarily on one planet (Prelude and most of Forward are set entirely on Trantor, for example).

"Space opera" seems these days to just mean any SF series set in a multi-planet science fiction universe.

My working knowledge of the term is pretty limited. I tend to think "Star wars", "Flash Gordon" and "Dune" when these are mentioned. I usually think TV shows fit this bill. Essentially anything with that pulpy ongoing serial style storytelling.

I think I'm pretty bad when it comes to reading space opera though. Which is odd when I spend so much time reading the fantasy equivalent (where I subsitute planets/aliens for kingdoms/races)

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On 1/27/2018 at 3:53 AM, polishgenius said:

I'll give boojam credit for one thing though: Foundation is better space opera than Dune. Because Dune isn't space opera (the first one at least).

Neither is The Stars My Destination really...

Welp with the prose form almost all science fiction was transformed by John Campbell from 1938 onward. I think in 1938 Buck Rodgers and Flash Gordon and Doc Smith were pulling in the term 'space opera'. What Heinlein and Asimov wrote for Campbell was so much more sophisticated that term 'space opera' just went away. For some reason, in recent times, well longer than that, 'space opera' has come around again. I have only heard it applied to Dune in , o, maybe the last 10 years or so. Foundation was an odd bird in the 1940s it had a galactic empire, ray guns, faster than light interstellar flight , in a background a vast super science technology. There is big action in Foundation but it is mostly off stage. It could be brought on stage as long as they keep the sophisticated puzzle story by Asimov. You know HBO has the option on Foundation.

Edited by boojam

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I think HBO lost it. They wanted Jonathan Nolan on board and he brought them both a new take on Westworld and a new take on Foundation. Obviously they went with Westworld and let the option on Foundation lapse (even after they spent big bucks on stealing it away from Roland Emmerich, who had a movie version in the works). The rights are now with Skydance, who aren't doing anything with them.

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I do like the David Lynch version, even though it’s easily his worst movie it’s still brilliant in some ways. But the Lynch version is more like inspired by Dune (and given a decent budget) to go off on a Lynch movie than a true adaptation, so I could be into this. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve heard good things about Blade Runner.

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3 minutes ago, Dornite said:

I do like the David Lynch version, even though it’s easily his worst movie it’s still brilliant in some ways. But the Lynch version is more like inspired by Dune (and given a decent budget) to go off on a Lynch movie than a true adaptation, so I could be into this. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve heard good things about Blade Runner.

One of the things that was always interesting is that the David Lynch version was made with Frank Herbert's full cooperation and collaboration. He helped on the script and he invented the weirding modules. He was quite happy for someone else to come along and have a very different take on his material than him.

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3 hours ago, Werthead said:

I think HBO lost it. They wanted Jonathan Nolan on board and he brought them both a new take on Westworld and a new take on Foundation. Obviously they went with Westworld and let the option on Foundation lapse (even after they spent big bucks on stealing it away from Roland Emmerich, who had a movie version in the works). The rights are now with Skydance, who aren't doing anything with them.

That is interesting, had not heard of that. Thought that HBO went with Westworld first and put Foundation on hold until Nolan and his wife were free. Man! that idiot Emmerich I heard of that shuddered to think of what he would do with it.

 

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

One of the things that was always interesting is that the David Lynch version was made with Frank Herbert's full cooperation and collaboration. He helped on the script and he invented the weirding modules. He was quite happy for someone else to come along and have a very different take on his material than him.

Herbert was on-board with De Laurentiis before Lynch was there. Ridley Scott had Dune with Dino first. Wilipedia has quote from Scott about his leave taking from the film. It is probably true... however , also, according to the magazine Cinefantastique Scott turned in a screenplay that deviated so far from Herbert's Dune that producer Raffaella De Laurentis  fired Scott.

 

Edited by boojam

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7 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Oh, it's so good to see I'm not the only person on earth who hates foundation. My SFF oriented friends think I'm weird.

 

What exactly don't  you like about Foundation? George Lucas borrowed the Galactic Empire bit from it , but not Asimov's more complex social and political frame work.

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11 hours ago, Dornite said:

I do like the David Lynch version, even though it’s easily his worst movie it’s still brilliant in some ways. But the Lynch version is more like inspired by Dune (and given a decent budget) to go off on a Lynch movie than a true adaptation, so I could be into this. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve heard good things about Blade Runner.

I consider both Blade Runner (1982) and Blade Runner 2049 as very good adaptations of modern prose science fiction. (2001: A Space Odyssey is the best).  Neither of the Blade Runner are exactly faithful to the original Philip K Dick novel. Lynch is a fine film maker, he showed he understood the Dune story , many directors , then, less so now, were downright hostile to science fiction.

Villeneuve has a problem with Dune. Same he had with Blade Runner 2049. Dune is not a comic-book story, for all it's fantastic elements it has narrative finesse. It is a nuanced story. Well, Blade Runner 2049 had that and it did not do well at the box office. My sense is that Villeneuve wants to keep the sophistication of Dune's narrative. Will audiences , now a days, buy into that? I can't really figure it out. 2017 saw a non popcorn movie do well , Dunkirk. Dunkirk is told with savoir-faire , it is not  avant garde but it also not a popcorn movie , so there is a puzzle , we see ... a good version of Dune may not do well at the box office.

Edited by boojam

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9 hours ago, boojam said:

Villeneuve has a problem with Dune. Same he had with Blade Runner 2049. Dune is not a comic-book story, for all it's fantastic elements it has narrative finesse. It is a nuanced story. Well, Blade Runner 2049 had that and it did not do well at the box office. My sense is that Villeneuve wants to keep the sophistication of Dune's narrative. Will audiences , now a days, buy into that? I can't really figure it out. 2017 saw a non popcorn movie do well , Dunkirk. Dunkirk is told with savoir-faire , it is not  avant garde but it also not a popcorn movie , so there is a puzzle , we see ... a good version of Dune may not do well at the box office.

I think Dune would be a risk, there's certainly a good chance it could disappoint at the box office but I think it also has a chance of success. You mention Dunkirk, but I think another Christopher Nolan film, Interstellar, could be a better example. Interstellar was also a science fiction with plenty of nuance and was a long way from being a typical popcorn film but it did well enough at the box office that I suspect the makers of Dune would be happy to make a similar amount of money. Unlike Interstellar, Dune already has a brand name with a certain amount of recognition and it is probably easier to advertise to a mass audience than BR2049, the marketing could lean heavily on the coming-of-age story elements or the Game of Thrones-like conflict between the great houses.

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