"Taken" Director to Helm "Dune"

1/06/2010 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Matt Jussim

Paramount Pictures has set Pierre Morel to direct “Dune,” the adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi classic novel, reports Variety.

According to Variety: Pierre Morel, helmer of "Taken" and "District B13," has climbed into the director's chair and is officially set to replace Peter Berg, who dropped out to film "Battleship" this past October. Morel has signed a deal with the studio and will work toward getting the script right.

Peter Berg was set to direct but exited the project when he committed to Universal’s “Battleship,” based on the Hasbro naval combat board game. Universal set a July 1, 2011 release for that film and committed to follow with Berg’s passion project, the Afghan was drama “Lone Survivor.” Those back-to-back directing gigs will keep Berg busy for at least two years.

“Dune” was first turned into a film by David Lynch, whose 1984 effort was not a financial success. Herbert’s novel--about an intergalactic struggle to control the supply of a valuable spice found only on the remote desert planet Arrakis--remains the biggest selling sci-fi novel and it’s still enormously popular.

Paramount is also looking for a new scriptwriter. Josh Zetumer wrote the last draft, but Morel is looking to incorporate some of his own ideas into the script.

Even though the project has been through some troubles with the changing of directors, Morel seems like a very inspired choice. Morel has said he is a long time fan and he even brought his well-worn copy of the novel with him to meetings at Paramount, according to a source.

The deal makes “Dune” a candidate to be the next directing assignment for Morel, who is also in the early stages of development on a sequel to “Taken.”

Look out for “Dune” sometime in 2011.

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