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SCI FI Channel To Produce Dune Sequel 203

Posted by timothy
from the water-worms-and-spice dept.
Sardaukar writes: "In his first interview since completing the script for Frank Herbert's Children of Dune, Frank Herbert's Dune writer-director John Harrison revealed that the new miniseries will be adapted from both Dune Messiah and Children of Dune, the second and third books in Frank Herbert's best-selling series." I think the first miniseries is pretty impressive, which bodes well for the second.
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SCI FI Channel To Produce Dune Sequel

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  • Did anyone else notice how the actors in the original miniseries seemed to think they were in some sort of play? Listen to the way the enunciate their lines and completely stilt the dialog. Watch the poses the strike when the bad guys say something evil (right before they cackle evily). Watch the lighting change colors and shift based on the mood of the moment. This is the sort of mellodrama that really hurt the miniseries for me.

    Just my 2 grams of spice.

    Down that path lies madness. On the other hand, the road to hell is paved with melting snowballs.
  • Heh heh.. Er, yeah. Sorry.

    Guess I had Stranger in my head from the parent post. This'll learn you never to try and sound intelligent following your run.

    ----

  • You think so? Personally, I found the way the whole place was interested in killing them rather scary.

    I can stand a book that takes it's time to build tension (esp. in reflection of the Overlook's complete isolation), but the movie just confused me until later on when I got around to reading the book -- I didn't get the guy in the dog suit, for instance, until I read about him. Kubrick, regardless of the spelling of his name, would have been better off with just misc. self-explanatory hotel ghosts.

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  • by Skyshadow (508) on Monday July 09, 2001 @12:55PM (#96905) Homepage
    Reading Niven is like getting drunk on Coors -- it can be interesting and even engaging, but in the end just wasn't as worthwhile as you'd hoped.

    Niven's stories are almost always entertaining while you're reading them, but the guy couldn't write an end to a story to save his life; I always felt jipped when I came to the end of a book.

    Also, he falls into that Heinlein trap of not being able to bear killing his characters (tell me Lazarus shouldn't have died at the end of Stranger -- tell me that last chapter wasn't the most tacked-on POS you've ever read). Sure, he offed Teela, but I think it was just because he didn't know waht else to do with her -- Louis Wu and friends were always safe. I understand that it's nice to carry over all the really developed characters, but c'mon...

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  • by Skyshadow (508) on Monday July 09, 2001 @12:33PM (#96906) Homepage
    Oh, God, you've got to be kidding me.

    That miniseries was absolutely painful -- I watched the whole thing just waiting for it to improve, and yet somehow the acting managed never to improve. Christ, the guy playing Paul made a certain young Jedi look like academy award material.

    I think the real trouble is they tried to be *too* faithful to the book. It should be obvious that certain things work in print that just don't translate (and, actually, vice versa). I think whoever wrote the screenplay was too reverant to the whole Dune mythos to understand that someplace between that terrible movie and this terrible miniseries would lay a good screen interpretation.

    I can only hope for major overhauls; I don't think I could watch another miniseries like that last one. They'll have exactly one episode to change my mind.

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  • by Skyshadow (508) on Monday July 09, 2001 @12:45PM (#96907) Homepage
    Couldn't disagree more with what you're saying.

    Look, there are elements which make a great book and elements which make a great movie. Very few of these elements are in common between the two.

    The best movie/book combinations are those in which the screenwriter uses the book for inspiration, then feels free to adjust the staging and the story in a way which will play well on film. Take Fight Club, for instance, or High Fidelity: same basic story, same basic themes, but the movie was a good movie because the changes needed for good translation were made.

    On the other hand, think of the really close-to-the-book movies you've seen. Tend to suck, don't they? They either run really, really long or shave out a lot of the entertaining bits.

    Of course, this isn't to say that all movies reinterpreted from books end up well, either: American Psycho (the movie) missed the raw, revolting, sarcastic nature or the book. The Shining (Kuberick's) was *boring*. Etc.

    Still, I maintain that the only way to make these watchible is to roll the dice and take a chance to make them really entertaining on-screen instead of just lifting directly from the book.

    ----

  • I just got done watching the Dune miniseries that I had bought on DVD. Terrible. I mean, it was all I could do to watch the first episode, then I had to take a two week break to psyche myself up to see the next two. I mean, I suppose it is no worse than any other TV sf, but to hype it up as this wonderful reinterpretation of Dune is ridiculous. David Lynch's masterpiece (better than the book, IMO) already did Dune right the first time. There was no need for the first miniseries, much less the sequel. The first series was cheeseball enough.
  • Given this topics has long since died, I doubt you'll see this, but a lot of what you hated, I liked. Dune is impossible to make sense of in a film, so why try? The almost surreal Lynch version is freakier than the real Dune ever dreamed of being. Things like the deformed navigators (who were just humans with really blue eyes in the book) really upped the ante and you'll have to admit that the sf channel miniseries borrowed as heavily from Lynch as Herbert in this and many other regards.

    PS: If you want to pick on stillsuits, pick on the whole concept of them.
  • by Surazal (729) on Monday July 09, 2001 @08:05PM (#96910) Homepage Journal

    I'm frankly somewhat worried about the titles of the parts: I could sort of see the Messiah one (and it might be interesting to be trying to save someone other than yourself), but the Children of Dune one is just too much. I don't want to know how that guy ends up with children...

    Well let's put it this way:

    Paul turned out to be a megalomaniac who ended up (ultimately) getting himself into deeper water than he could swim in. He couldn't handle the pressure of being "The Messiah", and eventually was banished into the desert of Dune because of his inability of dealing with the very Jihad he himself created.

    His son, named Leto II (not to be confused with the child that was killed off in the original book [and movie]), ended up getting covered in sand trout and he eventually took over... for about 1500 years. *That* guy turned out to be a major son of a bitch as far as controlling the universe goes.

    At any rate, read the books... they are *very* interesting, but you run into the danger of getting an inferiority complex since Frank Herbert's writing tens to be condescending to begin with. Add that to the fact that all he wrote about were super-human beings who denegrated the "Regular" human race at every turn, and what you get is a rather depressing outlook on life.

    There's my 2 cent version of a book review. :)

  • I think the real trouble is they tried to be *too* faithful to the book.
    I'd say they were too faithful to the general plot, not leaving out any plot elements, but not paying attention to actual story. It had every plot point -- it even had the same godawful last line. But it didn't keep the feeling of the book.

    The part that really annoyed me was that it took all the power from the female characters. Jessica and Chani were both very strong in the book. But in the miniseries Jessica became a total wimp after the Atreides fall, and Chani was okay but never had the Fremen ruthlessness.

    I can understand, if not entirely condone, taking sexist parts out of old stories. But this goes the opposite way, entirely to the detriment of the story. I have no idea why they would have done that.

    And the Harkonnen weren't nearly as repulsive as they were supposed to be either -- not a boil to be found!

    With later books the plot gets weaker and more arbitrary. They'll only do worse.

  • It's great to see this new miniseries, but why would you adapt TWO stories into one series, rather than preserving the second (actually third) story for an additional miniseries...Strange

    IIRC, The book Dune itself was actually first serialized as two distinct serials, called something like Dune World and Prophet of Dune.

    I've heard second hand a funny anecdote about Frank Herbert proclaiming after each of his books that the complete Dune saga had now been told -- and a smartass radio host playing back for him a tape of all these statements when he came on to tout one of his later volumes.
  • The new designs simply don't work. They just don't communicate to the viewer the same level of decadence that the film version did. This sort of thing works well enough for camp like Dr. Who or The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

    However for Dune, it just doesn't go well with the story or it's themes.

    A Dune miniseries really should have been something of a mix between what SciFi did and what the film was. SciFi should have also given a classic like Dune a real budget.
  • I'm frankly somewhat worried about the titles of the parts: I could sort of see the Messiah one (and it might be interesting to be trying to save someone other than yourself), but the Children of Dune one is just too much. I don't want to know how that guy ends up with children...
  • Actually, Niven prides himself on being a optimist. He had an idea for a short story once ("Inconstant Moon" IIRC) that he refused to actually write until he came up with a "happy" ending (sure, half the world is destroyed, but the main characters survive)...

    --

  • What's wrong with the DVD release?

    --

  • I think the horrible acting and complete lack of atmosphere in the mini-series...

    Funny, those were my two biggest problems with the horrible Lynch movie. At least in the miniseries (a) Paul appears to be a human, rather than Lynch's Paul where it didn't really matter who the actor was since the character wasn't human, and (b) the atmosphere in the miniseries seems like the atmosphere of Arakis rather than the atmosphere of Hollywood. The miniseries had costumes that were goofy but plausible (in fact rather historical), the movie had costumes that were goofy and far more hysterical than historical. I did think the movie did have some better acting than the miniseries: that of several of the minor characters (who are ignored way too much but oh well), but Paul in the movie sucked so bad it that if you take an average, the average acting in the miniseries was much better.

    I'll take the "whiney" Paul over the inhuman icon any day.

    --

  • If they're going to fix it like you fixed an animal (Uh, that was already done, thank you!) they can forget about it... :-)
  • >why would you adapt TWO stories into one series

    Herbert himself did this, by writing
    Dune, Dune Messiah, and Children of Dune
    concurrently. Dune Messiah and Dune have
    so many story elements in common that it
    must be a challenge to keep a screenplay
    interesting. The books keep your attention
    on other levels besides plot and local color,
    but a movie adaptation has different issues.

    Now, if someone wants to produce God Emperor,
    I'd just LOVE to see a good, cruel yet benign, Leto II.

  • >scifi soaps such as Star Wars

    If you compare and contrast elements of
    Star Wars and Dune, you may find similarities
    that will turn your stomach. Parts of the Star Wars universe and some key plot elements are quite obviously inspired by Dune.
  • by fishbowl (7759) on Monday July 09, 2001 @02:51PM (#96921)


    >I don't watch TV, so I don't know how the first >mini-series went.

    I don't watch TV either, much, and certainly not
    enough to be able to catch an entire miniseries.
    I bought the Dune release on DVD, and hope that
    all these things are released on DVD, as it's
    the only way I'll see the whole series.

    I love the Dune production because it undoes
    some of the damage done by the Lynch debacle.
    At least the sci-fi channel screenwriters
    seem to have actually read the book first.
    It appears they may have a different understanding of certain subtleties (and not-so
    subtleties) of the story and the setting, but
    it isn't really annoying. A few details of the
    miniseries show an outstanding respect for the
    novel.
  • Dune is just too ambitious for TV or even full length feature movies. There's not enough time even in a Roots-length mini-series, let a lone a mere six hours, to cover all the nuances adequately. Big chunks of it must be left out, so I don't know why anyone who has read and admired the series would want to intentionally butcher it for the small screen.

    And if you made it as long as you suggest it'd take, only the hard core sci-fi'ers would spend their time watching it. We all seem to be forgetting that these people still have to produce something which would appeal to 75% or more of their target viewing audience. If you made it ungodly long (without making it a full-blown series) it'd be difficult to keep the viewing audience involved. It's hard to get most sobs to invest a lot of time in something that will not last. Sad, but true.

    Also, a number of comments have been made about the wardrobe, etc...stuff that I will call the "stylistic" nature of the miniseries' approach to the story telling. I actually quite enjoyed the pomp of the costumes of those in the royal court and the great houses. This contrasted very well with the simplicity of Fremen existance.

    Also, the miniseries' overall use of color, light, and darkness was very compelling. The scene that stands out in my mind is the final fight scene between Paul and the Harkonnen Nephew (damn...not Sting! what the hell was his name...grr...) There is a rising platform/dolly shot that shows your the fighters from an offangle overhead. The lighting consisted only of two powerful lights streaming in through the doorway. The contrasting light and dark lines were phenomenal.

    All that said, yes, I liked it, but I also recognize a lot of the problems (don't even get me started on some of the "desert" sets.)

    It's best to think of the book, the movie, and the mini-series as separate tellings of the same story. Each storyteller brings new details, and covers others. I think we're all just a little too caught up in the absolutivity of the book, because Herbert wrote it. Herbert created a universe that many people have taken and expanded in many directions. I think this is what Frank wanted, and is the best tribute that can ben given to the man.


  • Acually, Lucas and Chris Claremont (yeah, the X-Men writer) co-wrote three books continuing the story of Willow [imdb.com]. In order, they're Shadow Moon, Shadow Dawn, and Shadow Star. Who knows how much Lucas contributed besides the basic story.

    I read the first. I don't remember much. It was pretty good, but it wasn't Dune or A Canticle for Leibowitz.

    --

  • by PD (9577) <slashdotlinux@pdrap.org> on Monday July 09, 2001 @12:40PM (#96924) Homepage Journal
    I don't know why EVERY single time a book is made into a movie there's a grumpy guy going "the movie sucked ass". Is this part of human nature or something? Is there a gene for this? And if there is, can we breed that out because it's frickin' annoying.

    I liked the first miniseries a whole lot. Yes, I've read the books, and I know that things were changed. But big deal! What were you expecting from television? Every medium is different, and I hate to break it to you, a TV show is not a book. You can do things in books that you can't do in television. So when you say that the Dune miniseries "sucked ass" were you thinking to yourself "this Dune isn't nearly as good or artistic as 'Golden Girls'?" I can personally think of only a few things that "sucked ass" less than the Dune miniseries, such as Babylon 5. Actually, that's about the only one I can think of.

  • He had that malicious Harkonnen arogance and blood thirsty viciousness down pat.

    Except in the scene where the Baron pulls the heartplug of a slave; He shows revulsion while the Baron isn't looking at him, while Beast Rabban looks on with glee.

  • The only problem though, is that your making a movie about a very complex and strange subject. Dune isn't your average piece of literature, but when the person who wrote it isn't around for consulting there might be misinterpretations and mistakes. I'm not saying that the author has to be there to make it a good movie, it just helps. I really enjoyed the first miniseries, but even then, it had a book, another movie, and so on to go from.

    ---
  • "I see blue-eyed people"

    I think he'd be about the right age.
    I recall Leto stops aging after merging with
    the sandworms, but grows a big tail.
  • I recall ancestral memory plays a much bigger role
    in the subsequent novels. In the first novel it
    is mainly the future visions. It is somewhat
    difficult to depict inner mental processes on the screen.

    Do you get someone who can morph into different
    voices and faces like the commedian Rich Little,
    or Steve Martin in "All of Me"?
    Do you show possession like in The Exorcist?
    Or else little figures of talking ancestors standing on ones shoulder?
  • by rillian (12328) on Monday July 09, 2001 @12:41PM (#96929) Homepage

    It's great to see this new miniseries, but why would you adapt TWO stories into one series, rather than preserving the second (actually third) story for an additional miniseries...Strange

    The second two books really do go together. The stories follow each other closely in time and the conclusion of the arc really is at the end of the third book. They also share a lot of characters and locations, which makes it advantageous to film them together.

    I am worried they'll have to cram more to stay at 6 hours, though.

  • I always thought that there were two stories in the Silmarillion that could be made into good movies after the LOTR: 1) Beren and Luthien 2) Turin Turambar (though it would be a dark movie seeing how everyone dies unhappily). I think that Beren and Luthien especially could stand on its own with a minimal amount of changes. These are the two stories that Tolkien himself wrote several times as standalone stories in many diferent formats (prose, poetry, elvish, etc)
  • despite the fact that, on a number of points, the scifi "Dune" miniseries really and truly sucked ass, it was impressive that it was done as well as it was, and that it was produced at all.

    hopefully the subsequent sequels will at least live up to the first production, and not go down hill as sequels tend to do

    tho, even the subsequent books drifted off track a bit from the original...
  • Actually, the games from Westwood were Dune 2 (the birthplace of RTS games), and its refresh, Dune 2000. There was another Dune game before Dune 2, however (thus the name "Dune 2"). It was an adventure/strategy game. I don't remember who the developer was, but it wouldn't surprise me if it were also Westwood. Anyway, the graphics were quite good for the time, and it was a rather fun game to play. There's a new adventure game based on Dune in the works, and hopefully it will follow in the footsteps of that original Dune game.

    And no, it wasn't an FPS, and Id didn't develop it. Dune would suck as an FPS, because most fighting was done via knives (steel or crys).

  • I've often thought that The Silmarillion would make an interesting series of animated films, intended to be shown as a series, but with each one being independent enough to stand somewhat on its own...

    --
  • I'm glad I'm not the only one who enjoyed Dune but felt that the rest of the series sucked ass.

    now I can die in peace.

  • 1) It's supposed to be HOT on Arakis - if that's so why was virtually the entire cast running around without still suits for the whole damn series? Why were windows to the castle open??? At least get the setting of the series right!

    2) Why the hell are all the Fremen fat? Let's take for instance Chani, whom many people seem to think looked more "desert-like" than Sean Young in the movie. Give me a break. Chani was supposed to be able to kick ass - the series actress looked like she'd have a hard time opening a can of pop. She was carrying _way_ too much weight around for someone who is living in the desert. I think most of the guys who liked her did so because of her tits. See Tomb Raider....

    3) Why did the Sarduakar look like the girl who played Chani could kick their ass? Same with Gurney and the rest of the "warriors."

    4) William Hurt - what pathetic acting. I remember when he used to be good. He seems to be getting worse everytime I see him in something.

    5) Stupid damn hats!

    6) Badly done worms.

    7) Since when is Paul a little whining mama's boy?

    8) Where was the political intrigue?

    The movie had it's bad points I am happy to admit. But if you can't even get the feel of the book down (which I feel the series completely misses) then why are you bothering? Dune was supposed to be about politics - the movie makes it about how Paul whines over every little thing. Kyle Maclaclan's Paul would kill the series Paul while the series Paul was whining about how his knife didn't feel right in his hand and it was too hot.
  • You're joking, right? Even Lynch isn't happy with the movie, and it sealed his fate - he never became a truly big director, which he was well on his way to being.

    You think Lynch ever wanted to be a 'big director'? I can see a pretty clear thread running from _Eraserhead_ to _Blue Velvet_ and _Lost Highway_. _Dune_ was his worst work, but then again, it was his experience on the film that led to him always insisting on being the one to do the final release cut of the film, something he didn't have on _Dune_, because of the huge amounts of money involved and his status as a relatively new director at that time.

    Living in Australia, I haven't seen the mini-series yet, but I'll be interested to see what has been done with it. It has to be better than the recent Dune abominations _House Atreides_ and _House Harkonnen_...
  • It's been a while since I ready it, but I don't remember having imagined Louis Wu as an Asian when reading Ringworld , so Chow Yun-Fat would seem pretty out of place to me. By the time Known Space is upon us, the human race is pretty much homogenized from inter-racial breeding, and there are no more distinguishing racial features to speak of.

    Despite the novel's characterization of him as looking like a 20-something, I imagined Louis Wu's appearance as sort of a bronze-skinned, dark-haired Anglo man who looked artificially young, so I'd choose someone who looked like George Hamilton to play him.


    There will always be greater and lesser degrees of "genetic immersion", to coin a phrase; and with names like Carlos Wu and Louis Wu I'd be expecting several generations of European and Asian ancestry back there, mingled together into some sort of post-Eurasian look.

    Given the wirehead stuff, too, there needs to be a hint of personal weakness there, despite the external strengths... we have to believe that this man will become an addict :)
  • I thought that the portrayal of the Baron, paul's mother, and paul's sister (liam??) were particularly good.

    Alia, if they followed the book closely. :)
  • Lynch wanted to be better known - I think Twin Peaks speaks to that. But, because of Dune, his rising star just flatlined. I think, after The Elephant Man, Lynch was well on his way to reach the status of "great." But, to be honest, I think The Elephant Man was clearly his best work (John Hurt's too, for that matter), and Dune proved to be his undoing, showing he couldn't handle a large ensemble cast or a big budget, both of which were skills he would desperately need with his failed attempt to revitalize Twin Peaks in Fire Walk With Me . Don't get me wrong - I would go see a Lynch movie over most any day, but I get the feeling that he never quite reached the status and recognition he seemed to desire.

    A reasoned analysis, with points well made. (Someone mod that up! :) I think you're right, _Twin Peaks_ does show that, but I think he knew he was walking a fine line by trying to keep that Lynch 'edge' and still have widespread popular appeal... eventually things fell apart somewhat, especially whenever he wasn't overseeing things closely.

    Have you read a book called _The Making of DUNE_? It was churned out sometime around the time the film was released, and, although not a great book, does give a good picture of the terrible politics involved in the making of the film, the money, etc. Unfortunately, at that level, that's what the process involves... now, I really liked the _Fire Walk With Me_ movie, but it only made sense if you knew at least 90% of the TV series, and I know most people don't share my appreciation for the film.
  • I don't understand the problem so many people seem to have with Lynch's Dune rendition. I thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, I watched it several times. Though I haven't seen any other of Lynch's films, I certainly do not think that Dune is by any means a bad movie. I think one of the main things that adds to the movie is the haunting soundtrack... In fact, a good soundtrack can make a good movie into a great movie. But I digress...

    I recommend that you see all of David Lynch's films. Although they vary in quality, that quality is good to great :)

    _Dune_ is a good film, don't get me wrong. However it's not the book, and it doesn't feel like the sort of movie Lynch would have made without the external pressuers he had during the process (producers, etc.), so it sort of falls between two stalls.

    Also, David is known to give very specific instruction to theaters as to the volume levels the movies should be played at, and collaborates closely on the composition of the soundtracks. Perceptive of you :) The sound element of his films is always very effective, especially in his first feature, _Erasaerhead_.
  • The director thinks Frank Herbert is comparable to George Lucas. Or at least he's so poorly read that he can't find a better analogy to make. I'm beginning to understand why the first mini-series was so disappointing, seemed so shallow and weak, and captured so little of the spirit of the novel.

    Well, at least we can say that Frank Herbert never came up with any characters on the level of Jar-Jar Binks. I'd like to think that Frank Herbert never lowered himself to Episode One crapulence, even if the original movie wasn't anywhere near as good as the book.

    Then again, look at the comparison. Frank Herbert writes better books than George Lucas, and George Lucas has produced better movies than Frank Herbert. Apples and oranges, anyone?

    ---

  • There was a dune and a dune 2k made by westwood
    but they were a RTS game not a FPS. they played a lot like Command and conquer.

  • Not because the first wasn't good, but because frankly the sequels will ruin the story for people. They not only don't live up to the measure of the first book but actually drag it down. (Watch the down-mods pile up.)

    For what it's worth, I read Dune when it first appeared in Analog as two serialized short novels, Dune World and Prophet of Dune. I read, and still have, all three in their original serializations.

    I have to agree with the review that Dune Messiah received in Analog all those years ago: Dune is about a world, while Dune Messiah is about a man. A great man, perhaps, but still a man; and no man, however great, can compete with a planet.

    The sequels, in turning the focus of the story from planet to man, necessarily reduce the scope of the drama. Worst of all, they redefine the original story in a way that to me diminishes it as well. I've read a lot of science fiction in over forty years, and a lot of it wasn't worth reading. Dune Messiah is one of the very few books that was worse than a waste of time, and I sincerely wish I had never read it.
  • There were a lot of really cheesy things about the first series that I thought could've been done better (the ornithopters for instance), but I think it stayed pretty true to the book and it was a pretty entertaining movie.

    For them to make the second and third books will require more interesting visual effects (spoilers: how will they deal with the Bene Tlailaxu (sp?) and those little fishy guys that cover Leto II's body to make him the worm). It will also be more difficult to make a GOOD movie about them because, let's face it, they just don't touch the original in terms of quality.

    I am still pretty excited to see this, though, because it has the opportunity to show the general public what good sci-fi can be (whether it does or not is a different story).

  • My "Fortune" slashbox reads:
    A sequel is an admission that you've been reduced to imitating yourself.

    -- Don Marquis
  • LOTR, however, is a sitcom compared with The Silmarillion, and The Hobbit is a commercial break.

    I think that's going in my collection of sigs.

    The Silmarillion is one of my all-time favorites. One word: scope.

  • by devphil (51341) on Monday July 09, 2001 @12:57PM (#96947) Homepage
    and the weirding modules are completely ignored (this was amongst the things that made House Atreides as strong as it was).

    There are no such things as weirding modules. Clearly you're thinking the movie (starring Sting) was canonical. Try reading the actual books instead.

    You can grep all six books and the phrase "weirding module" will not appear. This was one of the three major departures (read, "made it up out of thin air") that the original Dune movie made from the books. Basically, they didn't have the time to investigate the mystical powers on-screen, so they threw in some technobabble instead.

    If the TV miniseries was based on the books rather than the piece of crap movie which was based on the books, then there won't be things like weirding modules. And that's good.

  • Yeah, one difference was that in the novel, the final destination was a moon of Saturn, instead of of moon of Jupiter like in the movie.

    What makes this interesting though, is that the second book (2010) takes off from the movie and places the final scene from 2001 at Jupiter.
  • I watched the first episode of the Dune miniseries on SciFi, though it is visually stunning, I was not impressed. I enjoyed the Dune book as well as the movie and the uncut movie. I didn't prefer the episode I saw, it seemed to go into things that the cut movie missed, but skipped over some valuable plot devices left by Herbert. I think I'll pass on future SciFi/Dune productions :(

    --
    microsoft, it's what's for dinner

    bq--3b7y4vyll6xi5x2rnrj7q.com
  • In "The Lost Worlds of 2001", Clarke describes the experience of writing the novel and the screenplay simultaneously. He really wanted Saturn's moon Iapetus (Japetus) because of its 6:1 brightness curve, but the FX guys convinced him to go with Jupiter in the movie.

  • From "The Lost Worlds of 2001", by Clarke:

    Clarke's First Law: When a distinguished but elderly scientist says that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he says it is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

    Clarke's Second Law: The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.

    Clarke's Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguisable from magic.

  • uhhh, looks like vaporfilm to me. Although I think Chow Yun-Fat would be cool for Louis Wu. And how about John Goodman for Speaker???!? Bwahahahahaha. Not.
  • was CRAP! Maybe if it were just a standalone movie it would have been fantastic (yes, the visuals were pretty nice in some places), but since it's based on a _book_, it should hold to it. A movie (or miniseries) is made from a book because the book was impressive enough (in and of ITSELF and its OWN plot and its OWN details) to be chosen in the first place. Why the hell can't the director at least stay _slightly_ within the confines of the book when making the movie? Sorry, there was no big Muad'dib statue in Stilgar's sietch. Sorry, Paul can't make water appear out of nowhere with his "magical Kwisatz Haderach powers". And sorry, but if I'm not mistaken, in the book Paul Atreides wasn't a whiny little bitch.
  • by Tsian (70839)
    Really, I found that the miniseries was quite understandable. It had a clear plot, the actors were alright and the special effects were done quite amazingly for a TV miniseries. Also, I dont understand how that could possibly have been told in two hours. For the record, I haven't read the book.
    ------------------------------------
  • It's God Emperor Leto III you gimp. Leto II was killed in sietch by Sardukar. Leto I was Paul's father.
  • FYI. If you go to the official Dune website [dunenovels.com], Frank Herbert's son Brian mentions that a complete outline for a seventh book was left behind by his father. There are plans to complete it after the prequels are finished. BTW, the Sci-Fi Dune series is a POS.
  • I believe this anagram sums up the general feeling that the mini-series inspired. Another one is DEFICASIUN, which further describes what I thought of the mini-series.
  • True, most of the time a good book just doesn't convert to a good movie. It tends to get worse if the director makes an extreme choice about consistency with the book - either inventing stuff out of thin air or religiously sticking to every detail in the book.

    And if the movie is an animation, well, your best chance is to either read the book or see the movie; if you do both, you are bound to be disappointed.

    However, in life there's an exception for every rule (in case you think that's impossible, this rule is its own exception :-). So, go read Peter S. Beagle's "The Last Unicorn". Then see the movie. Yes, its animated. It is also very faithful to the book. And they are both great.

    This movie is also an exception in being a fantasy animation movie for grown-ups. As a rule such movies aren't a commercial success (especially if they don't contain much violence and/or sex). This rule, alas, the movie isn't an exception for :-)

    At any rate, as this movie (and very few others) show, it is possible to do an accurate adaptation of a good book to a good movie. And even though Dune is harder then most books to do it for, I believe it is still possible.

    I don't have any high hopes, though - the chances of the right kind of talent and work being applied to this project are as low as the humidity on Arakis at noon.
  • by Miles (79172)
    Actually, I don't think it was a problem of being too faithful, at least in terms of the actor playing Paul (and Irulan for that matter), but that those characters were not at all faithful. Paul wasn't whiney (a la the actor in the miniseries)--he was sometimes playful, and often cold, and usually noble/imperious. Nothing like the character in the miniseries.

    Andrew.
  • I am glad to see that i'm not alone in my disgust at the Sci-Fi channel's Dune interpretation. I REALLY didn't like how it was suggested that Paul and Jessica were faking their messiah-status to be saved from the ravages of the desert. True, the whole 'messiah' legend was created by the bene gesserit, but i certainly did not get the impression, which was show so strongly in the miniseries, from the novels! Also: Why did they misspell and mispronounce "Muad'Dib"? It is not "Maud'Dib" as was shown in the miniseries... why was it so? Also, I really didn't like how the Harkonnens were shown, nor did I like the... 'extravagant' or just plain stupid-looking dress of (as you mentioned) the bene gesserit and other characters. I, in fact, really liked the David Lynch version of Dune! Admittedly it wasn't as good as it could have been, I thought it captured Dune sufficiently. A helluva lot better than the miniseries, that's for sure. I really didn't like the miniseries; it left a bad taste in my mouth at the end.

    ----
  • I, in fact, really enjoyed David Lynch's rendition of Dune. The sci-fi channel's rendition, however, was quite terrible. It remained more true to the plot, but David Lynch captured the more mystical essence of Dune. Though it didn't follow the plot very completely, it was (in my opinion) an excellent translation of Dune into film! The miniseries was just plain bad... bad acting, HORRIBLE costuming, and mispronounciations... WHY "Maud'Dib" and not the PROPER "Muad'Dib"? Is there an excuse for that?

    Bah. Anyhow, I thought the miniseries was simply badly executed. There may have been good intent, and some of it was good as well, but there is no excuse for the overall shoddiness of the rest. I actually rented it on VHS, and watched the whole thing through. I found it one of those movies that you just want to throw out and never watch again after you watch it. I don't know what they're going to do with the 'sequel'; I hope they don't botch it as they did the first.

    ----
  • I don't understand the problem so many people seem to have with Lynch's Dune rendition. I thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, I watched it several times. Though I haven't seen any other of Lynch's films, I certainly do not think that Dune is by any means a bad movie. I think one of the main things that adds to the movie is the haunting soundtrack... In fact, a good soundtrack can make a good movie into a great movie. But I digress...

    ----
  • Ringworld? Ugh. Just because something may be easy to translate into a movie doesn't mean you should.

    I found Ringworld to be, put frankly, a very crappy book. The entire concept behind the book I found very distasteful and just plain stupid. Saying that Ringworld is about a "ringworld" is like saying Dune is about a desert planet. The ringworld was only a setting for babbling about genetic luck, an idea that I find ludicrous and really turned me off to the book. Though how genetically lucky individuals were breeded was an interesting idea, the entire concept behind it I found extremely distasteful. The entire book was tedious and was basically an exploration of a concept in a crappy fictional story. I found the writing itself poor as well. I don't see how Ringworld is worth honouring. Admittedly, I haven't read any more of Niven's works (Ringworld has turned me off to him), so maybe some of his other books may be worth reading and movie-izing, but definitely not Ringworld.

    But this whole post is very very off topic.

    ----
  • I loved Lynch's Dune movie. It was certainly not a travesty as some people would like to call it. I thought it really captured the essence of Dune and, though it didn't follow the book completely, showed the story behind Dune superbly.

    I hated the Sci-Fi Channel's Dune, however. They attempted to stay true to the book, and did somewhat. I didn't like some of the things they added or messed-up, nor did I like the horrid acting or nasty costume. It just did not capture Dune the way David Lynch did!

    ----
  • A movie based on or inspired by a book can be a great thing. Some reason why people make movies based on books:
    a) money

    b) agreeing with the author and wanting to reach a wider audience by making a movie
    c) seeing artistic potential in the atmosphere or ideas presented by the author
    d) and others...
    I think that David Lynch's rendition of Dune was great... It captured the essence of Frank Herbert's Dune. Another great book-made-movie is A Clockwork Orange. The book is great, but I think the movie is even better. Kubrick did a great job on this one. The atmosphere of the movie is simply superb, and really gets across the message that Burgess showed in the book.

    ----
  • I saw the last part of it on Sci-fi a few weeks back, and was really impressed at how well it actually followed the book. The Dune series has always been one of my favorite books, and while some of the effects looked a little cheapo (not bad considering the budget was probably not Hollywood-blockbuster big), the way that entire blocks of dialog and scenes were taken directly from the book was really great. Hopefully these new ones will keep that up. I want to "see" Frank Herbert's book * of Dune, I don't want something that's kind of similiar to what happened in * of Dune.

    I never really liked Lynch's Dune movie, because it seemed in many ways totally unrelated to the book.

  • And sorry, but if I'm not mistaken, in the book Paul Atreides wasn't a whiny little bitch.

    Hehehe. I liked it, but I gotta admit I kept expecting Paul to whine to uncle owen that he wanted to go into town to get some power converters. =)

    J

  • It's Arthur C. Clarke's third law of technology, not an Isaac Asimov quote.

    Not a flame, just a helpful hint.

    Further helpfulness (/. will kill you with it!) The Asmov quote is in fact a mean little twist on the famous Clarke quote:

    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.

    Something that I'm sure a lot of us can relate to. My magic is usually a hack or a cheat, and not the technological miracle that I'll let my bosses to believe. =)

    J

  • It's been a while since I ready it, but I don't remember having imagined Louis Wu as an Asian when reading Ringworld, so Chow Yun-Fat would seem pretty out of place to me. By the time Known Space is upon us, the human race is pretty much homogenized from inter-racial breeding, and there are no more distinguishing racial features to speak of.

    Despite the novel's characterization of him as looking like a 20-something, I imagined Louis Wu's appearance as sort of a bronze-skinned, dark-haired Anglo man who looked artificially young, so I'd choose someone who looked like George Hamilton to play him.

  • Dune is just too ambitious for TV or even full length feature movies. There's not enough time even in a Roots-length mini-series, let a lone a mere six hours, to cover all the nuances adequately. Big chunks of it must be left out, so I don't know why anyone who has read and admired the series would want to intentionally butcher it for the small screen.

    I'd like to see some other classic Sci-Fi adapted for TV before another installment in the Dune series. How about Stranger in a Strange Land? Are "we" (US-ian "we") ready for that? I'd guess so, seeing how well QAF is doing on Showtime.

    How about Ringworld and its sequels/prequels? There's a hard-core yarn that special effects technology is finally ready to render spectacularly, and the story is as straightforward as any movie-of-the-week. Heck, most of Niven/Pournelle's joint efforts would suit me fine: Footfall, Thor's Hammer, The Mote in God's Eye. These stories are very much more adaptable to TV or motion pictures than anything Herbert has written.

  • To be precise, the book was written while filming, but wasn't published till after the film. And the movie was not based on "The Sentinel". That short story was the origin of the idea of 2001 for Clarke. I just finished the 4 books and found the comments by Clarke very interesting.
  • I don't know why EVERY single time a book is made into a movie there's a grumpy guy going "the movie sucked ass". Is this part of human nature or something? Is there a gene for this? And if there is, can we breed that out because it's frickin' annoying.

    It's part of the "Comic Book Guy" syndrome that is excellently portrayed on the Simpson's. The good news is that people suffering from this naturally repel potential mates and reduce their chances to pass on these harmful genes. The bad news is that they will be irritating us until they pass on.

    The most ironic part is if they get to pass on their genes, or at least go through the motions, they would not find cause to be this annoying.
  • The Ringworld movie is in preproduction. Further details available here [larryniven.org].
  • Louis Wu is described as being in the same physical condition of a man of 20, not necessarily looking 20 years old. He's also described as a person with no real racial traits left as the genes were diluted, but he shows a preference for the Asian appearance through the use of a single long braid on the back of his head as his only visible hair, and the use of body makeup to give his skin a slightly yellower tone and narrowed eyes. I reread the novel a few weeks ago after hearing the news of the movie, and Chow Yun Fat seems to fit the descriptions listed.
  • ... fix your cranio-rectal inversion.
  • I don't know why EVERY single time a book is made into a movie there's a grumpy guy going "the movie sucked ass".

    This phenomenon is almost certain to be seen simply due to statistical laws and the size of todays movie viewing audience (i.e. anything that can happen, will). I think that it's exacerbated by the fact that when most books are made into movies they suck ass.

    If nobody complains when they see somthing that they feel really sucks, what will the movie studios and tv producers do? They will descend in an endless spiral of suckiness that will consume us all!

    I just realized I'm complaing about people who complain about too much complaining (complaining^3?).

  • The first miniseries was really botched, i mean, they don't even delve into the religious importence of the spice, nor it's wei as a narcotic. The point of the worms interaction with them is mispresented and the weirding modules are completely ignored (this was amongst the things that made House Atreides as strong as it was).

    The scenery is also poorly presented; there is no show of water conservation in the mini-series, even among the fremen. Frank Herbert was [practically, at min.] an Ecologist - and the mini-series gave absolutely no attention to this spirit.

    There's more, but if you care enough by now there's plenty [fremen.org] of sites with more info (or i'm preaching to the converted). The new series will get eaten up - just as the last one did - but that doesn't mean it will be any better. Harrison should do himself a favor and hire an (eclectic) Ecologist [mailto] or at least a well-schooled historian of some religious venue.
  • Indeed, the miniseries was utterly unintelligible to anyone who hadn't already read the book. I've read the entire series so I was able to follow it, but *all* of the people I know who saw it without having read the book were completely, utterly lost. The series completely failed to deliver the cool concepts and experiences of Dune.

    The miniseries was successful only because it invoked nostalgia in the people who loved the book. If you ever watch the series again (I never will, it was painful) try watching it *without* mentally filling in the gaping plot holes and subtle references.

  • You're comparing two things that shouldn't be compared.
    I'd say that any two things can be compared. Some comparisons make more sense than others, true, but what's wrong with comparing apples and oranges? "They're both round fruits, juicy and with a pleasant flavor." Not so hard, eh? That's a pretty narrow little world you're in, where you can only compare some things and not others.

    Besides, did you even read my post? I spent most of it contrasting the works, not comparing them.

    "We all say so, so it must be true!"

    • "An apple, like a tire iron, can be thrown at a dog."
    • "A tire iron, like an apple, is something I often keep in my truck."
    Next.

    (And if you had any balls at all, you'd be logged in).

    "We all say so, so it must be true!"

  • by legLess (127550) on Monday July 09, 2001 @12:48PM (#96990) Journal
    Well, Dune Messiah is thought by many people to be the weakest of the 6 books. Several people I know flat-out stopped reading the series right there, thinking that the rest would suck just the same. Herbert plotted the first 3 books before he wrote a word of Dune; he knew how it was going to end, and had no plans for a 4th, 5th, or 6th.

    The advantage of this method is that he created a complete cycle right up-front (see next P), rather than tacking on book after book like many hack writers do. The disadvantage is that Dune Messiah is pretty obviously just a stepping stone to Children of Dune. I think the series would have been stronger if he'd left it out entirely, but we would have missed Paul's relationship with Channi, which is complex and interesting.

    The first 3 are a perfect cycle, almost a tragedy in the classical sense - a man falling from a high position due to hubris (yes, I know, Aristotle defined tragedy more specifically than that, but I'm too lazy to look it up). The last 3 are much better written, with more interesting plots and characters.

    I don't watch TV, so I don't know how the first mini-series went. I find it hard to believe that the work can be faithfully reproduced, however, no matter how much time and money is spent on it. This contrasts with Peter Jackson's upcoming LOTR, which actually may not suck. Tolkien was wordy, but LOTR is a fairly simple work - standard mythology. Dune (all 6) are complex commentary on politics, economics, religion, human nature, oil, water - you name it. Very deep. You can get the action to the screen, but I fear the depth being left behind.

    And before Tolkien fans get out their flame-throwers, yes, I love Tolkien. I took (and aced) several graduate-level Tolkien courses in school, and have a deep and abiding appreciation for him and his work. LOTR, however, is a sitcom compared with The Silmarillion, and The Hobbit is a commercial break. No one will make a movie of The Silmarillion, anymore than you could make a movie of the entire Bible.

    And yet The Silmarillion is still just a small part of Tolkien's work, and his world. Amazing.

    "We all say so, so it must be true!"

  • If anything, the book was a ``novelization'' of the screenplay, not the other way around. The movie was written as a movie by Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick, and was later adapted into a novel by Clarke. There were some differences between the story that Clarke wrote as the screenplay and the final filmed version, but that is typical of filmmaking.
  • Christ, the guy playing Paul made a certain young Jedi look like academy award material.

    Did you mean Luke or Anniken?

  • With a movie/series like Dune it does not matter if the movie/series is as good as the book or not. They are not made for the book fans. They are made for people who either can't get enough of the story or people who never got any.

    If someone says "that movie ruled" and goes out and buys the book then the people who sold the rights to the movie win twice. If some one didn't like the movie but they still sat there and watches it and made the advertisers happy.

    I have read the first 7 books. I have seen the original movie and the mini I saw up to the point where they made bringing back Idaho really hard; it's not easy to get cells from an explosion. At that point I said "Not the same" and turned it off. I am a fan but not a fanatic.
    It's about the money not the integrity.
  • Footfall had too much copied for Independance Day. Viewers would think it a rip-off of that movie. The whole "big mothership deploys smaller but still giant ships around world" thing, and the asteroid hitting the earth would also bring back just a few too many memories of recent shtty movies.
  • Are you smoking crack? This is a television miniseries, not a computer game. Gotta love it when people don't even read the synopsis, let alone the article.

    Got to love it when people can't understand humor, let alone how to close their tags.

    Josh Sisk
  • AFAIK, the most faithful adaptation from book->movie was probably "2001", which changed some pretty big details (it was a moon of Saturn originally, not Jupiter), but kept the main ideas intact.

    AFAIK, this is because the novel was written from the script that Clarke and Kubrick collaborated on. The script/film is based on an earlier Clarke short story "the Sentinel", but the film's storyline is very different, and the book is based on the script, not the original story.

    Josh Sisk
  • This is only matched by the number of people who blindly cheer at every single piece of cinema put to tape and declare the director as brilliant and a genius. I haven't seen a piece of film that I consider genius quality in a long time, so I'm guessing the average person in the world is now either blind, has received a major head trauma, or was born that way. Of course, 15% of those ended up being invented by Fox to market their movies or paid to make testimonials, but there are still enough of them that can make a bad movie sell like a cure for cancer.

    Having seen the Lynch Dune way back when it first came out for VCRs, then having read the books and finally seen this one after waiting with bated breath, they both have parts where they stunk big time, and parts where they were great. Where is that Phantom Edit when you need it?!? Someone should glue the two together to get the best of both worlds. Frankly (no pun intended), there were parts that Lynch magically pulled out of his rectum to add to the movie - such as the weirding modules - which I cannot believe Herbert agreed to without having previously been tied up and locked in a room full of cobras. I still like the special effects of the Lynch Dune and the movie has parts that carry the suspense and action that I felt in the book. The SFC Dune had some neat scenery, pronounced Harkonnen completely wrong, had some effects that blew dead monkeys, and more importantly covered some scenes that were important in the book and which Lynch completely left out.

    What will the new ones do for books that I felt carried no big suspense or action? Time to go get House Harkonnen.

  • Its good to see Sci Fi doing this. There doing for modern science fiction what TNT does for modern westerns. Producing their own passible to good series and movies. I for one thought that the director of the Dune Mini-Series really wanted it to be a play, which is why it didn't turn out as well as it could have. It was still very fun, so i'm hopefull for this one too.

    Also, has anyone else heard the rumor that Sci Fi might be showing/co producing a NEW Dr. Who series? God I hope so...just as long as they get a budget of 3000$ per episode. It looses that whole Dr Who feel if its to pricey.
  • by j_snare (220372) on Wednesday July 11, 2001 @07:18AM (#97025)
    if they had called it "Dessert Planet, a story inspired by Frank Herbert's Dune"

    LOL! Sorry, but I just got visions of the dinner scene in the book with everyone eating sundaes or cakes or something, then rolling the end credits.

    Well, as it annoys me to get a reply about a spelling error and nothing about the content, I'll also make an actual reply. I would say that both movies sucked, really. I just couldn't get over the "wierding modules" and the raining in the Lynch film, and the time limit just made it worse. But the mini series was of just such poor acting and poor FX (for most of it), it was distracting from the story.
  • It's Arthur C. Clarke's third law of technology, not an Isaac Asimov quote.

    Not a flame, just a helpful hint.
  • It's great to see this new miniseries, but why would you adapt TWO stories into one series, rather than preserving the second (actually third) story for an additional miniseries...Strange

    Is sci-fi actually imune from the television media marketing engine? You can only sell half the ads if you have half the content, so why would they have decided to combine the stories into only one miniseries...

    --CTH

    --
  • by WillSeattle (239206) on Monday July 09, 2001 @12:21PM (#97039) Homepage
    If you'd been watching the telecast, they showed it at http://www.scifi.com/secret/ for a short time.

    While it's true that SciFi is making this with a low budget, and it does show, I still find that their adaptation has certain elements I find far more believable than the one Frank Herbert was so deeply involved with, even though that one had far better character actors for the most part.

    The SCI FI version seems to get the feel of the culture better, and what the events in the book may have been like, than one found in the original movie, even if it's not as well-crafted.

    Plus, the actress who plays Chani is way hotter, and more believable, than Sean was in the same role.

  • Personally, I felt the only thing the mini-series had to offer was its adherance to the actual dialog and action of the book itself (which Lynch's obviously did not). With that, the b-movie acting and ungodly costume design could be overlooked, since Dune fans could finally see a somewhat literal interpretation of the book. Both messiah and children of dune are infinately complex in their own right as they expound on the minuate of an Empire and its "holy" leaders. By cutting them down and attempting to push that much intrigue into a single mini-series, they are destroying the best part about having sci-fi produce these in the first place.
  • Yes, Dune wasn't 100% accurate, but it was a good adaptation, especially for a sci-fi novel. There are a lot worse books->movie conversions out there, such as "The Postman" (where they removed over 2/3rds of the book, and dammit, I liked AI machines). Then there are the truly horrible written fiction->movies out there, which I can't recall off the top of my head, due to a mental block. I'm sure a few slashdotters out there could reply with a horrifying list.

    AFAIK, the most faithful adaptation from book->movie was probably "2001", which changed some pretty big details (it was a moon of Saturn originally, not Jupiter), but kept the main ideas intact.

    Every time I read a good novel, and think it would make a spiffy movie, I remember what happened in the past, and am therefore content with imagining what traekis look like, rather then seeing them on the big screen.

    *sigh*

    Oh well, just my $1.02

  • I am still wondering as to why people want to make movies out of books. They are two completely different mediums. It's sort of like composer putting Shakespeare's King Lear to music. What's that all about?

    Dune is one of the best book series of all times, right up there with LOTR and a few others. But it's not so much the style, or the motion, that makes it great, it's the undercurrent. It's so deep on so many levels that it makes you think, _really_think_, about your own life, your own beliefs, your own preconceptions.

    Books are an immersive technology, sort of like coding, going into wizard mode, where the world stops spinning and you're transcended to another place and time. Movies don't achieve this level, ever. This level is what book authors aim for, and when they succeed, they are rewarded with god-like fame.
    But movies are about money, and are meant to be understood by the masses (even within a particular genre). Books, however, are a lot more selective, and not too many people have read the last book of Dune and understood why Duncan left in the No-Ship taking the BT couple with him.

    Movies are made for money, to make money, to increase viewer share. Really great books, on the other hand, are meant to reflect the deepest thoughts of incredibly talented and imaginative individuals.
    I rented the Dune miniseries last fall, and altough I am a great Herbert fan, that movie sucked. It was just barely okay. It went through the motion, but never engaged the viewer into deep mode. I have read the Dune series 6 times (all 2000+ pages) and I will read it at least 10 more times in my life (once every 3 years or so). I guarantee I will not see that miniseries Dune movie ever again.

    People should just learn to enjoy books. It's amazing what that does for one's ability to write BTW.

    As far as the Dune books to movies, I don't see why they have to be done in order. If it was up to me, and if I was to make movies of these books, I would go: 5, 4, 6, 1, 2, 3.

    Oh, and you can just ignore the prequels/sequels written by those other two. They never ever reach the deep levels.

    Try Maia, by Richard Adams. He gets pretty close. It's a bit boring at times, but it is immersive, and very well written.

  • The NY times had an interesting, somewhat related article [nytimes.com] on Sunday discussing the overall lack of quality of the stories of Science Fiction movies (quality referring to the depth of the characters, theme.. etc). I thought of this article when reading this interview. Dune as a whole, to me, is several rungs higher in depth as a science fiction epic. (right up there with Asimov's Foundation series). Its a real pity that scifi epics like Dune arent given the same budget as scifi soaps such as Star Wars(although the soaps are not bad, jsut not intellectually stimulating).

    -its almost 4:30
  • I may be unique in the world for saying this, but I love Dune, the Original movie, before Sci-Fi fucked with it. Yes, maybe it was different from the book, but who the hell cares? They are different texts in different mediums and serve a different purpose from each other. Sci-Fi's remake of Dune only served to make what was a piece with a wonderful feel and effects that were stylistic and beautiful into another crappy Sci-Fi film with B grade acting, C grade digital effects and costumes straight out of Lawrence of Arabia.

    The fact is that the Sci-Fi channel is so stuck in its idiom of fiction by the numbers that it can't break out into a truly stylistic piece. Shows like Farscape may be technically well written and full of enough stupid melodrama to put a headlock on anything Vince MacMahon ever thought up, but they're just totally bereft of anything original or even interesting in theme or plot. The original Dune plot took a wonderful little piece of political pulp fiction by a decent writer and turned it into a fantastic adventure that excited me and left me feeling complete. I didn't need any more back story -- I was willing to corral the boring history of the world into some technical addendum a la some of the Star Wars books. Sci Fi managed to ruin a great movie by degrading the acting, enhancing the most boring aspects of the story while losing the ones that had any real cinematic flavour and restricted the camera angles to nothing but interior medium shots. Oh, and while making the movie more boring and not worth watching, they extended what was already a 4 hour film. When they make the sequel, they'll just be extending it furthur -- and since I'm sure they'll preclude it with a replay of their horrendious remake, it'll be a half day worth of boredom I suggest only for masochists, herbert fanatics and college students with nothing better to do.
  • Dune is just too ambitious for TV or even full length feature movies.

    If you think Dune is ambitious, try reading Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast. Then watch the BBC/PBS mini-series that's airing around the country right now. Gormenghast is at least as ambitious as Dune, probably more so, and the mini-series blows both versions visual versions of Dune out of the water. It can be done, but it takes a lot of elements, none of which seemed to come togther for Dune. Now if the BBC or Channel 4 had done it...

  • by Dr. Prakash Kothari (314326) on Monday July 09, 2001 @12:20PM (#97064)
    I've been a big fan of Dune ever since the first version came out when I was in high school. I loved Wolfenstein 3D before that, and I can remember playing Dune until the wee hours in the morning some nights. Dune 2 was similar, but didn't have the same eerie atmosphere and feel as the original. Hopefully, in the 10 years that have passed since the original was released, ID Software will be able to take advantage of new technology and increases in processing power to make the new version of Dune live up to it's predecessor.
  • Lynch wanted to be better known - I think Twin Peaks speaks to that. But, because of Dune, his rising star just flatlined. I think, after The Elephant Man, Lynch was well on his way to reach the status of "great." But, to be honest, I think The Elephant Man was clearly his best work (John Hurt's too, for that matter), and Dune proved to be his undoing, showing he couldn't handle a large ensemble cast or a big budget, both of which were skills he would desperately need with his failed attempt to revitalize Twin Peaks in Fire Walk With Me. Don't get me wrong - I would go see a Lynch movie over most any day, but I get the feeling that he never quite reached the status and recognition he seemed to desire.

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming

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