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Sci Fi Gives Green Light To "Children of Dune" 263

fooguy writes "Our friends at the Sci Fi Channel have given the Green Light to begin production of Children of Dune. According to the release, 'The miniseries begins production in Prague in April 2002 and is slated to air in 2003. Dune adapter John Harrison wrote the script, based on "Dune Messiah" and "Children of Dune," the second and third novels in Frank Herbert's six-volume Dune Chronicles series. Richard P. Rubinstein comes back on board as executive producer. The sequel will continue the story of the Atreides family and recount the fall of Paul's empire, with the future resting in the hands of Paul's heirs, his twin children."
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Sci Fi Gives Green Light To "Children of Dune"

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  • by Christopher B. Brown ( 1267 ) <> on Monday December 03, 2001 @04:50PM (#2650201) Homepage
    If the folks working on this include those that worked on the previous miniseries, this would be not horrible news.

    The previous miniseries suffered from the problem that they kept forgetting that Dune was a desert; hopefully enough fans can remind them of that fact that it might not be such a problem this time.

    And hopefully the miniseries will be better than the "Dune: House X" series (for the assortment of values of X).

    • The previous miniseries suffered from the problem that they kept forgetting that Dune was a desert; hopefully enough fans can remind them of that fact that it might not be such a problem this time.

      I agree; factual inaccuracies are the Plague of the Dune spinoffs. I hope, at least, that they get the design of the Weirding Modules directly from the book this time. The implementation in the movie was... well... let's just say "sub optimal at best" to keep from starting a flame war.

      My fear is they will attempt to change the landscape of Herbert's vision: new "houses", new races, new rules. Much like Enterprise has created a bunch of super-evil aliens never seen in the future (complete with a Time Travelling version of Wesley Crusher), I could see the sequel inventing things that wouldn't jibe with the original "Universe" at all.

      Oh well, guess we'll just have to wait and see.
      • I hope, at least, that they get the design of the Weirding Modules directly from the book this time.

        • The lame Weirding modules were the worst thing in the movie to me. What a lazy excuse to blow off most of the most interesting philosophical subtext in the book.

          My wife insists that the "Paul and Chani's love grew" and jump cut to 3 years later was even more lame. But sorta explains why they start the film with a 20 year old Paul (he's supposed to be about 13 in most of the book).

        • I think that's what the previous poster meant about getting the design of the Weirding modules right. Not having them would make them right.

          For that matter, I hope that they get the Eyes of Ibad right. I sort of always thought that "deep blue whites and pupils" meant something other than "light blue pupils."
          The characters would look a LOT different if you couldn't see their pupils. It would do more to convince everyone that all of the Fremen are addicts of a very dangerous drug.
          • For that matter, I hope that they get the Eyes of Ibad right. I sort of always thought that "deep blue whites and pupils" meant something other than "light blue pupils."

            They didn't even get it right on the t.v. miniseries of Dune a while back (on Space Channel for those of us in Canada)... dark blue on the front of the eye (glowing too!), but when their heads were turned (we see a different angle of the eye), the eyes were basically white.

            The t.v. series was apparently better than the film (which I haven't seen yet, but my father insists that it is so). Unfotrunately, I don't remember much about the book anymore... I'd love to compare both to the book (in the way that I believe that the Starship Troopers movie should have gotten the super-armour right...)

      • If they do anything right about it, it would involve them presenting The Weirdling Way, which would be rather a lot more like some martial art than anything else.

        The "deus ex machina" of the Duniverse was spice, with some dosing of mental sciences like the Mentats and such.

        The thing that struck me as being the real plague of the "Plague of the Dune" spinoffs was that they were so hot on throwing in bits of, well, late 20th century technology.

        The Butlerian Jihad was all about utterly rejecting the use of computers and artificial forms of intelligence. That is not the sort of environment in which it makes sense for people to get excited about the Galaxy Wide Web :-).

        Frankly, one of the neat things about Dune was the notion of the people systematically rejecting things like computers. You have to think a little bit to come up with the sorts of alternative sorts of technologies that come out of people refusing to think down those paths...

  • What are all the whiners going to do? It wouldn't be Dune without cries of, "The movie was better!"

    On a more serious note, I wonder how well the rest of the books will translate. I thought they were a lot less "action-packed" than the first book, which is saying a lot.

    • by Pope ( 17780 )
      As long as they don't get all ambitious and do "God Emperor of Dune" I'll be happy! Oh, lord, that was a torturous read. "Chapterhouse" made up for it IMO. I know that's an unpopular opinion, but I really enjoyed that final book, especially when it was the final book! :)

      I know a lot of people who start reading the Dune series and get lost after Children of Dune. I tell them to keep going, but always warn them of that darn 4th one.

      As for the new series, I think it's cool, but I just couldn't get into the 6 hour "Dune" mini-series. I kept thinking after watching the first part "Hey, if I had just watched Lynch's version, it'd be over and I could go to bed." I also was very put off by the fairly obvious compositing when Paul was in the desert with his mom. It just screamed "We're in a movie studio!"

      • Yeah, I was surprised too: Sci Fi has done better compositing before, and I thought they'd at least do as good a job as they normally can. But they got the lighting wrong on the "real" parts, for one thing, which made the backgrounds seem jarring, as if it was being illuminated by a different source.
      • "God Emperor of Dune! was the best one. The whole point of the first three books, besides telling a story was to set up book 4. The series wouldn't have been as good as it was if it wasn't for the ideas he put forth in book four and carried out through the last two. He really goes out of his way to drive home both the advances and the risks of all the exploration that gets done after "God Emperor".

        Mr. Spey
      • I really get the impression tha chapterhouse wasn't supposed to be the last book. They introduce new chars, and don't do anything with them. They give Teg new powers, and don't do anything with them etc.

        I suppose it could be just bad writing tho. There were several huge plot mistakes in this book.

        A) Teg's Ghola was supposed to be imprinted, but they dicided not to. Instead they sent him to the sheena, who was basically an imprinter. The whole convolutions involved were not neccissary. They could've let lucilla do her job to begin with

        B) The battle against the honored matres was pointless. They had the whole battle, in the end the Bene Geserit lose, and Murbella lands on and dukes it out with the spider queen. She wins, the two groups merge.

        They could've just sent murbella to kick her ass to begin with. Murbella didn't have any fear of not being accepted.

        C) What is up with the farmer gholas in the net that Teg can see? They had 0 purpose in the story. If there were later books, then this would be a decent intro. But not the way they set it up.

        D) They sent Duncan off into space, but no resolution to his char.

        E) More exist, but I cant think of em right now.
        • True, but I think Frank Herbert was working on yet another book in the series before he died. In the intro text in his son's "House: X" books he mentions it. Hopefully we'll see that come out in the near future.....
        • More Spoilers...

          It was NOT [] supposed to be the last book. He died before he was finished. Brian (his son) and Kevin Anderson have done a number of prequels, and are doing the sequel [] to Chapterhouse (book 7), after which they're going way back to cover the Butlerian Jihad series (3 books), which will be completed in about 2004. Their writing doesn't match Frank Herbert's, in my opinion, but it's always great to have more Dune books.

          A) I think that for the sake of later plot development Teg and Sheena had to become involved with each other. Also, it was important that Teg's memories were recovered independant of Bene Geseret influence for his later independant decision making. Also, maybe this showed how the current Bene Geserit ways of imprinting were failing and had to change in the end.

          B) I agree - except that Murbella probably couldn't have gotten to the spider queen without assistance.

          C) I think that the 'farmers' that your thinking about were the face dancer couple that were prescient and trying to get control of the known universe using that knowledge and the the null capsule filled with all the Tleilaxu gholas.

          D) When Duncan guided he, Sheeana, & Scytale to the uncharted universe they escaped them. This actually is a cool finish because it shows that independant decision is the best thing humans have, and this seems to me to be a decent resolution to the series.
          • Their writing doesn't match Frank Herbert's, in my opinion, but it's always great to have more Dune books.

            See, I wish I could agree, but Brian and Kevin's work reads WAY too much like the cheesy fucking Star Trek books. It seems like you're reading a story where the entire thought process behind major parts of the book was to fill space because they couldn't think up a more integral plot. Also, it seems like they were writing different chapters within the same book episodically. Like they were sitting around each week going "What can we do to the characters THIS week?" I'll admit that there were SOME interesting parts of the two prequels I read. I liked the whole Duncan goes to Ginaz thing. But that story doesn't fit with the blurb about the fall of Ginaz in Dune's glossary. That's amazing, considering it occupies all of two sentences, and Brian and Kevin STILL couldn't make it fit better! And Brian seems to be under the impression, like David Lynch and the people doing the Scifi Channel miniseries, that Guild navigators look like grotesque half-butterfly-half-vagina things. You must remember the end of Dune, when there were two PERFECTLY NORMAL LOOKING Guild navigators who came to Arrakis with Shaddam and later talked with Paul. The only distinguishing characteristic were their spice-blackened eyes. Even Edric wasn't described as being as grotesque as they make them out to be.

            And Brian turned spice into a method of teleportation, somehow. The spice just makes it possible for navigators to see the safe path to guide ships by, and then the Holtzmann technology actually takes them there. So why did that one twin kid whose name I forget COMPLETELY DISAPPEAR from the chamber he was in after he was saturated in spice? That's ridiculous!

            I sense that this post would get too long if I kept going, so I'll stop now. The point is, Fuck Brian Herbert and everyone that looks like him.
      • God Emperor wasn't as bad as Heretics, but that's neither here nor there. Chapterhouse isn't actually the last book. There was a final one that Frank died before he could complete. Rumor has it that his son is going to complete what needs completed and then release it. Problem with that is, Brian is an ass-terrible author, if I am entitled to my opinion. The House N books are total rubbish. As far as the miniseries, they better fix all the problems they had with the first one, especially the wacky costumes. If even half the crap is fixed, I'll be happy with it.
  • Most knowledgeable science fiction readers are wll aware that the Dune series is really an allegory for Islam, with spice = oil.

    I find the timing of this film to be very suspicious. In a nutshell, Dune Messiah deals with corruption in the upper levels of Fremen heirarchy, while Children of Dune deals with how Paul Atreids children sieze control of the Interstellar empire.

    If you assume the Bin Laden family = Fremen, and Osama = Leto II, it gets very interesting indeed. I wonder how this will be changed to make the message acceptable for western civilization?

    • I find the timing of this film to be very suspicious.

      Oh, yeah. Let's see they made the first movie last year and got better ratings for it than anything they've ever aired on the Sci-Fi Channel. Ummmm...perhaps the fact that they are in business to make money, and they do that by selling advertising, which is driven by ratings would have something to do with it?

      Why look for a complicated conspiracy theory when the facts of the matter point to a very simple explanation. I won't even go into the fact that your analogy is ridiculous...

    • Bad Jet Li = Osama and Good Jet Li = the US Military.

      It's a frightening correlation - except the whole part about time travel. And the part with the two guys chasing the Bad Jet Li. In any event, it's clearly very suspicious.

      Most knowledgeable people are aware that Jet Li is from China, which is very close to the Middle East. And most Chinese food involves oil and vegetables, and everyone knows that the Middle East has oil and Muslims can't eat pork.

      • Most knowledgeable people are aware that Jet Li is from China, which is very close to the Middle East

        Pull out an atlas sometime. China is about as close to the middle east as England is. /me starts to rethink James Bond movies...

    • Not to dispute the whole Fremen == Islam && spice == oil bit, but the whole business with Osama shows an example of how...

      1) A sci-fi writer can predict events decades in the future, and weave them into their novels, or...

      2) The human mind is capable of finding coincidences in the darnedest places.

      • Actually, the Fremen draw more close comparisions with Judaism than Islam. Although there is plenty of seemingly Muslim influence thrown in (jihad, etc.).
        • Fremen: Think Jewish culture/history with Arabic religious beliefs. Fremen mythology is taken more or less whole cloth from medieval Islam, but the culture of the peoples (Outcasts, constant traveling, persecution making them hard and pragmatic, fanatical tribal loyalty) are taken from Judaism.
      • Actually, there are some extensive interviews with Herbert saying that water is oil.

        Exceprt from "When I was writing dune" can be found in the front of the paperback copy of Heretics of dune.

        ...there was no room in my mind for cencerns about the book's sucess of failure. I was concerned only with the writing. Six years of research had preceded the day I sat down to put the story together, and the interweaving of the many plot layers I had planned required a degree of concentration I had never before exprienced.

        It was to be a story exploring the myth of the Messiah.

        It was to produce another view of a human-occupied planet as an energy machine.

        It was to penetrate the interlocked workings of politics and economincs.

        It was to be an examination of absolute prediction and its pitfalls.

        It was to have an awareness drug in it and tell what could happen through dependence on such a substance.

        Potable water was to be an analog for oil and for water iteself, a substance whose supply diminishes each day

        It was to be an ecological novel then, with many overtones, as well as a story about people and their human concerns with human values, and I had to monitor each of thes elevels at every stage in the book

        But the islam stuff doesnt stop there. The Telaxiu are Islamic, as can be seen in the later books.
    • taliban in toyotas = rebels in landspeeders
      bin laden = ben kenobi
      fundamentalism = the force
      F22 = TIE fighter
      aircraft carrier = star destroyer
      WTC = death star
      suicidal pilots = luke skywalker
      predator UAV = imperial probe droid
      terrorists sneaking through airports = "these are not the droids you're looking for"
      america strikes back = the empire strikes back

      i don't think terrorists are heroes - i live in manhattan for christ's sake - but the parallels are scary.
      • the parallels are scary

        Besides the fact that you just aligned some vague concepts with some more vague concepts, without explaining yourself, there's really nothing scary here at all. The term 'strikes back' is a common english idiom, and was rather natural for CNN et al to use.

        However, just for the record, 'rebels' never drove around in landspeeders, and Luke was neither a suicidal pilot, nor was he attacking a weapon capable of blowing up planets...

        Ben Kenobi / Osama? When did 'gentle Ben' ever advocate killing millions of innocent Empire civilians? Star Wars episode 4.5: Ben Gets Pissed?

    • Moby Dick (Score:2, Funny)

      by jabber01 ( 225154 )

      And of course Moby Dick is really a metaphorical foretelling of Operation Eternal Snipe-Hunt, where the Whale symbolizes Al Qaeda, Captain Ahab is obviously G.W. Bush and his cabinet. The loss of Ahab's leg is the destruction of the Twin Towers, and the Maori warrior is allegorical of the 'Global Coalition' bent on destroying the White Whale.. Arrgh! Matey!!

      Then there's the crew, all of whom have different motivations for setting out on the hunt, and whose resolve waivers and falters at different times during the crusade..

      Also, Moby Dick is a cautionary tale that the US government should reread, seeing as blindly following a demented leader is sure to kill everyone except the commentator, Ishmael..

      Ishmael, Israel, what's the difference? It is clear that the US is doomed to failure in this enterprise, and Israel will rise out of the ashes of the Middle East - and we are beginning to see this happen as we speak..

      Well, but what about the anthrax, you ask.. I'm glad you asked.. The appropriate parallel on the high seas is scurvy.. Yes, the lack of vitamin C which causes one's teeth to fall out is an appropriate symbol for the anthrax scare which has driven the US Government out of it's very offices, rendering the law making process virtually toothless..

      Damn!! I'm on a roll!! My English Lit teacher would be so proud.. I should post this to They'd like it there. ;)
      • "rendering the law making process virtually toothless.."

        Eh? Doesn't seem to have prevented them from hurriedly ramming through some very broad, powerful, sweeping legislation that they'd never have been able to pass during peacetime.

        If anything, it seems to have greased the wheels!
  • by garyrich ( 30652 ) on Monday December 03, 2001 @04:52PM (#2650219) Homepage Journal
    The book is 90% interior dialog. A lot of it is actually important to the overall Dune world though. I wonder how they will handle that? Probably ignore it. Children of Dune is far more filmable, so I imagine that's where they will spend screen time.

    • Just do what they did in the first movie (the one with patrick stewart).. have the actors head into a sound room, record some lines, then crank the reverb up to eleven.

      ..ugh. :)

      Dune is a set of books that should never have been put to a screenplay. Too much of what makes the books so grand is lost. Considering the first book is by far the most action packed of all six, and how badly they botched the movie for it, you really gotta fear what the sequels will be like. It'll be like High Fidelity, except with more talking, and it'll all be in reverb mode.

      That first movie scarred me so badly I never let myself watch any of the other Dune releases.
      • by garyrich ( 30652 ) on Monday December 03, 2001 @05:41PM (#2650683) Homepage Journal
        I seem to recall that the mini-series people set themselves a "no voiceovers" rule for the 1st mini-series. That went too far.

        A lot of the voiceovers in the Lynch/Smithee movie were the meta-text that started most chapters. I don't mind those, they fill in lots of misc info and set the tone that you are reading an account of ancient history (from the narration perspective) and seem to imply that some of the book text itself may be seen through the cracked glass of history.

        I remember when the mini-series came out at least one reviewer said that Dune was going to be like Macbeth or Hamlet in that it would be redone every generation with a different perspective.

  • This is great news. I hope that he'll get a chance to faithfully reproduce the whole series on-screen. I can't wait for Leto's transformation. The execs at Sci-fi get my vote - I'll be buying this one on DVD...
    • ----I can't wait for Leto's transformation.----

      I dunno, i got a little tired of the whole "morphing" effect a long time ago, and unless they can do better (like doing morphing SLOWLY, over characters moving in realtime), I think that's all we'll see.
      • i agree, in the books he 'morphed' over quite a long period of time although the initial sandtrout(?) experience was pretty quick. i suspect they'll be relying heavily on makeup/prosthetics to make the transform to Shai-Hulud realistic. Either that or they'll compress the whole thing into some crappy 'cut-scene' type segway.

        And now the prophecy. One will come. The voice from the outer world bringing the holy war: Jihad! Which will cleanse the universe and bring us out of darkness.
  • if in light of recent events, many of the Islamic references from these 2 books were removed or reduced. Galactic Jihad, anyone? One thing's for sure--it's gonna take a while before Hollywood grows back the balls they had cut off on 9/11.

    • Hollywood had balls before 9/11?

      I know we're talking about a scifi production, but what alternate universe are you living in? ;)
    • Hollywood's balls left the room long, long before 9/11, even before most of you were born. When JAWS became a mega blockbuster, that was about the time Hollywood became timid. There was from that time forward, simply too much money on the line to take any real risks.
      • Yeah, yeah, I knew as I soon as I submitted it that someone would comment on that. What I should have said was "Hollywood, which is not very well known for risk-taking or being offensive, has since 9/11 become so annoyingly non-offensive and cautious about certain things that it's actually starting to offend me." Better? ;)

      • Because GWTW didn't make any money...

        Hollywood had stones, maybe, from about 1967 until 1975. The age of the director. Read a nifty book about it.

        But Hollywood has rarely been about risk taking.
    • And I finally noticed - really noticed - the line "He who can destroy a thing controls is." With that, and the references to the Empire crumbling without spice, it finally penetrated my thick skull that maybe there was a symbolic level of the Dune novels. Hmm...desert...strange substance on which universe depends...religious fanatacism...holy wars...might the novels have been metaphors for the middle east?

      I freely admit it, I'm an idiot.

      One more note: I gotta say, it was creepy as hell watching the Fremen chant "Jihad!" and "Muad'dib". I think a previous poster was right - Dune will mean different things to different generations. I certainly look at it in a different way after 9/11.

      It's still the Best SF Universe Ever, of course.
  • Re-watched the remake Dune last weekend. Forgot how bad the Special Effects were ;) Nothing like the slow, blocky shields...

    I'm hoping that this can be slightly more interesting... less inner monologue... but if you haven't read any of the books I simply don't see how it will be successfull.
  • of the movies includes such things as imps, cacodemons, cyber demon lords, and lost souls.
  • miniseries (Score:2, Informative)

    The big problem with the miniseries was that the actor playing Gurney Halleck was absolutely horrible. I guess it's partly because I can't see anyone but Patrick Stewart as him(one of the only redeeming features of David Lynch's debacle). At no time during the series, did I believe that he was an elite fighter of any kind.

    Also, neither the movie or the miniseries did Duncan Idaho justice. In the novels, he's a badass but he doesn't even do anything in the miniseries. Richard Jordan was just too old to play him in the original movie. The actor portraying him in the miniseries just wasn't given enough screen time.
    • Also, neither the movie or the miniseries did Duncan Idaho justice. In the novels, he's a badass but he doesn't even do anything in the miniseries.

      We'll just have to see how the zombie Duncan does in the new mini-series.
      • If they bring him back. I dont know if they can scrape enough dna off the rocks to grow one....

        I still can't believe they bombed him. The scene in the book could have been filmed easily (so much of the action was off-camera)
    • Actually, I thought most of the characters were quite well chosen, with Baron Harkonnen being the one possible counterexample.

      They may have been very weak on getting the story right, but the appearances of the characters still strike me as quite wonderful.

      • Maybe I wasn't clear enough. I don't have a big problem with the casting of the original motion picture(in fact, some of the casting was great). I meant that as a whole, the movie wasn't very faithful to the book, hence the "debacle"(it's actually not THAT bad of a movie, just so disappointing when compared to the book). I thought the costume design and scenery were the best parts of the movie. For example, the stillsuit is much cooler in the original.
  • I look forward to seeing this on Space or some other CHUM station.
  • by Washizu ( 220337 ) <> on Monday December 03, 2001 @05:01PM (#2650318) Homepage
    if they get back the girl who played Chani. Double her pay!
  • Probably reduced to two or three. But Ix. I want to see Ix.
  • Wow, it's great to see a project like this in a small town like Prague, Oklahoma []!
  • It's good to see that Slashdot's efficiency of ruining endings has not fallen. Granted, many people may have read the books, but some have not. Anyone want to ruin the end of Cryptonomicon before I'm done?
    • Turns out that Aragorn is Luke Skywalker's dad!
    • Yes. The ending to Cryptonomicon occurs about 90 pages after the book runs out of paper. Like all of Stephenson's books, he writes good prose and then ends the book by flipping a switch, leaving most of the questions unanswered.
      • (Topic? What topic?)

        Actually, I really liked the ending of Cryptonomicon. The last three pages move incredibly fast (in my hardcover ed.) have no dialogue, and in my head this translated into a sort of fugue, a lot like the ending of Apocalypse Now. Lots of cuts and dramatic music and bad lighting, especially the last couple of paragraphs.

        Then again, that may just be me.
    • Sure: there is no spoon.
  • ... Sci-Fi won't be able to air the rest of the series beyond Children of Dune. CoD is where Dune stops being about knife fights and sandworms and starts being about superhumans and clones running around having kinky sex. God Emperor of Dune and Heretics of Dune will have to be aired on Skinemax. The segue comes when people start gaining superpowers by getting naked with proto-sandworms. That's about this " close to tenticle pr0n, if you ask me.
  • Just as long as they don't do the stupid hat thing again, I'm happy as a clam. Sardukar as evil pastry chefs, indeed!
  • by mttlg ( 174815 ) on Monday December 03, 2001 @05:18PM (#2650500) Homepage Journal
    You just know everyone is going to use this for a "The Movie Sucked!" vs. "The miniseries sucked!" flamefest. Let's just hope these people don't organize into rival houses and fight for control of the world's supply of Dune criticism...

    (My take on the whole thing as someone who hasn't gotten around to reading the books (which are sitting with the rest of the classic sci-fi books I haven't read yet) is that things in the movie make more sense after watching the miniseries, and that the miniseries has more emotional depth than the movie. And despite its constant darkness, the movie seems rather upbeat, to the point of silly humor at times, not even counting the screwed up ending. I found the miniseries to be much more subtle, and that made it preferable to the movie for me.)
  • Who will play Alia, and what will her knife look like.
  • Mangling The Story (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ixo111 ( 531660 )
    Hopefully they won't mangle the story as badly
    as they did the first time. Am I the only one
    that would like to see producers / screenwriters /
    directors *stop* inserting their creative fancies
    in to classic works such as Dune or LOTR? ..

    And, if anyone out there for the SciFi channel
    is reading - please - don't dress the mentats
    up as a bishop from a five and dime chess set ..
    they really deserve a little more than that,
    I think. Tho both attempts at making a movie
    from the book (the DeLaurentis and the recent
    SciFi) took quite a few liberties with the story,
    I think the DeLaurentis productions costume work
    was excellent. The SciFi production looked like
    nothing so much as a third grader's costume

    Blah .. and now they're going to mangle LOTR.



  • Sci-Fi has agreed to shoot some scenes in my bombed village. I send e-mail to studio and they green light the project!!!! Internet is Great! visit for more information! Junis
  • There are some books that make wonderful movies, there are others that just...well...they don't make good movies for one reason or the other.

    Dune had alot of potential. Lynch and his crew could have been the right fit, then again it proved otherwise didn't it? However I just can't see how a lower budget that TV requires can possibly do justice to this series. Dune is best left on pages, not on the screen.

    The story is so inner-focused and delves quite deeply in to socialoligical, political, and religious subjects that a resonable length film version just hurts the story that was built in the minds eye by reading the book. The film maker has to cut corners somewhere, and has to make comprimises. Not everything can translate to screen from the page. Inner-dialog seems to be one of the hardest (judging by Hollywood's track record) and this is the backbone of the Dune books.

    Sci-Fi channel will have to make this movie accesible to everyone, those who've read the story and those who haven't. I personally don't think they pulled off Dune that well and, although Children is more filmable than other books, I just see it being too much of a stretch to get done in a resonable amount of time and still keep the story intact, plus deliver a vivid and memorable visual experience that both the experienced reader of Dune series and the unitiated can appreciate.

    Both Harry Potter (although not even the same league of course) and LoTR I think suffer (and will suffer) the same problem; legions of fans who have a distinct personal attachment to and "vision" of what the characters, scenery and meanings of various points and dialog are who come away from the screen version of the story dissapointed or not satisfied because of the limits that film imposes on certain stories.

    I personally would love to have a big-budget Dune made again, especially using todays modern effects capabilities. I don't want it just for the effects, but Herbert's characters and his backdrops demand it. Not even considering the cinematic, plot and overall problems delivering a coherent story on screen, I'm afraid that the TV version can't deliver this how it should be done because they can't possibly justify spending the money to do the effects right. They just don't make enough off the advertising and product sales (DVD, etc.).

    My humble $0.02 on the matter,

  • Having recently read Dune it was all I could do to stop myself screaming at the screen.

    This wasn't just a few nips and tucks for the film version it was butchery. From the top of my head :

    • Paul's eyes kept switching between blue and brown from scene to scene.
    • While I'm whinging about continuity it seems that living in the desert for years hadn't made Paul any older or dirtier for that matter.
    • As another poster noted, There are no weirding modules in Dune (the book at least).
    • Baron Harkonnen swallowed by a worm, when did that happen in the book?
    • Alia and Jessica's bleeding when Paul took the water of life..what was that about?
    • The political-history and the Bene Gesserit's role in it so cut down that it made nearly no sense.
    • Raining at the end of the film. I know they needed a trimphant end but this was too much.

    I think I'll stick to the books thanks all the same.

  • by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Monday December 03, 2001 @06:04PM (#2650848)

    It's a formula for success that hasn't (to my knowledge) really been tried yet, so here goes:

    Change Nothing.

    It's really just that simple. Who is the target audience? People who watch the Sci-Fi channel...or to put it more simply, Us Geeks. And we're sticklers for detail. Don't believe me? Go to a sci-fi con sometime and ask anyone there who Nomad is. You will have your ears talked straight off.

    I really wanted the miniseries to make up for the movie. I really did. But as I sat there watching it I couldn't help but say over and over, "Well that's wrong. So's that. She shouldn't be there. Those aren't supposed to look like that. He shouldn't be here yet." And so on.

    Other bits were pleasing, and an improvement over the movie. Hearing the water sellers cry in the city was a nice touch. Cloaks over the stillsuits. Fremen popping up from the sand to fight. Details like that are exactly what we're looking for.

    So my advice is this...if you're short on time, omit something if you must. That's entirely understandable. But don't change anything! Omissions are far easier to ignore. Having Irulan seduce Feyd was inexcusable.

    If I were to take a picture of the Mona Lisa and crop it a bit to fit on my web page, everyone would still be able to tell it was the Mona Lisa. If I put her in a bikini top, give her a moustache and make the background Coney Island....well, it's no longer the Mona Lisa, right?

    Please, if anyone at Sci-Fi is reading this series the same respect you'd show any other work of art. Mr. Herbert wrote everything in a particular way to express a story he had in mind - you cannot improve upon it. All you can do is change it, and it's his story that we are fans of. So read the books carefully, and please don't paint another moustache on Dune.

  • Anybody aware if Sci Fi channel has taken any options on filming Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson's Dune prequel trilogy?

    Having read the first two, although markedly inferior to Frank Herbert's original works, they do strike me as much easier to translate into film than the rest of the original series. Plenty of moments where you can say 'So _that's_ why x hates y! and went on to give birth to z'
  • I was SO disappointed with their last stab at Dune. It was like watching really bad theater. I was half expecting Paul and Chani to burst into song at certain points.

    Granted, the Sci-fi cahnnel's version was better than David Lynch, but that's hardly high praise.
  • The new mini-series was incredibly ugly! While there were a lot of pretty colors, I think most people would agree that the books dont evoke images with pretty colors. Also, there was absolutely no style to the miniseries. The look they achieved was "incoherent, silly, sci-fi cliche". I hope they will put more money into visuals & fx.

    Also, the acting was pathetic. Especially compared to the Lynch movie. But the fact that the miniseries was still enjoyable, even with shite acting and visuals, speaks volumes about the quality of the original story.

  • 10000 years in the desert and they don't eve have a tan?
    when is herbert and everyone since finally going to realize, the fremen are BLACK.
    • Most Arabs aren't black, even though they nominally live in desert areas. This is because of cunning devices known as clothes, which cover up the bits you don't want burned by the sun. Fremen are desert living Muslims, i.e. Arabs.

      Also, the Fremen traditionally move at night and live in caves.

  • ... they hire actors who can act?!?!

    I mean, in the scifi channel remake, everyone's acting was flatter than a pancake. That and the cheap-ass sets were the two most distracting points of the scifi channel remake.

    Kyle MacLachlan (Paul, Lynch) had more talent in his left pinky than Alec Newman (Paul, Scifi) And what the heck was up with William Hurt (Duke Leto, Scifi)? Normally a fine actor, in the remake it was like he was on prozac the whole time! Jurgen Prochnow (Duke Leto, Lynch) might have been somewhat oddly cast for the Lynch production, but at least he had emotions!

    Come on guys, be a little daring this time, try some location shots. Dont be weenies and do everything on stage sets.
  • I'd rather they did a miniseries of DOON - the Dessert planet" []

    A much more entertaining read....

    And he shall pour a beer without head, and it shall be nothing

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson