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Paramount prepares to scale Dune

New movie adaptation of Frank Herbert classic

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Paramount Pictures has appointed Taken helmsman Pierre Morel to tackle a new cinematic adaptation of Frank Herbert's 1965 sci-fi novel Dune, Variety reports.

The movie will be based on a draft put together by producer Peter Berg - who quit the project to work on Universal's forthcoming Hasbro board game interpretation Battleship - and writer Josh Zetumer, who's putting together the fourth Bourne installment.

Paramount will work from the draft but bring in a new scribe to finish the job of breathing celluloid life into "the biggest-selling sci-fi novel" which remains "enormously popular", as Variety puts it.

The first attempt to translate Dune to the big screen was in 1974, when a French consortium bought the rights. It planned a "10-hour feature adaptation", with the remarkable list of David Carradine, Geraldine Chaplin, Salvador Dali, Alain Delon, Mick Jagger, Gloria Swanson and Orson Welles linked to the project.

That never got off past the pre-production stage, and it was left to David Lynch to bring his Dune vision to the screen. The resulting 1984 effort was "not a financial success", Variety diplomatically explains. ®

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