‘Dune’ Reboot Finds a Screenwriter in ‘Forrest Gump's Eric Roth
The highly anticipated, second film adaptation of Frank Herbert's novel Dune has now received a screenwriter in Eric Roth, whose most famous movies may be more recognizable than his name. The news follows the announcement that the mind behind Arrival and the upcoming Blade Runner 2049, Denis Villeneuve, will be directing.
It sounds like great news: Eric Roth has a long and Oscar-winning career behind him, as he's best known for writing Forrest Gump (which won him "Best Adapted Screenplay" at the Oscars), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and Munich. More recently, he's been working as an executive producer on House of Cards. This will be his first venture into the convoluted world of science fiction, but writing bizarre material like Benjamin Button should ease him into the much more bizarre world of Arrakis and all its giant sandworms.
It's exciting to see Roth paired up with Villeneuve to give Dune the film adaptation it deserves. The upcoming film will not be the first attempt to bring the spice to the screen, as you may remember when David Lynch (of Twin Peaks) took a stab at it in 1984 with Twin Peaks' Kyle MacLachlan as the star. Although the film garnered a cult following, it bombed in the box office and was generally seen as confusing and messy. So here's hoping this time around, Roth and Villeneuve give the late Frank Herbert something more polished.
The original Dune book, published in 1965, is among the bestselling science fiction novels of all time. The story is set in a distant interstellar future in which noble families control entire planets - one such family, to which protagonist Paul Atreides belongs, accepts control of Arrakis and its single supply of the most valuable substance in the universe, called "spice." This makes control of Arrakis coveted and dangerous, and after a stinging betrayal, Paul Atreides is left to pick up the pieces. Things get a bit complicated then.
Dune has sold almost 20 million copies since its first release, and while we're not expecting Dune to be the next Forrest Gump, we hope Roth is up for the challenge of doing it justice.