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Sci-Fi doing ‘Dune’ mini

Series to feature William Hurt

NEW YORK — Sci-Fi Channel has greenlit production on “Frank Herbert’s Dune,” a six-hour miniseries featuring William Hurt.

Based on the bestselling novel, the three-part miniseries, which begins production Monday in Prague, the Czech Republic and Tunisia, is slated to air next October. John Harrison (“Tales From the Darkside: The Movie”) will write and direct the telefilm, which will also star Giancarlo Giannini (“A Walk in the Clouds,” “Seven Beauties”). Richard P. Rubinstein and Mitchell Galin will co-exec produce.

An epic messianic saga set in the year 10,991, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides (later, Muad’Dib), who moves with his family to the desert planet Dune, whose inhabitants rely on the production of the life-sustaining spice Melange. Newcomer Alec Newman has been cast as Paul. Hurt will play Paul’s father, Duke Leto. Giannini will play the emperor.

Vittorio Storaro (“Last Emperor,” “Reds”) has signed on as director of photography, with Theodor Pistek (“Amadeus”) as costume designer. Production designer Miljen Kreka Kljakovic (“Indochine”) and special effects supervisor Ernest Farino (“From the Earth to the Moon”) are also onboard.

“We’ve assembled an incredible creative team with the hope that this will be the definitive ‘Dune’ production,” said Bonnie Hammer, senior VP, Sci-Fi Channel programming and USA original production.

David Lynch’s “Dune” (1984), a theatrical film based on the same material, was released to much critical derision.

“Frank Herbert’s Dune” is a New Amsterdam production, in association with Victor Television Prods.

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