Berg to direct ‘Dune’ for Paramount

Misher producing adaptation of sci-fi novel

Peter Berg is attached to direct a bigscreen adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel “Dune” for Paramount Pictures.

Kevin Misher, who spent the past year obtaining the book rights from the Herbert estate, will produce via his Par-based shingle.

Herbert’s 1965 novel is a sweeping, futuristic tale set on the remote desert planet Arrakis, which produces the interstellar empire’s sole source of the spice Melange — used for distant space travel. An empirewide power struggle ensues over the control of the spice. Berg would be the latest helmer to take a crack at the property, which spawned a 1984 David Lynch film as well as a 2000 Sci Fi Channel miniseries starring William Hurt.

New Amsterdam’s Richard Rubenstein, who produced Sci Fi’s “Dune” and sequel “Children of Dune,” is also producing alongside Sarah Aubrey of Film 44, Berg’s production banner. John Harrison and Mike Messina exec produce.

The project is out to writers, with the producers looking for a faithful adaptation of the Hugo- and Nebula Award-winning book. The filmmakers consider its theme of finite ecological resources particularly timely.

Paramount envisions the project as a tentpole film.

Berg and Misher enjoy strong ties dating back to Misher’s executive days at Universal Pictures. Misher also produced Berg’s second directorial outing, “The Rundown.”

Actor-turned-helmer Berg most recently directed the upcoming Will Smith starrer “Hancock.” His directing credits include “The Kingdom” and “Friday Night Lights.”

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