Legendary Lands Rights to Classic Sci-Fi Novel ‘Dune’

Legendary Entertainment has acquired the rights from the Frank Herbert estate for his iconic novel “Dune,” granting the production entity the film and television motion picture rights to the work.

The agreement calls for the development and production of possible film and TV projects for a global audience. The projects would be produced by Thomas Tull, Mary Parent and Cale Boyter, with Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt and Kim Herbert serving as executive producers.

The novel was also adapted as the 1984 film directed by David Lynch. The film starred Kyle MacLachlan and at the time was thought of as a flop, getting poor reviews and grossing just $30.9 million, but more recently has attained cult status.

Set in the distant future, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides, whose family accepts control of the desert planet Arrakis. As the only producer of a highly valuable resource, control of Arrakis is highly contested among the noble families. After Paul and his family are betrayed, the story explores themes of politics, religion, and man’s relationship to nature as Paul leads a rebellion to restore his family’s control of Arrakis.

The sprawling novel was thought of as a challenge to film, particularly before the advent of sophisticated CGI effect. In 1973, Alexander Jodorowsky famously started on an adaptation that was to star the mind-boggling cast of Salvador Dali, Orson Welles, Gloria Swanson, and Mick Jagger, but failed to get funding. Directors including Ridley Scott were also said to be interested.

The agreement was negotiated by Mike Ross and Jen Grazier on behalf of Legendary and Marcy Morris and Barry Tyerman of JTWAMMK on behalf of the Herbert family.

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