It's official: Peter Berg is headed into the desert to take a crack at getting filmgoers excited about Frank Herbert's Dune.
Variety reports that Paramount has signed Berg to direct the latest adaptation of Herbert's novel, with Kevin Misher, Sarah Aubrey, and Richard Rubenstein (who produced the Sci Fi Network's Dune and Children of Dune miniseries) attached as producers. From the article:
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.
Herbert's Dune, originally published in 1965, spawned five sequels written by the author; since his death in 1986, Herbert's son Brian has co-written a number of prequels and sequels with Kevin J. Anderson. Naturally, if things go the way they're supposed to, Paramount wouldn't mind adapting the lot of them; as Variety puts it, the studio "envisions the project as a tentpole film," and certainly has an eye toward turning it into a franchise.
The always-busy Berg, who directed last year's The Kingdom, helmed this summer's Will Smith/Charlize Theron/Jason Bateman superhero comedy, Hancock.