It’s Official: Denis Villeneuve Will Direct ‘Dune’

1aQAgvGZVzaf_jClXlejejA

Movie News After Dark

Plus: ‘The Batman’ gets a new writer and the ‘Suspiria’ remake wraps.

Watch out Ridley Scott, there’s a new sheriff in sci-fi-ville, and his name is Denis Villeneuve. After a month or so of speculation, it was announced today that the Prisoners director will indeed take the helm of the upcoming Dune reboot for Legendary Pictures. It was Brian Herbert, current Dune series author and son of original author Frank Herbert, who made the announcement, so you know it’s legit:

This will make Villeneuve’s third consecutive sci-fi film after the Academy-Award-nominated Arrival and the upcoming Blade Runner 2049. Dune was previously made, disastrously, by David Lynch in 1984, and was turned into a miniseries in 2000; it’s also the subject of Jordorowsky’s Dune, a 2014 documentary about a failed making of the film. There aren’t really any other details about Villeneuve’s version, but I’m calling it now: Taron Egerton as Paul Atreides. Think you got a better lead? Sound off in the comments.

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the world premiere of Dario Argento’s masterpiece ‐ and #2 on my personal list of favorite horror films ‐ Suspiria. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, a) how did you wind up here? and 2) stop reading this and go watch it. For the rest of us, we know that with Supiria Argento took horror out of the shadows and brought it into blaring and brightly-colored light, forever altering the aesthetics of the genre.

A remake of the film ‐ wait, it’s not all bad ‐ is being produced by Amazon with Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love, A Bigger Splash, Call Me By Your Name) at the helm directing Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass), Tilda Swinton (A Bigger Splash) and Dakota Johnson (Fifty Shades of Grey). As of this week, according to Deadline, the film has at last wrapped production and is headed to the European Film Market next week in Berlin with FilmNation aboard for international sales. Does this mean our first peek is around the corner? It better.

Remakes get crap pretty much every time and right out of the gate, but I have to say that despite how much I love the original, I’m legitimately excited for this new version. Guadagnino is reason one ‐ he hasn’t made a bad movie yet and in fact they keep getting better ‐ the script, which was adapted from the original by David Kajganich (Blood Creek, True Story) is reason two, and the cast is reason three: Swinton, no one has any doubts she’ll be excellent, and Moretz has never disappointed either. Even Johnson, who some might poo-poo because of the Fifty Shades thing, has proven herself a very capable actress and her mix of demureness and spark makes her a perfect candidate for the film’s ballerina lead.

Expect more on this project any day now…

In the wake of Ben Affleck leaving the director’s chair of The Batman (though he’s still producing and starring in the film ‐ for now), another pretty big change has been announced. Chris Terrio, writer of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, not to mention Affleck’s Argo, is reported as having recently finished a re-write of the script drafted by Affleck and DC comics writer Geoff Johns. Likely this is a punch-up and not a full-fledged new draft, but Terrio’s inclusion would seem to suggest that DC is interested in maintaining the tone he brings across their cinematic universe.

As far as the directing gig is concerned, there are two names said to be vying for the top spot: Matt Ross, who has received nothing but acclaim for Captain Fantastic, and Matt Reeves, who is also coming off a big 2016 thanks to the success of 10 Cloverfield Lane, and has a pretty big 2017 lined up, to boot, with War for the Planet of the Apes coming this summer. Reeves is the better, safer bet, I’d wager, but I’d love to see what Ross can do with a film this size. Whoever ends up in charge, The Batman is slated for a 2018 release.

Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist