For the longest time, Peter Berg had his eye set on adapting Frank Herbert’s “Dune” for Paramount, but with Berg gearing up the alien-based “Battleship” movie and the Navy SEALs true story “Lone Survivor”, the studio has been looking for a replacement, and it seems like they’ve found their man in Pierre Morel. For those who aren’t familiar with the name, Morel was the director of last year’s breakthrough sleeper hit “Taken” with Liam Neeson, and he’s got the John Travolta action movie “From Paris with Love” due out early this year.
The trades have Morel coming on board to work with a writer on a new draft of the script (Berg and “Bourne” writer Josh Zetumer have previously done a draft) and to eventually direct the film, which Paramount has made a priority and is already looking at a Summer 2011 release date.
Ever since “Taken” took the industry by surprise, Morel has been a wanted man. Besides “From Paris with Love”, Morel has a new action movie called “Pursuit” in the works, as well as a sequel to “Taken”. While “Dune” will be the biggest movie he’s worked on to date, he’s not exactly new to sci-fi. Morel previously directed the sci-fi actioner “Banlieue 13″ for Luc Besson, though admittedly that movie was mostly parkour stunts and martial arts, with very little of it scifi-ish, even though it was set in the “near future”.
This will be the most contemporary big screen version of “Dune”, with David Lynch having given the world his own kooky version of the story back in the early ’80s. You remember that one, right? The one with a shirtless Sting? Yeah, wacky stuff, that.