Rebecca Ferguson in Talks to Join Denis Villeneuve’s Dune Adaptation

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Rebecca Ferguson in Talks to Join Denis Villeneuve’s Dune Adaptation

Mission: Impossible – Fallout standout Rebecca Ferguson is in talks to join Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, the latest attempt to successfully film Frank Herbert’s famously unadaptable 1965 science fiction novel, as THR reports.

Set on a desert planet called Arrakis in a distant future, the dense Dune mythology follows Paul Atreides, who will be played here by Call Me By Your Name’s Timothée Chalamet, on a quest as he partners with and rules various nomadic tribes, becomes a messiah, and leads an army to overthrow an empire. Ferguson would play Atreides’ mother Lady Jessica, “who escapes with him into the desert and helps him become a savior in their eyes.”

Villeneuve joins several prominent directors, including Ridley Scott, Alejandro Jodorowsky and David Lynch, who have taken cracks at adapting the groundbreaking science fiction story. Jodorowsky’s failure to get his vision off the ground was immortalized in the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, and Lynch’s 1984 adaptation, which ultimately did get released, was both a critical and commercial failure.

Villeneuve has previously said that his interpretation will take more cues from the source material than the Lynch adaptation, and that he will split the complex story into two or more films, which may ease some fans’ concerns about whether his adaptation will fare better than previous attempts. Skeptics should also be assured by the example of Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049, a faithful and well-executed, if commercially unsuccessful, reboot of Ridley Scott’s 1982 science fiction classic Blade Runner. After Blade Runner 2049’s underperformance, the fact that Villeneuve still has the cache with studios like Legendary, which will release the Dune adaptation, also bodes well for their faith in his ability to take on challenging sci-fi properties.

Villeneuve will direct from a script he co-wrote along with Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts, and Thomas Tull will executive produce along with Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt and Kim Herbert for the Frank Herbert estate. Author Kevin J. Anderson will also serve as a creative consultant.

The in-demand Ferguson is featured in the ensemble of the next Men in Black and is set to shoot the adaptation of Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep later this year.

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