Dune exits Paramount

After attempting to once again turn the best-selling science-fiction novel ever into a cinematic franchise, Paramount has let its option on the rights to the novel “Dune” by Frank Herbert expire. After a mini-series and an underwhelming feature film already, the franchise now is open for bidding on the market as Producer Richard Rubinstein, who owns the rights to the series, will now have to look elsewhere to secure funding for the project.

“I’m going to look at my options, and whether I wind up taking the script we developed in turnaround, or start over, I’m not sure yet” Rubinstein said and that gives a clue on what’s next. This isn’t a guaranteed money-maker like Superman is, thus it’s hard to imagine another studio sinking time and money in a recession with fewer projects overall coming out of Hollywood.

Dune, projected to have a hefty $100 million price tag, once had Peter Berg attached to it before he left to do Battleship. Pierre Morel of Taken and From Paris with Love fame collaborated with Chase Palmer on a shooting script. The issue apparently is money.

What does this mean? The relaunch of Dune isn’t dead yet but this isn’t a good sign that one studio has given up on the project after getting to budgetary concerns. Projected to be a summer tentpole, especially considering the price tag, I’d imagine this is a sign that Paramount didn’t quite have the faith in the project’s ability to be succesful on the big screen.

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Source: Deadline Hollywood