He who controls the spice, controls the universe.Frank Herbert, Dune
And he who controls the movie rights to Dune controls how people perceive the novel.
Dune continues to be my favorite science fiction novel since my teen years. It’s been made for the screen three times so far: Dune (1984), Dune mini-series (2000), and Dune (2021). After the world craziness of 2020, Dune (2021), once delayed, will be released in October of 2021.
What if I don’t like the upcoming release of Dune?
It doesn’t matter. A movie or television series that adapts a novel is only that: an adaptation. The book itself stands as the only true version of that story. A movie is only–only–an interpretation of the story.
Whether it’s The Lord or the Rings, Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia or any other of my favorite novels brought to life on the screen, the book is the only thing that counts.
To millions, Daniel Radcliffe is Harry Potter. Nothing wrong with that. But before the movies came out, Harry and Ron and Hermione looked like what imagined them. And that’s what counts.
And Timothy Chalamet may be an excellent choice to play Paul Atreides, but the next time I read Dune, Paul won’t look like Chalamet, nor will he look like Kyle Maclachlan from the 1984 movie, nor will he look like Alec Newman from the 2000 mini-series. He will look like what I imagined him when I first read the book in 1979.
Again, that’s what counts.
And here are some writing tips for this week: