02816: Wormsign in the Desert

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There's been a lot of buzz as of late about the casting efforts for the new Dune movie remake with a lot of interesting names being associated with the project. I feel like it's too early to really react to anything given how high profile movie projects like this tend to be quite volatile until shooting actually wraps. So nothing is truly certain at this point, not until they get a first full trailer put together - and that still feels like a "maybe" in all this.

Despite it being a commercial flop, I still have a special place in my geek heart for the 1984 David Lynch Dune movie, which largely defined the aesthetic of the series in other media such as the strategy games based on the franchise. The movie was rather slow in terms of pacing and potentially confusing for people who didn't read the books. But on the whole it was a noble effort to capture the feel of the piece and the odd feudal society that drives the imagined known universe of Dune. And I liked the nobility of the different actors they had selected to portray the key characters of the story.

I love the Dune franchise severely but this intimacy with the source material also makes me feel rather protective of it. I've seen how the various adaptations of the stories have largely fallen short of the grandeur of the books. But I also understand just how hard it is to adapt this series as the books do not stand all that well on their own. Paul does feel like a manipulative "white Messiah" at the end of the first book and you don't understand his regrets about the path he felt he had to take. A single movie cannot capture all those nuanced interconnections between the titles as part of the larger narrative that spans beyond the 6 official books in the series. The Dune fandom continues to speculate and ponder what Frank Herbert had meant for the series in the long run and how he wanted things to resolve for his characters given the grand sweep of his ideas for the series.

So maybe in that regard, it's easier to expect to be disappointed rather than hope for too much. Maybe it's better to assume things will fall short so that we don't set impossible standards that the production may never stand a chance achieving.

Maybe they'll surprise everyone with a final product that transcends the original story.