Legendary acquired film and TV rights to the Frank Herbert novels Dune in 2016, with the intention of making multiple films. Villeneuve chose that film over numerous offers as his followup to Blade Runner 2049.

Timothee Chalamet Denis Villeneuve

Chalamet will play the lead, which in the David Lynch-directed original was Kyle MacLachlan. The young nobleman Paul Atreides is the central figure in the series of sprawling epic novels first published in 1965. It is set in the far future involving worlds beyond Earth, ruled over by competing feudal families who control access to a drug called Melange. Known popularly as “spice,” the drug gives its users heightened consciousness and an extended lifespan at the cost of crippling addiction and fatal withdrawal. Spice, use of which makes interstellar travel possible, is found only on the desert planet of Arrakis — aka “Dune” — and as such is the most valuable commodity in the galaxy. The original was a contentious shoot, with Lynch battling his producers and financiers, but Dune has been tapped successfully for the small screen and the version by Villeneuve, after films from Incendies to Sicario, Arrival to Blade Runner 2049, makes for about as anticipated an iconic scifi novel series adaptation as you’ll find in Hollywood, Game of Thrones meets Star Wars.