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Shots fired: Denis Villeneuve says his Dune will be "Star Wars for adults"

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Today, in “You come at the Emperor, you best not miss” news: Director Denis Villeneuve—whose recent sci-fi film credentials are pretty impeccable, given the critical response to Arrival and Blade Runner 2049—has taken some stabs at the massive, unstoppable Star Wars franchise. Talking to Fandom, Villeneuve painted the blockbuster space saga as inherently childish, saying his upcoming adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune intends to be “Star Wars for adults.”

Villeneuve got on the topic of George Lucas’ sprawling space odyssey thanks to their shared source material; as he notes in the interview, a number of Star Wars’ original plot beats and world-building details—the massive desert planet, the plucky rebellion against an omnipresent empire, the boy messiah with his mysterious magic powers—share surface similarities to Herbert’s landmark novel. “Most of the main ideas of Star Wars are coming from Dune so it’s going to be a challenge to [tackle] this,” the director—who signed on to direct a new version of Dune last year—told interviewers. “The ambition is to do the Star Wars movie I never saw.”


Villeneuve also revealed that he has no interest in reviving the designs from Alejandro Jodorowsky’s famously aborted adaptation of the novel, either; mirroring what he said about David Lynch’s 1984 cult adaptation last year, Villeneuve said he wasn’t even tempted to try to recreate the long-discussed unfinished film:

No. Because Jodorowsky is a very unique visionary. He has a very strong, unique vision. I am a total different human being. It would be very presumptuous and arrogant for me to try. I would love to talk to him. I’ve wanted to meet him for a long time. I think he’s a fantastic filmmaker and I would have loved to see his Dune. I think it would be a very singular Jodorowsky movie. Will it have been the vision I have for Dune? Very far away. I mean, I am sure because he is so unique.