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Daily “Dune”: Ridley Scott Reminisces on When HE Almost Directed

Yes, we talk a lot about Dune around these Nerdbot parts. Why? Because it’s a stellar piece of writing, still to this day. There’s a reason why stories like this are constantly in the cultural zeitgeist, why they speak to creators and fans alike. We’d like to remind you about the “Dune” film that almost was…a take directed by Ridley Scott, right smack dab between “Alien” and “Blade Runner.”

Just…take a second to imagine that. What would it have been like? Dark, moody, impeccably crafted…and different, obviously, from the David Lynch film we ended up getting in 1984. Which, we’d like to remind you, Denis Villeneuve does NOT hate.

During a recent chat with Total Film (while doing press rounds for “House of Gucci“), Scott actually spoke about his experience with “Dune.”


Total Film: You went from that into Alien, but between Alien and Blade Runner, you went into production on Dune. We ended up with David Lynch’s version which was what it was, and now we have Denis Villeneuve’s very accomplished take on the book. Do you feel that technology has finally caught up with that story? Or do you think it’s always been fillable?

Ridley Scott: It’s always been filmable. I had a writer called Rudy Wurlitzer, of the Wurlitzer family, you know the Jukebox?

Total Film: Yes!

Ridley Scott: He’d written two films- Two-Lane Blacktop with James Taylor, and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, which had Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson. My brain’s working quite well today, actually! We did a very good take on Dune, because early days, I’d work very, very closely with the writer. I was always glomming the look of the film onto what he or she was writing. And then [producer] Dino [De Laurentiis] had got me into it and we said, “We did a script, and the script is pretty fucking good.” Then Dino said, “It’s expensive, we’re going to have to make it in Mexico.” I said, “What!” He said, “Mexico.” I said, “Really?” So he sent me to Mexico City. And with the greatest respect to Mexico City, in those days [it was] pretty pongy. I didn’t love it. I went to the studio in Mexico City where the floors were Earth floors in the studio. I said, “Nah, Dino, I don’t want to make this a hardship.” And so I actually backed out and instead moved on to Legend. Tim Curry and Tom Cruise.


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Kyle MacLachlan, Jürgen Prochnow “Dune” Universal Pictures

We find this to be interesting, because for the longest time, the answer as to why a new “Dune” hadn’t been done was most often “it’s impossible.”

Ah well. All “Dune” is good “Dune.” Except for the sci-fi mini series. We don’t stan that one here.

But we ARE looking forward to seeing what Scott cooks up for both his upcoming Gladiator” sequel, and possible Blade Runner” live-action series.

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