Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Star Wars sequel is set several years after 1977’s Star Wars – Episode IV: A New Hope. This new Star Wars film is set several years before the events of the original Star Wars movie
From The Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones, Hollywood remains a relentless follower of fantasy.
But “Dune” – an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1979 novel – is a curious case.
The story of a man who attempts to lead a revolution against a mysterious alien race who has enslaved mankind continues to be adapted in a number of different TV shows, movies and comic books.
But as far as Hollywood is concerned, the series of films, now stretching back more than three decades, have not struck a chord with audiences.
The 1975 Frank Herbert adaptation did little for business
Now there are hopes this latest film, now being directed by Denis Villeneuve, is the one that will finally break out.
“I love the themes, the ideas of the book,” the 44-year-old Canadian filmmaker said.
“I have always liked the book but I couldn’t bring myself to read it until recently when I realised I can do it right and also honour the story and keep the vision of the author.”
Villeneuve – the man behind Blade Runner 2049, Prisoners and Sicario – wrote the script himself, inspired by Herbert’s original book, rather than hiring another writer or director.
“I was very interested in doing the movie independently but also, I didn’t want to make another big film. I wanted to make a film that felt small and intimate and poetic.”
He added: “It is a huge ambitious project. I want people to go to the cinema and really feel it and really think about it.”
The new “Dune” film is being made for a reported $120m (£98m) by Paramount Pictures.
Initial reviews, for fear of undermining the film’s momentum, have not been kind, but that is not stopping “Dune” fans from supporting it, via crowdfunding site, crowdspring.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The new film is being directed by Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve
Gad Elmaleh (60), a French comedian who has starred in American TV series “Veep” and “Boardwalk Empire”, wrote an essay for the book, saying he hoped the new movie would revive Herbert’s novel.
“Unfortunately, you’ll always see the same way of presenting that old science fiction story in the cinema: big battles, cool spaceship action, tough heroes who throw down.
“You will enjoy it but it won’t leave you inspired and invigorated.”
Elmaleh, who is part of the crowdspring group, also added: “We want to show that people can be creative. We can create something with nothing, to make our dreams come true.”
Director Villeneuve has been part of the “Dune” film group, which saw the sequel to the limited TV series released.
But should “Dune” flourish at the box office, will it mean one of the other blockbusters the director has worked on, such as Arrival or Blade Runner 2049, will no longer be required?
The film is out on 11 December in the UK and New Zealand.
What critics are saying
The New York Times said the new film “pretty boldly confronts much of what Herbert’s epic introduces.”
It “seems even-handed but at the same time an expression of devotion to its source material.”
The LA Times said: “Like many of Villeneuve’s previous films, there is nowhere to hide in ‘Dune’, which frames its vision of the future through a dense philosophical and intellectual stew of science fiction lore and politics.”
What do fans are saying
:: Duneans want it to work;
:: After three decades of licensed television series, movie adaptations and direct-to-DVD movies, fans are hoping ‘Dune’ is finally going to take off
:: Talk of the book has already been hijacked by Brexit, with reports that the film is the book’s “Brexit movie”