‘Blade Runner 2049’ Director Denis Villeneuve Says His ‘Dune’ Movie Will Be ‘Star Wars for Adults’

“The ambition is to do the ‘Star Wars’ movie I never saw,” Villeneuve says

There’s been a lot of back and forth among the nerds over the past several decades about who the target audience for the “Star Wars” movies is. A lot of the more hardcore fans take issue with the idea that they’re for kids, because those fans tend to be, when they’re arguing about this, not themselves be kids.

Not that I particularly want to re-open that discussion right here. Instead, I’ll let “Blade Runner 2049” and “Arrival” director Denis Villeneuve do it for me. In discussing his upcoming “Dune” project with Fandom, he said his plan for that film will be to make a “‘Star Wars’ for adults.”

“Most of the main ideas of ‘Star Wars’ are coming from ‘Dune’ so it’s going to be a challenge to [tackle] this,” Villeneuve said. “The ambition is to do the ‘Star Wars’ movie I never saw. In a way, it’s ‘Star Wars’ for adults. We’ll see.”

Of course, Villeneuve also points out that the “Dune” project is still in its infancy and may not happen at all or might end up going forward with a different director.

“Today you’re asking me this question about a project that doesn’t exist yet. I’m used to talking about projects when they’re shot, finished, I’m in the editing room, I’m about to release the movie. Then you talk about something real,” Villeneuve said. “Right now, I might in three weeks or two months learn that nobody agrees on a screenplay, it will be with someone else. It can happen. And when the movie will be made? It’s all theory right now.”

And with “Dune” you certainly never know. Pretty much at any given moment in the past 40 years or so somebody has been trying to put together an adaptation of the Frank Herbert classic novel series, but a big screen version has only happened once, with David Lynch’s 1984 flick with Kyle MacLachlan. Prior to that, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s attempt to make a “Dune” movie in the mid-70s is one of Hollywood’s most famous aborted projects.

Syfy also put together a pair of “Dune” mini-series in the early Aughts, covering the first three “Dune” books, but despite record ratings for the network they haven’t been able to go any further since. In more modern times, Paramount tried to get a Peter Berg-helmed “Dune” off the ground but it never materialized.

So there’s plenty of reason to be skeptical about the future of the project. That said, Villeneuve did just manage to successfully revive “Blade Runner” after that property lay dormant for more than three decades, so maybe he’s got a better shot at this than everyone else. But, anyway, if it does happen — rest assured that it’ll be “‘Star Wars’ for adults.” Finally.