I know, I know. I’m going a bit Dune mad at the minute. They haven’t even started filming it yet and already I’m developing something of an obsession. Imagine how bad I’m going to be when the first trailer comes out! The preliminary stuff coming out seems incredibly positive. I’m loving the casting choices and Denis Villeneuve’s back catalogue, along with his love for the source material, leads me to believe that this is going to be something really special.
I wonder at the blockbuster potential of my favourite book, given the subject matter and the fact that the ‘hero’ of the piece does go on to commit genocide on an unprecedented scale after the curtain drops. It’s a very adult book with themes about politics and religion which may be troubling for today’s multiplex audiences. There are comparisons floating around with Peter Jackson’s excellent treatment of Lord of the Rings. That story is a far more simple good vs. evil idea that doesn’t raise the same questions of morality and purpose. It would be a shame if things were omitted or dumbed down in order to gain the approval of the masses.
One thing that adds greatly to a film is its soundtrack. As well as the cast announcements, I’ve been eagerly awaiting news about who is going to write the score. That’s what I thought I would devote this week’s Monday Music post to.
First, let’s have a look at the history.
Pink Floyd alongside French prog-rock band, Magma were apparently on board to score Alejandro Jodorowski’s doomed adaptation in the 1970s. This is what might have resulted from that if it had ever come to the screen.
David Lynch’s production in 1984 had a few memorable themes. It’s quite an underrated piece of work by Toto and Brian Eno. Here are two of my highlights.
After that was the Sci-Fi channel’s mini-series, Frank Herbert’s Dune. The soundtrack for that was done by New Zealander Graeme Revell. I don’t find it particularly memorable, however. It’s somewhat indistinguishable with any number of other TV science fiction themes and a little devoid of inspiration.
So, what are we expecting with Villeneuve’s new adaptation. There are a number of possibilities based on Villeneuve’s back catalogue and the current trends in big budget film scores. Here are what, in my mind, are the likely frontrunners.
I think this is the most likely option, given Zimmer’s work with Denis Villeneuve and his history of work on big budget film scores over the years. He’s tried and tested and has worked with Legendary Pictures before with Christopher Nolan. Here’s some of his work, including something very nice he worked up for Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049
I see Djawadi’s name more and more associated with big productions. He’s never worked with Villeneuve before but that doesn’t necessarily rule him out.
Worked with Villeneuve on his film, Incendies. These are two examples of this French composer’s work on that project that are evidence of why the Director might choose him once more.
One of the kings of TV after his wonderful work on Battlestar Galactica, but has been getting more big screen jobs. Could this be right for him?
If you’re looking for someone with experience of the epic, why look any further than the man who did Lord of the Rings. He’s also Canadian like Denis Villeneuve!
French composer with two Academy Awards to his name.
Great track record all the way back to 2000’s brilliant Requiem for a Dream.
Surrey-born Micachu might give a very different, experimental feel to the project which would be a good callback to Jodorowski’s plan.
After taking on various big space-based franchises, this could be another string to his bow.
After 60 years writing some of the most iconic film scores in history, could he do it again for Dune?
So, who do you think should do it? One of these or someone I haven’t mentioned? I’m aware there’s only one woman on this list and that made me think: is there a gap in my knowledge or are there just not many women getting this kind of work? Is this another example of the gender gap in Hollywood? Let me know this and any ideas you have about the new Dune film in the comments. Personally, I think Villeneuve’s other former collaborator, Johann Johannsson, who created such great soundtracks for Prisoners, Arrival and Sicario before his untimely passing last year, would have been a frontrunner for the job and would have made a great job of it.
Also, subscribe to http://www.richardaustinwriter.com for updates about casting and other bits and pieces that I stick on there.
Meanwhile, here are some more of my Monday Music posts if you fancy some more random bits of music. If not, thanks for reading.
Have a good week.