Hiring the guy who wrote Forrest Gump to pen the screenplay for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune is an unexpected choice — you might even say it’s like a certain package of assorted candies, but I won’t say that. I mustn’t. Instead, let’s focus on Eric Roth’s other, more interesting (and arguably better) screenwriting credits, like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Munich. And for those reasons, Roth’s hiring for Villeneuve’s new adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi story is fairly intriguing.

Variety (the spice of life; spice, the most valuable commodity in the world of Dune; life, like a box of…sorry, I’ll stop) reports that Roth has been tapped to write the screenplay for Dune based on Herbert’s sprawling sci-fi epic, which previously adapted for a (very wacky) film directed by David Lynch and released in 1984. Dune will be Villeneuve’s follow-up to Blade Runner 2049, his sequel to Ridley Scott’s classic film, which stars Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling and hits theaters this fall.

Set in the future, Herbert’s Dune, which spawned several sequels, centers on Paul Atreides, whose noble family is granted stewardship of the desert planet Arrakis — the only source for the universe’s most valuable resource, known as spice. In this feudal society, control of the planet is as highly-coveted as the resource it contains, and the betrayal of the Atreides family sparks a conflict that explores ideas of politics, economics, religion, et al. — like, a whole mess of ideas.

Last year, Villeneuve revealed Dune as the one film he was desperate to make, though rights issues would likely prevent him from doing so. But when Lionsgate managed to acquire the rights from the Herbert estate last fall, it wasn’t long before Villeneuve signed on to direct.

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