2020 Student Research Conference:
33rd Annual Student Research Conference

Interpreters of Dune: Divergent Adaptations of Frank Herbert

William B. Hume
Dr. Bob Mielke, Faculty Mentor

The 1984 theatrical release of Dune, directed by David Lynch, was a confusing piece of cinema that represented a stain on the resumes of talented members of Hollywood. One of its biggest failings is how it fails to do justice to the atmosphere of Frank Herbert’s original 1966 novel. This was not always the case, as recovered screenplays from the film’s early development attest. Lynch’s first draft from 1981 was compared against both the novel and the final edit of the film to analyze the strengths of the novel and the weaknesses of the final film. Using knowledge of David Lynch’s past works, the essay postulates how a number of pivotal sequences would have been realized on screen using the original screenplay as a basis. This analysis refutes the claims that Herbert’s novel as-is is unfilmable, by laying out a version that effectively translates the prose into cinematic language.

Keywords: adaptation, screenwriting, filmmaking

Art - Visual Communications

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: TBA
Location: TBA
Time: TBA

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