Josh Zetumer in talks for 'Dune'

Would pen adaptation of the award-winning 1965 novel

We have wormsign.

Josh Zetumer is in negotiations to pen the latest incarnation of "Dune," Frank Herbert's sprawling sci-fi epic, for Paramount Pictures.

The award-winning 1965 novel -- the first in a series of six books about a futuristic struggle for control of a precious spice called Melange on the desert planet Arrakis -- was first adapted by David Lynch into a financially and critically disastrous 1984 film (though Herbert apparently liked it). It also was turned into a more successful Sci Fi Channel miniseries in 2000.

Kevin Misher is producing the new version through his Paramount-based Misher Films. Herbert's son Brian and Kevin J. Anderson, who have co-written several additional "Dune" novels, will co-produce. Peter Berg is attached to direct.

New Amsterdam Entertainment's Richard Rubenstein and is also producing with Sarah Aubrey of Berg's Film 44 shingle. John Harrison and Mike Messina will executive produce.

The "Dune" property, one of the best-selling science fiction series of all time, has spawned an enormous and devoted fan base and could provide a lucrative new franchise for Paramount. The studio is running hot off its blockbuster launch of "Iron Man" and its resurrection of the "Indiana Jones" juggernaut.

No one involved would comment on Zetumer's take on the "Dune" saga. The writer, repped by UTA and Management 360, also has "Villain" at 2929 Prods. and "The Infiltrator" set up at Warner Bros. He most recently did production work on the next Bond film, "Quantum of Solace."
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