He who controls the dice... controls the universe! In anticipation of the third adaptation of Frank Herbert’s massively complex sci-fi novel Dune to the screen, Legendary Entertainment and Herbert Properties have formed a multi-year licensing agreement with game manufacturing company Gale Force Nine to make Dune a tabletop game. Because it wouldn’t be a new franchise if it didn’t have tie-in merchandise.
As part of the agreement, Gale Force Nine will produce original tabletop games based on the Dune franchise, drawing from not only the books and short stories by Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert, and Kevin J. Anderson, but also Legendary’s upcoming new film (or rather, films) directed by Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049).
“This is only the beginning of our big plans in tabletop for this captivating franchise,” said JohnPaul Brisigotti, CEO of Gale Force Nine, in a news release announcing the deal. “Dune is a rich and wonderful universe, and we expect to produce an equally expansive and inspired line of games for years to come.”
True, the idea of making a game based on an extremely intricate and not particularly user-friendly series may seem like a somewhat odd undertaking. But seriously, stranger movie tie-ins have been made. (And we're not even going to get into the Saturday morning cartoon based on The Toxic Avenger.)
Prior to Villeneuve’s upcoming film, David Lynch directed a big-screen adaptation of Herbert’s novel in 1984, and SYFY (back when it was the Sci-Fi Channel) presented a miniseries based on the book in 2000, then later a miniseries based on two of the sequels, Children of Dune, in 2003. (Director Alejandro Jodorowsky once famously attempted to adapt the book into a movie in the 1970s, but budgetary constraints prevented the insanely ambitious project to get beyond the preproduction stage, so that doesn’t count.)
The full range of tabletop games, including board and miniatures games, are set to hit the market just before Villeneuve’s Dune hits theatres in 2020.