Dune’s newest media foray already has its first regime shift. To be expected for the politically jockeying sci-fi series, Dune’s HBO Max showrunner has jumped (space)ship in order to move to the big-screen version of the franchise.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Dune: The Sisterhood showrunner Jon Spaihts (writer of sci-fi like Passengers and Prometheus) has stepped down from the spin-off series in the first change of its kind in HBO Max’s pre-launch days. Spaihts reportedly isn’t delivering what Legendary TV wants for the female-focused series about the mysterious and powerful Bene Gesserit, so he’s been relieved of his duty and sent to work on the unannounced sequel to the upcoming Denis Villeneuve-directed Dune movie ... which Spaihts also co-wrote.
Villeneuve is also on the hook to direct The Sisterhood’s pilot episode, so it seems like Legendary is trying to keep it all in the family even if Spaihts had to abandon the show for the film franchise’s future. The first film — led by a star-studded cast including Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Dave Bautista, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, and Zendaya — is currently in post-production, aiming for a Nov. 20, 2020, release.
The Sisterhood was greenlit this summer, as Legendary doubled down on the Frank Herbert property, and is now seeking a new showrunner. It does not yet have a release date.
Next, one of gaming’s most idiosyncratic figures is launching a new game — and he got some advice from one of the most recognizable faces in genre filmmaking. Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding — a post-apocalyptic tale allowing the player to control a character played by The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus — features everyone from Mads Mikkelsen to Conan O’Brien. But writer/director Guillermo del Toro was the person helping Kojima see the big picture for his first game as an independent studio helmer.
Kojima explains as much at the end of the below video:
“This game is just a start,” Hideo Kojima said about Death Stranding. “It's like Guillermo del Toro told me — it's not a way to break out, but to make something that the fans expect." The man behind the Oscar-winning The Shape of Water also appears in the game itself, alongside director Nicolas Winding Refn. These connections to the film industry aren’t just coincidences — Kojima has been vocal about his company, Kojima Productions, moving into film in the future.
Death Stranding hits PS4 on Nov. 8.
Finally, a sci-fi festival favorite will be hitting theaters early next year. Sea Fever, an Irish film about a college kid whose maritime adventures take a turn for the supernatural when her vessel is invaded by some unkind bioluminescence, will get a U.S. release thanks to Gunpowder & Sky’s sci-fi label Dust, according to Deadline.
The feature from longtime TV and documentary writer/director Neasa Hardiman premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this year and will head to theaters in early 2020.
The film stars Hermione Corfield, Connie Nielsen, Ardalan Esmaili, Olwen Fouéré, James Hickey, and Elie Bouakaze in its sea-stranded genre adventure, which blends the perspectives of science and blue collar salt. Think Alien, but in the middle of the ocean. And the creature glows.
Look to catch Sea Fever in the first part of next year.