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'Dune' spiced up for 'Legendary' TV and movie comeback

Frank Herbert's iconic science-fiction novel has wormed its way into a new life.

"Dune" was considered a box-office and critical flop in 1984, but later became a cult favorite.
Universal Pictures

"Dune" fans, rejoice: The complex world of Frank Herbert's imagination is getting a second chance on the big and small screens.

On Monday, Legendary Entertainment announced it had acquired the TV and film rights to Herbert's iconic 1965 novel.

Those who didn't read the book and its sequels may know the series best from David Lynch's 1984 film, which starred Kyle MacLachlan as Paul Atreides. While the film attained cult status later, at the time "Dune" was released, it was a box-office and critical flop. Roger Ebert awarded it only one star, dubbing it, "a real mess, an incomprehensible, ugly, unstructured, pointless excursion into the murkier realms of one of the most confusing screenplays of all time."

"Dune" has also been reworked into television miniseries, comic books, board and computer games. A planned film project from Paramount Pictures never materialized and was eventually dropped.

The new agreement with Legendary "calls for the development and production of possible film and television projects for a global audience," a press release says. Not a lot more details than that, but the company has produced 47 feature films, including "Pacific Rim," "Warcraft" and "Jurassic World," and is behind the "Pacific Rim" sequel and the much-touted "Kong: Skull Island." Stock up on spice futures, they may be valuable.