I haven’t seen From Paris With Love, but I understand that the film does nothing to allay concerns Dune fans might have about director Pierre Morel taking on Frank Herbert’s classic novel of interstellar intrigue and ancient prophecy. Dune‘s no action story and Morel’s an action director, so you can see where the trepidation comes from.
But Morel tells my friend Jenni Miller over at Tribeca Film that he’s aware that Dune‘s not an action story… but that he sees places for action to be inserted.
I’ve read it 10 times maybe, so I want to stay true to the book. Saying that, I also think that there’s a lot of scenes that are not described in the books—it’s just mentioned, like the bad guys attacking something—and it might make sense to include those in the movie, not just by mentioning it but showing them, and that would maybe [call for] some action scenes, yes. It’s not about action. It’s not the point. It’s not about [making] an action movie. It’s just doing Dune. It’s like a huge universe thing, and there’s such a fanbase, like guys who have been reading that forever—you can’t mess with that.
Morel’s not wrong – there are scenes in the book that could be fleshed out into legitimate action sequences in a movie – but when you’re adding stuff to a story this dense it begs the question of what else is getting left out? Adapting Dune is a bear for a number of reasons, one of which is that there’s so much story, so much backstory and so much context that must be carried over. The insertion of more action – even when totally appropriate – means some of this other stuff must get cut.