“We're getting VERY close to a deal. Heard that news today,” he posted on Friday, following that up with, “Although only rumor, I've heard that "someone" at the studio wants Dune reallllly bad and has been a fan of the novel for "years." They're not saying who this is (and it might just be hype) but I'm holding out hope that whoever this might be is a big enough fan that he/she will do the book justice. Supposedly it's some director.”Intriguing. Now, Checkyr has filled in the blanks for us. Checkyr's message fleshes out not only Merritt's posting, but pieces together other tidbits that've been swirling about for the past few weeks. In short, Checkyr says the studio in question is Paramount...which is aggressively building a formidable arsenal of franchises via TRANSFORMERS, JJ Abrams' STAR TREK re-deployment, and spin-off potential built into INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL. And the director in question? Writer/Director Peter Berg. He directed FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, THE RUNDOWN (hooray for monkey love!), and...more recently...THE KINGDOM. I think this is a very promising combo, myself - Berg's film making has a lot of gusto and style. It's tempting to immediately denounce this project considering we've already been through David Lynch's 1984 version, and the Sci Fi Channel miniseries back in 2000. However, neither of those adaptations tipped it through the hoop as far as I'm concerned...I'm more than willing to watch someone else take a shot. And, besides, who can get their fill of the blatant sexual symbolism to be found in people riding atop big, fat, spice-filled worms? And, if this news actualizes, there's one more thing to consider: strange things happen at Paramount. Strange things like, say, Shia LaBeouf showing up in TRANSFORMERS...or in INDIANA JONES. Somewhere...in the shadow of that water tower...has someone quietly thought (or even dared to speak aloud) the notion... "Shia LaBeouf is Muadib?" I have no knowledge of this. I'm just joking. I think. If this goes forward, maybe my kid will...at long last...stop saying: "For he is the Knick-Knack Paddywhack!". Please, Berg, make him respect it!