Hollywood Movies

Denis Villeneuve in Talks for Movie Based on Book ‘Nuclear War’

April 4, 20242 Mins Read

Legendary Entertainment has picked up feature rights to the latest nonfiction title from author Annie Jacobsen as a potential project for filmmaker Denis Villeneuve.

The company has optioned Nuclear War: A Scenario, which hit shelves last month and examines the nuclear military establishment. Villeneuve is in talks with Legendary to be involved in the project, which could include serving as producer, writer or director, or some combination of those roles. His longtime producing partner Tanya Lapointe would be involved as well.

Villeneuve and Legendary are currently developing a third movie in his Dune series that is based on the writings of sci-fi author Frank Herbert. Dune: Part Two, which hit theaters in March from Warner Bros., is currently the year’s highest-grossing film domestically, having surpassed $250 million.

Jacobsen was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her 2015 book, The Pentagon’s Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top-Secret Military Research Agency.

The development on Nuclear War follows the success of Universal’s Oppenheimer, with the Christopher Nolan film that focused on the creation of the atomic bomb collecting seven Oscars and surpassing $950 million at the global box office.

Villeneuve recently told The Hollywood Reporter that he is juggling a number of potential projects, including his long-gestating Cleopatra feature. The director said that he is not necessarily in a rush to start work on his planned adaptation of Dune Messiah, Herbert’s 1969 follow-up book to Dune, and that the project’s timing is contingent on getting the right screenplay.

“I have four projects on the table, currently,” Villeneuve said in the interview that published last month. “One of them is a secret project that I cannot talk about right now, but that needs to see the light of day quite quickly. So it would be a good idea to do something in between projects, before tackling Dune Messiah and Cleopatra. All these projects are still being written, so we’ll see where they go, but I have no control over that.”

Deadline was first to report the news about Nuclear War: A Scenario.

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