Denis Villeneuve will reteam with Legendary for Nuclear War: A Scenario before tackling Dune: Messiah

Dune filmmaker Denis Villeneuve will reteam with Legendary for an adaptation of Annie Jacobson’s cautionary tale Nuclear War: A Scenario.

After Christopher Nolan’s award-winning success with Oppenheimer, Denis Villeneuve, another of Hollywood’s premiere directors, will tackle the threat of nuclear fallout with an adaptation of Pulitzer Prize -finalist Annie Jacobsen’s non-fiction novel Nuclear War: A Scenario. The project finds Villeneuve reteaming with Legendary, with plans to complete the nuclear drama before going into production on the final film in the Dune trilogy, Dune: Messiah.

Deadline‘s exclusive report says the deal for Nuclear War: A Scenario is worth $500,000 against $1.5 million. The evidence explored in Jacobsen’s novel is truly terrifying, especially since the threat of nuclear war is real and could happen at any given moment. Here’s a synopsis for Nuclear War: A Scenario courtesy of Amazon:

There is only one scenario other than an asteroid strike that could end the world as we know it in a matter of hours: nuclear war. And one of the triggers for that war would be a nuclear missile inbound toward the United States.

Every generation, a journalist has looked deep into the heart of the nuclear military establishment: the technologies, the safeguards, the plans, and the risks. These investigations are vital to how we understand the world we really live in—where one nuclear missile will beget one in return, and where the choreography of the world’s end requires massive decisions made on seconds’ notice with information that is only as good as the intelligence we have.

Pulitzer Prize finalist Annie Jacobsen’s Nuclear War: A Scenario explores this ticking-clock scenario, based on dozens of exclusive new interviews with military and civilian experts who have built the weapons, have been privy to the response plans, and have been responsible for those decisions should they have needed to be made. Nuclear War: A Scenario examines the handful of minutes after a nuclear missile launch. It is essential reading and unlike any other book in its depth and urgency.

Jacobsen’s research extends to dozens of interviews with military and civilian experts familiar with nuclear war’s real-world consequences and dangers. Nuclear fallout has been the subject of many science-fiction dramas in Hollywood, but all those stories stem from an ever-present threat as tensions between warring nations continue to churn and bubble.

Villeneuve’s adaptation of Nuclear War: A Scenario could be one of cinematic history’s most essential and eye-opening film projects, considering the filmmaker’s box office appeal and dedicated fandom. We’ll be keeping an eye out for more details as the project develops.

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He’s also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You’ll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.

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