Four years and two directors later, Paramount has decided to stop development on a ‘Dune’ remake.

After four years of trying to develop a ‘Dune’ movie, Paramount has opted to let the rights lapse back to the rights holder, Richard P. Rubinstein.

Rubinstein had this to say via Deadline:

“Paramount’s option has expired and we couldn’t reach an agreement, I’m going to look at my options, and whether I wind up taking the script we developed in turnaround, or start over, I’m not sure yet.”

“Sure, it’s frustrating, how long this has taken, but most of what I’ve done that worked out well over the years, like the miniseries The Stand, took a long time. Since I know what I want, eventually, I’ll find someone who’ll agree with me. What I like is that talent has interesting things to say on how they would approach it.”

Back in 2008, Peter Berg (‘Hancock,’ ‘The Kingdom’) was brought on board to direct a remake of ‘Dune’ with Josh Zetumer set to pen the script. Berg later dropped out to direct ‘Battleship’.

January 2010 saw the long gestating project gain a new director in Pierre Morel (‘Taken). February of this year brought us the latest update on the movie, with Chase Palmer signing on to help Morel overhaul the initial Peter Berg script. And with that, everything seemed to be running smoothly… that was until the news today.

The classic sci-fi novel was adapted by David Lynch in 1983 but the movie was a flop. In 2000, Rubinstein shepherded a mini-series for the Sci-Fi channel and while not a huge success, it did fare better than the 1983 movie.

‘Dune’ is a futuristic tale set on the remote desert planet Arrakis, which produces the interstellar empire’s sole source of the spice ‘Melange’ — used for distant space travel. An empire wide power struggle ensues over the control of the spice.