Deadline is reporting that Dimitri Villard, producer of Flight Of he Navigator and Once Bitten, is returning to the big screen with Soul Catcher, based on the 1972 novel by Frank Herbert.
During the 1980s, Villard had attempted to obtain the rights, but then moved to running his music company, ArtistDirect. Now he’s turning his attention back to film, with the Herbert novel first on his list.
Soul Catcher is about a militant Native American student who kidnaps the 13-year-old white son of a U.S. politician, with the plan to sacrifice the teenager as vengeance for wrongs committed against his people. As the captor and the captive flee from hunters across the Pacific Northwest, they form a bond that throws the planned act into question.
Up until now, Dune has been the only Herbert book to get a filmed media treatment, with adaptations by both David Lynch and the Sci Fi Channel.
“The book is an extraordinary example of Frank Herbert’s brilliant writing, and it is something I’ve always wanted to turn into a film,” said Villard. “I remember the rights being unavailable when I first pursued the Soul Catcher project in the ’80s, but as my producing career developed I never forgot the powerful effect the story had on me. Now, with full support from the Frank Herbert estate, we have the opportunity to make a culturally impactful film that combines elements of suspense, high drama, mysticism and Native American history that will resonate for years to come and appeal to the millions of Frank Herbert fans worldwide.”
[NOTE: Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, who currently write the Dune series, will be guests on Live From the Bunker Monday, August 21st, to discuss their new original novel, Hellhole: Inferno.]