Dune director Denis Villeneuve set to make his next sci-fi epic Rendezvous with Rama

Is Denis Villeneuve the greatest director of science-fiction in the modern age? On the basis of Arrival (2016), Blade Runner 2049 (2017) and this year's Dune: Part One, we reckon so. Villeneuve is able to juxtapose jaw-dropping majesty with human intimacy, dense philosophical conceits with grounded emotion. His take on the first half of Frank Herbert's Dune novel has been critically acclaimed for its sense of scale and complex character intrigue, and Dune: Part Two is set for release in 2023.

Villeneuve is clearly on a roll as he's now signed on to adapt the classic sci-fi novel Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke. This was long mooted as a project for Seven's David Fincher, but Villeneuve is now officially on-board, writes The Hollywood Reporter.

The official statement reads: 'Villeneuve will helm Rendezvous With Rama for Alcon Entertainment, which is financing the project and worked with the director on the Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal starrer Prisoners and Blade Runner: 2049. Along with Alcon co-CEOs Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove, Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary will produce via their Revelations Entertainment banner. Freeman and McCreary have previously held the rights to the 1973 novel for two decades, pushing the book outright in 2018.'

Clarke is one of science fiction's most prestigious authors and the man behind the original novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, later adapted by Stanley Kubrick to groundbreaking effect in 1968. Rendezvous with Rama tells the story of mankind's first contact with extra-terrestrial life, as a group of interstellar astronauts is tasked with intercepting an alien ship that has emerged into our solar system.

“Denis’ vision for Rama felt completely aligned with Arthur’s wishes, so we are confident that teaming with our producing partners Andrew and Broderick at Alcon is the right next step in this over-20-year odyssey!” stated McCreary and Freeman. “This is one of the most intelligent works of fiction in the genre; it poses as many questions as it does answers, and is a work for our time,” said Johnson and Kosove. “It’s perfectly fitted to our friend and collaborator Denis’ brilliant sensibilities and specifically to his love and passion for science fiction. We are also pleased to work with Morgan and Lori, who have a long-standing passion for this IP.”

It sounds like the ideal project for Villeneuve, seeing as the story melds human focus with awe-inspiring vistas and intriguing ruminations about the nature of existence. In addition to this and Dune: Part Two, Villeneuve has also expressed interest in adapting Dune: Messiah, the second novel in Frank Herbert's book series (which will make it the third movie overall from Villeneuve).

Is he the perfect director to helm Rendezvous with Rama? Let us know @Cineworld.