Dune author Frank Herbert's son Brian, who will serve as executive producer on the film project, announced the news about Villeneuve on Twitter on Tuesday night (31Jan17).

"It's official - Legendary Pictures has signed the very talented Denis Villeneuve to direct the exciting new DUNE series film project," he wrote.

The 1984 movie, adapted from Herbert's 1965 book, bombed at the box office upon its release, grossing just $30.9 million (£24.4 million) from a $40 million (£31.6 million) budget. However, it has since become a cult favourite among fans.

Herbert's story was set on the desert planet called Arrakis, also known as Dune. The book was lauded by critics and went on to win a Hugo award. Dune was most recently adapted for a two-part mini-series for U.S. network Syfy. The first instalment, titled Frank Herbert's Dune, aired in 2000 and was followed by 2003's Frank Herbert's Children of Dune. The shows were big hits with viewers and both were celebrated with Emmy Awards.

Officials at Legendary are planning to revive the franchise with a series of films.

Villeneuve is really racking up his sci-fi credits after recently taking charge of Amy Adams' alien mystery Arrival, which has earned him a Best Director Academy Award nomination - he is currently in post-production on his Bladerunner sequel, Blade Runner 2049, which is set for release in October (17).

Discussing his hopes of having a shot at Dune last year (16), he told Variety.com, "I'm always looking for sci-fi material, and it's difficult to find original and strong material that's not just about weaponry. A longstanding dream of mine is to adapt Dune, but it's a long process to get the rights, and I don't think I will succeed."