Alejandro Jodorowsky had originally planned on filming Dune in the early-'70s, and had enlisted the help of Jean 'Moebius' Giraud and H.R. Giger to create the movie's visual style. Salvador Dalí was enlisted to play the part of the Emperor, and Jodorowsky also intended to cast his own son Brontis Jodorowsky as Paul, David Carradine as Duke Leto, Orson Welles as the Baron, and Gloria Swanson as the Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother. The soundtrack was to be done by Pink Floyd, whose compositions would represent the progressive House of Atreides, and influential 70s French progressive rock band Magma, whose compositions would represent the evil House of Harkonnen. According to Jodorowsky, "The project was sabotaged in Hollywood. It was French and not American. Their message was 'not Hollywood enough'. There was intrigue, plunder. The storyboard was circulated among all the big studios. Later, the visual aspect of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) strangely resembled our style. To make Alien (1979), they called Moebius [Giraud], Chris Foss, Giger, Dan O'Bannon, etc. The project signaled to Americans the possibility of making a big show of science-fiction films, outside of the scientific rigor of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). The project of Dune changed our lives." Jodorowsky also planned on making numerous changes to the source material, including making Duke Leto a eunuch and the spice a blue sponge. Author Frank Herbert openly despised these concepts. See more »
Michel Seydoux, Producer - DUNE:
You needed a touch of madness to do it. You can't have a masterpiece without madness. Pink Floyd? Dali or Orson Welles or others! Maybe Dune had too much madness? But a movie that doesn't have a bit of madness is not going to conquer the whole world.
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This documentary tells the story of director Alejandro Jodorowsky's unfinished masterpiece: his attempt to produce a film adaptation of Frank Herbert's sprawling science-fiction novel 'Dune' in the mid-1970s -- a project which was never completed, in part because it collapsed under the weight of the director's incredibly ambitious vision for the movie. It was to have been a larger-than-life epic, as grand as Stanley Kubrick's '2001.'
All that survives of Jodorowsky's 'Dune' are the script, storyboards, and concept artwork. Using these, combined with talking-heads interviews of those involved, the documentary tries to show us how the finished film would have looked.
What makes all this so captivating are the interviews with Jodorowsky himself, and his incredible passion as he recounts the tale of an unfinished project from 40 years ago. Entering into Jodorowsky's world is like falling into a visionary dream where anything and everything is possible. And as his vision progresses, it becomes more and more ambitious: Salvador Dalì, Mick Jagger, and Orson Welles agree to star. Dan O'Bannon and H.R. Giger will design the sets and costumes. Pink Floyd will provide the score. It's hard to imagine a more ambitious movie, considering the technical limitations of the time.
Yet, as the documentary shows, the ripples from this never-completed, ahead-of-its-time film spread out in many directions, inspiring different ideas that made their way into later films such as 'Star Wars' and 'Alien' -- and which continue to inspire filmmakers today.
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