As a film nerd, you grow up hearing about certain films that almost got made but something (or everything) went wrong. Like Kubrick’s Napolean film. Or Gilliam’s Man of La Mancha. Or Swrilee, a film about a man with an ice cream cone for a head (look up the short film). One other ‘holy grail’ of missed opportunities was Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dune, his adaptation of the Frank Herbert novel. If you ever read about what he was going to do with the book, it would have been as insane as his past films (such as El Topo and The Holy Mountain).
This was back in 1974/1975 and we would have had a Dune with Salvador Dali as the Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV, Orson Welles as the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen and Jodorowsky’s own son Brontis would have been the hero Paul Atreides. The soundtrack would have been made by Pink Floyd. Moebius, Chris Foss and H.R. Giger were to be the artists on the film, designing the world itself. Sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it? Sadly, when Herbert himself went to Europe to see how everything was going, $2 million out of the $9.5 million was already spent in pre-production and Jodorowsky’s script was the ‘size of a phonebook’ and would have resulted in a 14 hour movie. Everything collapsed and it was just a story you’d hear every so often. Or you’d see some of the artwork for the film.
Until now. Frank Pavich, who made the documentary N.Y.H.C. about the New York Hardcore music scene (duh), is directing the simply titled Jodorowsky’s Dune, a documentary detailing the 2 year roller coaster ride that never had any payoff. He’s already completed interviews with Jodorowsky, Giger and ‘other surviving members of the production’. Hopefully the interviews will give us as much of a look at what could have been and wonder how much better than David Lynch’s version it would be.
Here’s to hoping the film will come out by 2012, which is what they’re hoping for right now. Thanks to The Hollywood Reporter for the news.
Here’s a little candid video with Jodorowsky speaking about Dune for a bit.