Decades ago the mad Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky spent a good deal of time and effort trying to film Frank Herbert‘s novel Dune. (This was years before David Lynch made his own adaptation.) Jodorowsky’s version of Dune never came to pass, but the people he assembled for the adaptation would go on to do other wonderful things (if they weren’t superstars already), and that particular incarnation of Dune stands as a legendary movie that could have been.
The documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune chronicles this attempt to make the movie, and landed on my “most anticipated of 2014″ list thanks to rapturous reception at festivals such as Fantastic Fest. We’ve seen some footage from Jodorowsky’s Dune before, but a new trailer has just come online, thanks to the US distributor Sony Pictures Classics. Have a look at it below; if nothing else check out the opening, where Jodoroswsky explains his titanic ambitions for the film. It’s beautiful.
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One of the most exciting pieces of news to emerge from Cannes this week was the announcement of Jodorowsky’s Dune, a documentary about the failed attempt by ambitious and very possibly insane Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky to film Frank Herbert‘s novel Dune in the mid-’70s. The project has long stood as one of the great ‘films that never were.’ Just the idea of seeing the surviving participants talk about what the film might have been is exciting, and that’s what the doc offers — hopefully we’ll also see art and designs that have not previously been released.
So here’s the first promo video for the film, in which Alejandro Jodorowsky explains just how ambitious his plan for the movie really was. Read More »
It seems like this year’s Cannes festival is providing a more bountiful crop of new projects than normal, and this film might be one of the best, or at least one of the most exciting for sci-fi nerds. Emerging at the fest is a doc called Jodorowsky’s Dune, which seeks to tell the story of the attempt by wildman Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky to adapt Frank Herbert‘s novel Dune in the mid-’70s.
Production designs (by artists like H.R. Giger and Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud) have floated around for years, but the full story of the film that never was has never quite been told. If you have even a passing interest in Dune or the development of sci-fi films, this doc should go on your watch list. Read More »
In the pantheon of Big Difficult Adaptations, Frank Herbert‘s novel Dune has stood tall for years. Efforts to make a film in the ’70s stalled, and a film version nearly defeated David Lynch in the early ’80s. (Some, including David Lynch, might say that it did defeat him.) The mini-series adaptation in 2000 can be considered good only by those who judge quality by how many details from the source are crammed onto the screen, and efforts to make a film version since then have resulted in many script drafts, but no actual film.
Paramount has held the rights to Dune for some time, with the project passing through the hands of multiple screenwriters and directors, but now the studio’s option has lapsed. The rights have reverted to Richard P. Rubenstein, the liaison to the Frank Herbert estate and ABC. Read More »
Rights holders for big genre, comic book and toy properties are getting smart. In the past few decades we’ve seen many potentially huge adaptations languish as studios and producers waffled about finding the right approach to a project. But in the wake of big-dollar successes from Lord of the Rings to Spider-Man and The Dark Knight, companies such as Hasbro and the rights holders for projects like Dune are demanding new contracts, levying fines for delayed production starts and refusing to grant option extensions to studios that can’t get a project off the ground.
In the past few years, Paramount has held the rights to Dune, and a couple of high-profile directors have taken a crack at the difficult adaptation. Peter Berg was on the film, but then went to make Battleship for Universal. (More on that in a moment.) Pierre Morel (Taken) jumped on to the project, but the word now is that he no longer plans to direct.
So Universal needs a new director, but the clock is ticking. Dune‘s owners will take the project back next year if a film isn’t in motion. Read More »
Screenwriter Chase Palmer has been hired to write a draft the big budget remake of Dune for Paramount Pictures. Taken/District B13 director Pierre Morel came aboard the film early this year after Peter Berg departed the project. Palmer has been brought on board to work some of Morel’s ideas into original scribe Josh Zetumer’s screenplay. Morel has said that he wants to make a film which is faithful to Frank Herbert’s classic 1965 sci-fi novel.
David Lynch directed a big screen adaptationin 1984. Although fans of the Dune series are polarized by the movie, but the film has become a cult favorite in recent years. A three-part miniseries also based on the novel aired in 2000.
Pierre Morel has revealed both his aspirations for Dune and some of the practical challenges he’ll face in realising it.
Apparently, he’s keen for the film to be in 3D and he’ll push for the format but the decision is yet to be made. So far he’s seen Avatar in 3D twice, he says, and it seems he’d like a little of that for his own project.
While development is continuing apace, work on the screenplay pages has yet to begin. The story is that Morel and his, as yet unnamed writer or writers, will start scripting in February. Are they keeping his collaborators secret? Or have they simply not hired anybody yet?
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Back in1983, the Waldenbooks chain recorded a long conversation between David Lynch and Frank Herbert. The occasion was the impending release of Lynch’s version of Dune. The final film, as most well know, was often derided as an artistic failure, and it was undoubtedly a commercial disaster. In the years since the film’s release, Lynch rarely speaks of it. Herbert died in early 1986, so he didn’t have time to see the film attain a certain level of respect in the sci-fi community.
But the movie has earned a large number of fans over the years, and rightly so. Though quite flawed, the film features incredible production design and film craft, elements which are often cited as the reasons for fan appreciation. But it is also interesting as an adaptation that isn’t afraid to muck around with the source a little bit. I think a lot more adaptations should indulge in changes. Listening to this interview, which appeared on YouTube this week, it seems evident that Frank Herbert might agree. Read More »
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