I’ve always been fascinated by the world created by Frank Herbert in his landmark science fiction series Dune. I’m especially fond of his first novel, which has been adapted for the small and the big screen, to various degree of success. And while I admire elements in both versions, neither of them fully bring to life the complexity of the novel.
So imagine my utter amazement when I discovered that Alejandro Jodorowsky had been approached in 1974 to write and direct this space opera. The line-up of talents he assembled for this undertaking is mind-blowing :
Art direction : Jean “Moebius” Giraud, H.R. Giger, Chris Foss and Dan O’Bannon.
Cast : David Carradine, Charlotte Rampling, Mick Jagger, Gloria Swanson, Orson Welles, Alain Delon, and the legendary surrealist painter Salvador Dali for crying out loud.
Music : (wait for it)…Pink Floyd! Yes! That Pink Floyd!
But it was too good to be true. After two years of pre-production, the funding ran out and the studios decided to back away from this dream project. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not certain that this movie would have been a masterpiece, but it would have been quite a visual and auditive feast. Unfortunately, we’ll never know what could have been. The closest we’ll ever get to experience Jodorowsky’s Dune is by watching the upcoming documentary about this aborted cinematic endeavour. In the meantime, here is a taste of what could have been. Enjoy.
P.S. For more (a lot more) information about this amazing world, check out the Dune -Behind the scenes website. Just make sure you have a couple of hours of free time to browse.