Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Zack Snyder Defends 'Man Of Steel' Finale, Ben Affleck Reveals Bruce Wayne Knew People Who Died In That Battle Zack Snyder Defends 'Man Of Steel' Finale, Ben Affleck Reveals Bruce Wayne Knew People Who Died In That Battle New Book Contends Eric Stoltz Was “Difficult” & The Cast Wasn’t Shocked He Was Replaced On ‘Back To The Future’ New Book Contends Eric Stoltz Was “Difficult” & The Cast Wasn’t Shocked He Was Replaced On ‘Back To The Future’ Watch: Scott Lang Wants To Call The Avengers In New International 'Ant-Man' Trailer Watch: Scott Lang Wants To Call The Avengers In New International 'Ant-Man' Trailer Zack Snyder Reveals The Easter Egg Idea He Pitched Christopher Nolan And David Goyer For 'Man Of Steel' Zack Snyder Reveals The Easter Egg Idea He Pitched Christopher Nolan And David Goyer For 'Man Of Steel' New Images Of Bruce Wayne, Lex Luthor, More In 'Batman v. Superman,' Ben Affleck Compares Batman To Hamlet New Images Of Bruce Wayne, Lex Luthor, More In 'Batman v. Superman,' Ben Affleck Compares Batman To Hamlet Mads Mikkelsen And Hugh Dancy Released From Their 'Hannibal' Contracts Mads Mikkelsen And Hugh Dancy Released From Their 'Hannibal' Contracts Paul Thomas Anderson To Write And Possibly Direct Warner Bros' ‘Pinocchio’ For Robert Downey Jr. Paul Thomas Anderson To Write And Possibly Direct Warner Bros' ‘Pinocchio’ For Robert Downey Jr. Tom Cruise Still Gearing Up For 'Top Gun 2,' Story Will Involve Drone Warfare Tom Cruise Still Gearing Up For 'Top Gun 2,' Story Will Involve Drone Warfare Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Review: ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney & Jason Clarke Review: ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney & Jason Clarke 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ The 25 Best TV Shows Of The 2014/2015 Season The 25 Best TV Shows Of The 2014/2015 Season The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season

Interview: Alejandro Jodorowsky Reveals How His 'Dune' Inspired 'Alien' & Challenges With Getting Script Published

Photo of Drew Taylor By Drew Taylor | The Playlist March 21, 2014 at 4:22PM

Frank Pavich's "Jodorowsky's Dune," opening this week in limited release, is a documentary that, for film freaks at least, is something close to miraculous (read our review). It's a detailed, first-hand account of Chilean-French filmmaker Alejando Jodorowsky's failed attempt to bring Frank Herbert's influential sci-fi novel "Dune" to the big screen (years before David Lynch "succeeded" in making a movie out of the difficult material). At one point Jodorowsky explains that he wanted to create the experience of a psychedelic trip… without the drugs. What could have possibly gone wrong? We got to sit down with Jodorowsky at South by Southwest, and while we mostly talked about his new film "Dance of Reality" (out in May—read our review), we were able to squeeze in a few questions about "Dune."
0
Jodorowsky's Dune

Frank Pavich's "Jodorowsky's Dune," opening this week in limited release, is a documentary that, for film freaks at least, is something close to miraculous (read our review). It's a detailed, first-hand account of Chilean-French filmmaker Alejando Jodorowsky's failed attempt to bring Frank Herbert's influential sci-fi novel "Dune" to the big screen (years before David Lynch "succeeded" in making a movie out of the difficult material). At one point Jodorowsky explains that he wanted to create the experience of a psychedelic trip… without the drugs. What could have possibly gone wrong? We got to sit down with Jodorowsky at South by Southwest, and while we mostly talked about his new film "Dance of Reality" (out in May—read our review), we were able to squeeze in a few questions about "Dune."

One of the big focuses of the movie is a book that Jodorowsky made which lavishly detailed his plans for "Dune." Hundreds of pages long, lovingly illustrated by French comic book illustrator Mœbius (née Jean Girard), the book broke down, beat for beat, what the movie would end up becoming. Production artwork from H.R. Giger, costume and character sketches from Mœbius and other miscellanea (some of it composed by Dan O'Bannon, a fledgling screenwriter who worked on the movie's visual effects) are crammed into this book, which almost every studio had in their possession at some point and has taken on a talismanic quality in the years since the production was shut down. This was the blueprint for "Dune." (At one point in the documentary Nicolas Winding Refn recounts the time he spent with Jodorowsky narrating the entire book for him. A rare treat indeed. Refn claims he's the only person on Earth who's actually "seen" Jodorowsky's "Dune.")

We started with Jodorowsky about "Dune" after the filmmaker expressed his interest and, indeed, love of new digital technology, which he says allows him to go back and fix things that he was unhappy about in his earlier films and would have probably allowed his vision of "Dune" to reach the big screen as he had original intended it. We also discussed how no rumor about "Dune" is too extravagant, since the reality was so much nuttier, and whether or not his "Dune" book will ever be published.

It seems like with this new technology, your version of "Dune" would have been a lot easier to achieve.
At that time they said I was crazy because I wanted to make a movie that was 14 or 16 hours. But now people do it. There are three—"Hobbit 1," "Hobbit 2," "Hobbit 3." Everything I wanted to do is possible to do today.

Do you feel satisfied in some way that, at the very least, the intent of the movie is getting across?
Yes. Justice! The world has justice! When Pavich came to see me, I thought he was a crazy person. And then we started to talk. And he put it in the picture. I wasn't speaking for the picture, I was speaking for him. In the world, what you do has a value but what you don't do also has a value. For me "Dune" was a dream—a big dream! And I am happy like this. It's a dream that I intended to do, which is good.

What's the craziest story you ever heard about "Dune?"
There was nothing too crazy. When we didn't make the picture, Dan O'Bannon needed to be interned in a mental institution for two years, suffering because we didn't get to do "Dune." And when he came out he wrote the script for "Alien." "Alien" was the reaction to not doing "Dune." Who would believe that? But it's true!

Would you ever be able to publish the book?
The book is there. It's there. One day it will be published. But the widow of Mœbius is making problems, because she wants a lot of money. But it's not really Mœbius. I dictated the whole thing to him. It's an illustrated script—that is all. And we paid him. But she wants more money. We are waiting. Japan want to publish, French want to publish, I have propositions. One day, yes. One day… I made the whole picture, shot by shot, with dialogue, with everything. I worked two years on that.

"Jodorowsky's Dune" opens today. We'll have more from our interview with Jodorowsky before "Dance of Reality" opens in June.

This article is related to: Jodorowsky's Dune, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Dune, Interviews, Interviews, Alien


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates