Before the eventual David Lynch's film adaptation of Frank Herbert's science fiction novel Dune, there was a prior attempt by Chilean-French director Alehandro Jodorowsky in the mid 1970's, which never came into fruition. This documentary, directed by Frank Pavich, tells Jodorowsky's story.
According to the trailer, the film looks to be an exciting exploration of a passion project by a mad, creative genius who winds up influencing Hollywood (particularly sci-fi films like Star Wars, Alien, etc.) while being unable to accomplish his goal.
Frank Herbert noted that when he traveled to Europe to check on the progress, $2 million of the $9.5 million budget had already been spent in pre-production and that Jodorowsky's script--"the size of a phonebook"--would have resulted in a 14-hour movie. The project ultimately stalled due to financial reasons until Italian fimmaker Dino DeLaurentis bought it in 1982, which eventually turned into David Lynch's 1984 film Dune.
Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, and Magma were considered to do the music for the film, H.R. Giger and Jean Girard for set design, Dan O'Bannon for special effects, and Orson Welles, Gloria Swanson and others for the cast.
According to Jodorowsky (Source: Duneinfo.com).:
"I did not want to respect the novel, I wanted to recreate it. For me Dune did not belong to Herbert as Don Quixote did not belong to Cervantes, nor Edipo with Esquilo... I felt in enthusiastic admiration towards Herbert and at the same time in conflict... I did not want him as a technical adviser ... I did everything to move him away from the project... I had received a version of Dune and I wanted to transmit it: the Myth was to give up the literary form and to become Image...
"In my version, the spice is a blue drug with spongy consistency filled with a vegetable-animal life endowed with consciousness, the highest level of consciousness. It does not stop taking all kinds of forms, while stirring up unceasingly. The spice continuously produces the creation of the innumerable universes...
"Me, I liked to fight for Dune. Almost all the battles were won, but the war was lost. The project was sabotaged in Hollywood. It was French and not American. Its message was not 'enough Hollywood'. There were intrigues, plundering. [Our] storyboard circulated among all the large studios. Later, the visual aspect of Star Wars resembled our style. To make Alien, they invited Moebius, Foss, Giger, O'Bannon, etc. The project announced to American the possibility of carrying out science fiction films to large spectacle and out of the scientific rigour of 2001: A Space Odyssey..."
(More of his other fascinating thoughts can be read in Duneinfo.com)
Jodorowsky's Dune, starring Alejandro Jodorowsky, Michel Seydoux, H.R. Giger, Chris Foss, Brontis Jodorowsky, Richard Stanley, Devin Faraci, Drew McWeeny, and directed by Frank Pavich, comes to theaters on March 21st of this year.
The film's official website is at jodorowskysdune.com.