Subversive Cinema: The Most Amazing Movie That Was Never Made… by Klax
Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dune
Jodorowsky has recently been getting a lot more (deserved) attention thanks to the release of a long-time-coming well produced DVD Boxset. For the first time his most well known movies (El Topo, The Holy Mountain) are available (legally) on home video (with included soundtracks!). I, along with a lot of other cinema lovers, can finally watch and re-watch the Jodorowsky weirdness. Additionally, new 35mm prints of these films were made and toured shortly last year.
So recently, I was completely floored when I heard out about his failed attempt to make Dune. [David Lynch would later make a Hollywood adaptation in 1984 to fund his next film, Blue Velvet]
The Wierd World of 70’s Cinema sums up this lost project best:
“In development from 1974 to 1977, the film was to have featured Orson Welles, David Carradine (hot off the Kung Fu series), Gloria Swanson, Amanda Lear and Salvador Dali as a mad emperor who sits upon a toilet throne. With art design by H.R. Giger and special effects by Dark Star’s Dan O’Bannon who both soon after worked together on Alien. Music was to be by Pink Floyd, Tangerine Dream and French prog rockers Magma.”
According to Jodorowsky:
“The project was sabotaged in Hollywood. It was French and not American. Their message was ‘not Hollywood enough’. There was intrigue, plunder. The storyboard was circulated among all the big studios. Later, the visual aspect of Star Wars strangely resembled our style. To make Alien, they called Moebius [Giraud], Foss, Giger, O’Bannon, etc. The project signaled to Americans the possibility of making a big show of science-fiction films, outside of the scientific rigor of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The project of Dune changed our lives.”