Frank Pavitch’s documentary, Jodorowsky’s Dune, was a breakout hit at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, as well as Jordorowsky’s own return with his surreal, autobiographical take on his life, The Dance of Reality. Jodorowsky’s Dune is a straightforward documentary about Alejandro Jodorowsky’s failed attempt at bringing Frank Herbert’s science fiction epic, Dune, to the big screen. It features Jodorowsky, the eccentric 84-year-old director, telling the story himself and details the evolution and eventual dissolution of the project. The riveting and fascinating documentary has been picked up for distribution by Sony Pictures Classics.
The film begins in 1974, when right off the success of his later-deemed “cult-classics,” El Topo and The Holy Mountain, Jodorowsky began to conceive a grand idea for a big budget sci-fi epic. One whose planned collaborations ranged from H.R. Giger to Salvador Dali to Mick Jagger (yes, you heard right, Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones) and was set to star Jodorowsky himself and his son. From that alone, you can see why the film never made it past early pre-production. Pavitch released the following statement, in response to the acquisition: “To have my first film distributed by Sony Pictures Classics is a dream come true. I’m incredibly excited to know that we will be working alongside the company that so fully supported such great documentaries like Crumb andSearching for Sugar Man. SPC has seen that, even though this is a documentary about a never-completed film, it is not a story about failure. It’s a story about ambition and how the power of art can effectively change the world.”
Jodorowsky’s version of Dune has long held the fascination of cinephiles, with concept art and select quotes from interviews available from over the years lending to the myth of the unproduced project. From aspects like a ten-hour script the size of a phone book, Salvador Dali demanding $100,000 an hour for his performance, and Dan O’Bannon, Orson Welles and Pink Floyd all having a hand in the film, Dune has always been a what-if story. Had the film made it to completion, with the film no doubt being separated into 3-parts, would Star Wars have ever been made? Would Jodorowsky had entered an unprepared Hollywood if the film met success? These are all questions that will never be answered, but if you want to hint of what could have been, Jodorowsky’s Dune is going to be your best bet for closure.
There is no release date as of yet, but be sure to stay tuned to Diabolique for more on Alejandro Jodorowsky, Frank Pavitch and Jodorowsky’s Dune.
– By Robert Vaughn
Robert Vaughn is a graduate of Montclair State University, NJ, with a B.F.A. in Filmmaking. Throughout his time in the program, he worked on various aspects of pre, pro and post-production. Writing has always been a favorite of his and he feels this “favoritism” shows in his work. Various professors, students, directors and actors have praised his writing ability. On top of writing for Diabolique, he has written for TV, written/co-written feature films for So Real? Entertainment and is currently working on a feature length dark comedy script of his own. Follow him on twitter: @rvaughn881