I was probably 12 or 13 when I watched Dune for the first time and soon became enthralled with the epic scope of the story. I was even more excited to find out there was a series of books that the film was based on. When I finally got my copy of Frank Herbert’s Dune in my hands I was blown away about how much had been changed by the source material. Over the course of a summer I went on to read all of the books in the Dune series and I found myself wondering about what could have been.
Jodorowsky’s Dune tells the story of the greatest version of Dune never made. In 1975 Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky obtained the film rights to Dune in hopes of making his vision of the science fiction epic. Jodorowsky assembled a creative team that included concept artists H.R. Giger and Jean Giraud and a cast that included the likes of Orson Welles, Salvidor Dali and Mick Jagger. Jodorowsky’s vision of Dune took several noticeable detours from Frank Herbert’s novel and after two years of pre-production work not a single studio would fund the project.
While watching Jodorowsky’s Dune you cannot help but be angry that this version of Dune never made it to the screen. Throughout the film you are treated to gorgeous pieces of concept art and storyboards that were so ambitious it is hard to believe that the planned shots were able to be done in 1975.
Many of the names associated with this ambitious project went on to work on Star Wars and Alien, arguably two of the most influential films in the science fiction genre. After after watching Jodorowsky’s Dune you cannot help but think that the studios may have borrowed from the Jodorowsky’s vision … but you will have to judge that for yourself.