Filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky's ambitious attempt to make a film adaptation of Frank Herbert's seminal sci-fi classic novel Dune has become the stuff of Hollywood legend, so much so that Denis Villeneuve's upcoming Dune movie pays homage to Jodorowsky's planned adaptation through its choice of Pink Floyd's music. France's Premiere magazine recently asked Jororowsky his thoughts on the trailer for the new Dune that was released recently, and the filmmaker's opinion was positive... but with a few caveats.
"I saw the [Dune trailer]. It's very well done. We can see that it is an industrial cinema, that there is a lot of money, and that it was very expensive. But if it was very expensive, it must pay in proportion. And that is the problem: There [are] no surprises. The form is identical to what is done everywhere. The lighting, the acting, everything is predictable."
The original Dune novel was famously considered unfilmable in Hollywood for decades. The most well-known adaptation of the story is David Lynch's 1984 film Dune, which Lynch himself has called his worst film ever. What makes the story particularly difficult to translate to the big screen is the core themes are laid out in densely packed dialogues between characters and psychedelic imagery that would be lost on general audiences.
Alejandro Jodorowsky had grand plans to make the seminal adaptation of Dune, which would be a 14-hour saga to do justice to the novel. After being unable to find financing for his vision, Jodorowsky had to give up his dream of making the film. Although the filmmaker told Premiere that he wants nothing less than for Villeneuve's Dune than for it to be a great success, he does not believe a Hollywood movie will ever be able to rise to the heights his own adaptation would have taken Herbert's story to:
"Industrial cinema is incompatible with auteur cinema. For the former, money comes before. For the second, it's the opposite, whatever the quality of a director, whether my friend Nicolas Winding Refn or Denis Villeneuve. Industrial cinema promotes entertainment, it is a show that is not intended to change humanity or society."
Directed by Denis Villeneuve from a script he co-wrote with Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts, Legendary Pictures' Dune features Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, Zendaya as Chani, Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides, Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, Javier Bardem as Stilgar, Chang Chen as Dr. Wellington Yueh, Sharon Duncan-Brewster as Dr. Liet Kynes, Charlotte Rampling as Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam, Dave Bautista Glossu Rabban, David Dastmalchian as Piter De Vries, Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho, Stephen Henderson as Thufir Hawat, and Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck.
The film tells the story of an intergalactic civilization, whose fate centers around the desert planet Arrakis, and the new stewards of the planet, House Atreides. After a surprise coup overwhelms his family, Paul, scion of Atreides, must embark upon a dangerous journey to lay claim to Arrakis' most valuable resource, the 'spice' melange, and restore his family to their former glory. Dune arrives in theaters Dec. 18. This first appeared at Premiere.fr.