Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time!
Empire's Guardians Of The Galaxy Cover
Does Star Wars Have A Brain Trust?
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
TODAY
New Doctor Who Trailer Materialises
Here we go again...
Christopher Walken Is Captain Hook For NBC
In a regatta kinda mood
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
15 May 2014
Nicolas Winding Refn In Talks For The Bringing
He has his eye on the horror
More Movie News

RELATED REVIEWS
Only God Forgives (2013)
Empire Star Rating
Drive (2011)
Empire Star Rating
Valhalla Rising (2010)
Empire Star Rating
Bronson (2009)
Empire Star Rating
Pusher 3 AKA I’m The Angel of Death
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Cannes 2013: Jodorowsky's Dune Initial Reaction
The return of the greatest film that never was

19 May 2013  |  Written by Damon Wise  

submit to reddit

jodorowsky dune documentary

As chronicled by Simon Braund in a back issue of Empire, Alejandro Jodorowsky's attempt to film Frank Herbert's sci-fi novel Dune is one of the most legendary unmade movies of all time. Last night saw the world premiere of Frank Pavich's documentary Jodorowsky's Dune, which details the madness and brilliance of the director's somewhat unorthodox journey. And while it doesn't add much to the story as it is generally known, it does paint a vivid picture of a movie that wasn't just meant to change the world of cinema but to change the world itself.

Teed up by Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn, who recalls a night at Jodorowsky's house when the Chilean-born director talked him through the illustrated shooting script, Pavich's film recaps the director's career to that point. Beginning as a performance artist and theatre director, Jodorowsky moved into film with 1968's surreal Fando Y Lis and followed it with the cult monolith El Topo (1970), the first true midnight movie. After following that with 1973's even crazier The Holy Mountain, Jodorowsky was asked by producer Michel Seydoux what he wanted to do next. He replied: Dune.
 
Sadly, not a single test shot remains, although the pair did produce a handsome pitch document with detailed storyboards. Some of the key players recall with fondness the director's outlaw approach to filmmaking, choosing “warriors” over technicians and inspiring them to create extreme works of art that no studio could ever possibly countenance.
 
But not only is it a good story, made even more entertaining by Jodorowsky's beaming face, there is also a reason why the film is so legendary; as directors Refn and Richard Stanley note, the Dune pitch document arrived in Hollywood just before the second coming of sci-fi, heralded by Star Wars and quickly followed by Alien and Flash Gordon. Would history be different if Jodorowsky had been allowed to make his movie? We will never know. But Pavich's film makes a strong case to suggest that it might.

Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Cannes 2013: Weinstein Company Showcase
From James Corden singing to Kristen Scott Thomas screaming
Disney Re-Scales Pete's Dragon
UPDATE: David Lowery in talks to direct his script

Your Comments

What a tease!
How can you mention that back-issue feature and not have it available to read online? I knew it sounded familiar when I saw the trailer today. More

Posted by madkingsoup at 14:25 on 10 July 2014 | Report This Post

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
How To Create Your Dragon: The Inspirations Behind The Creatures
DreamWorks' animator reveals the ingredients for the movie's dragons

Video: Mark Ruffalo On Begin Again, Science Bros And Underpants Acting
Plus Empire meets director John Carney and co-star James Corden

Movie Poster Mashups: The Wes Anderson Edition
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be appalled at the punning...

Film Studies 101: Ten Movie Formats That Shook The World
The pre-digital innovations that formed modern cinema

Exodus: Gods And Kings: Ridley Scott's Trailer Breakdown
The director talks us through his enormous Biblical epic

Jay Baruchel Talks How To Train Your Dragon 2
From The Human Centipede to the origin of 'Useless reptile'

Watch: Industrial Light & Magic's Greatest Hits
From Star Wars to Transformers, we run through some of the best individual moments from the special effects masters

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £18!
Special 25th anniversary offer for one month only! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)