Jodorowsky's Dune is a 2013 American-French documentary film directed by Frank Pavich. The film explores cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky's unsuccessful attempt to adapt and film Frank Herbert's 1965 science fiction novel Dune in the mid-1970s.
|Directed by||Frank Pavich|
|Music by||Kurt Stenzel|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Classics|
In December 1974, a French consortium led by Jean-Paul Gibon purchased the film rights from APJ, with director Alejandro Jodorowsky set to direct. Along with French producer Michel Seydoux, Jodorowsky proceeded to approach, among others, Virgin Records with the prog rock groups Tangerine Dream, Gong and Mike Oldfield before settling on Pink Floyd and Magma for some of the music; artists H. R. Giger, Chris Foss and Jean Giraud for set and character design; Dan O'Bannon for special effects; and Salvador Dalí, Orson Welles, Gloria Swanson, David Carradine, Mick Jagger, Udo Kier, Amanda Lear and others for the cast. Jodorowsky intended his son Brontis, 12 years old at the start of pre-production, to star as Paul Atreides.
Herbert traveled to Europe in 1976 to find that $2 million of the $9.5 million budget had already been spent in pre-production and that Jodorowsky's script would result in a 14-hour film ("It was the size of a phone book", Herbert later recalled). Jodorowsky took creative liberties with the source material, but Herbert said that he and Jodorowsky had an amicable relationship. After two and a half years in development, the project ultimately stalled for financial reasons since $5 million was still missing to round off the $15-million total budget.
Acclaimed comic artist Jean "Moebius" Giraud worked with Jodorowsky to create a storyboard composed of 3000 drawings that depicted the entire film.
Salvador Dalí was set to play the Emperor and claimed he wanted to be the highest-paid actor in Hollywood history. He asked for $100,000 per hour to act in the movie. Jodorowsky accepted, but then reduced the Emperor’s scenes so that Dalí would be needed for no more than one hour with the rest of his lines spoken by a robotic lookalike. Dalí accepted on condition that the plastic lookalike was donated to his museum, and that his throne was to be a toilet made up of two intersected dolphins.
Jodorowsky's refusal to compromise on Dune's running time was one main reason the film did not get made. Hollywood did not want the film's length to exceed two hours. Jodorowsky felt 10 to 14 hours would be more appropriate for the adaptation.
The film notes that Jodorowsky's script, extensive storyboards, and concept art were sent to all major film studios, and argues that these influenced and inspired later film productions, including Star Wars, the Alien series, Flash Gordon, the Terminator series, and The Fifth Element. In particular, the Jodorowsky-assembled team of O'Bannon, Foss, Giger, and Giraud went on to collaborate on the 1979 film Alien.
"It was a great undertaking to do the script," Jodorowsky says in the film. Speaking of Herbert's novel, he says: "It's very, it's like Proust, I compare it to great literature."
The documentary concludes that Jodorowsky's efforts did not go to waste, and that he and Giraud recycled much of their concepts for The Incal, a series of graphic novels that began publishing in 1980.
The project was officially announced in May 2011. Director Pavich filmed an extensive series of interviews with the principal players involved in the failed 1970s adaptation, shooting in France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Jodorowsky's Dune premiered at the Director's Fortnight at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival in May 2013. Sony Pictures Classics acquired the North American distribution rights to the film in July 2013, and later announced a theatrical release date of March 7, 2014. The film was released on DVD and on-demand on July 8, 2014.
The film has received critical acclaim. Variety called it a "mind-blowing cult movie" and said that director Pavich "happens upon a compelling theory: that even in its still-born form, the film manifested the sort of collective [consciousness] that Jodorowsky was trying to peddle through its plot, trickling down to influence other sci-fi films that followed". The Hollywood Reporter declared the "entertaining documentary makes the case for this overblown epic as a legendary lost masterpiece". Entertainment Weekly named Jodorowsky's Dune as one of its 10 Best Movies of 2014.
Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave Jodorowsky's Dune a 98% approval rating based on reviews from 121 critics, with an average rating of 8/10. The site's consensus states: "Part thoughtful tribute, part bittersweet reminder of a missed opportunity, Jodorowsky's Dune offers a fascinating look at a lost sci-fi legend." Metacritic gives the film a 79% rating based on 31 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
In the second episode of the Netflix series Russian Doll, Jodorowsky's Dune is used as a password.
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipients||Result|
|Australian Film Critics Association||February 9, 2015||Best Documentary||Jodorowsky’s Dune||Won|
|Boston Society of Film Critics||December 7, 2014||Best Documentary||Jodorowsky’s Dune||Runner Up|
|Chicago Film Critics Association||December 7, 2014||Best Documentary||Jodorowsky’s Dune||Nominated|
|Cinema Eye Honors||January 8, 2014||Audience Choice||Jodorowsky’s Dune||Nominated|
|Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design or Animation||Syd Garon||Won|
|20th Critics' Choice Awards||January 15, 2015||Best Documentary||Jodorowsky’s Dune||Nominated|
|Detroit Film Critics Society||December 15, 2014||Best Documentary||Jodorowsky’s Dune||Nominated|
|Fantastic Fest||September 24, 2013||Best Documentary||Jodorowsky’s Dune||Won|
|Audience Award||Jodorowsky’s Dune||Won|
|Florida Film Critics Circle||December 19, 2014||Best Documentary Feature||Jodorowsky’s Dune||Nominated|
|Houston Film Critics Society||January 10, 2015||Best Documentary Feature||Jodorowsky’s Dune||Nominated|
|Imagine Film Festival||April 19, 2014||Syfy Silver Scream Audience Award||Jodorowsky’s Dune||Won|
|National Board of Review||January 10, 2015||Top 5 Documentaries||Jodorowsky’s Dune||Won|
|Night Visions Film Festival||November 6, 2013||Audience Award||Jodorowsky's Dune||Won|
|Satellite Awards||February 15, 2015||Best Documentary Film||Jodorowsky’s Dune||Nominated|
|San Francisco Film Critics Circle||December 14, 2014||Best Documentary||Jodorowsky’s Dune||Nominated|
|Sitges Film Festival||October 19, 2013||Audience Award||Jodorowsky’s Dune||Won|
|Special Jury Prize||Jodorowsky’s Dune||Special Mention|
|Utopiales||November 6, 2013||Grand Prix||Jodorowsky’s Dune||Won|
|Grand Prix du Public||Jodorowsky’s Dune||Won|
|Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association||December 8, 2014||Best Documentary||Jodorowsky’s Dune||Nominated|
The film appeared on several critics' year-end lists.
- 2nd – Alex Biese, Asbury Park Press
- 2nd – Wired Staff, Wired
- 3rd – Liam Lacey, The Globe and Mail
- 5th – Neil Rosen, NY1
- 5th – Mike Gencarelli, MediaMikes.com
- 5th – Most Underrated – Angry Nerd, Wired
- 6th – Richard Corliss, Time
- 6th – TT Stern-Enzi, Cincinnati City Beat
- 7th – Giovanni Fazio, The Japan Times
- 7th – Steve Persall, Tampa Bay Times
- 8th – Jeffrey M. Anderson, The San Francisco Examiner
- 10th – Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly
- 10th – Erik Henriksen, The Portland Mercury
- 10th – Kirk Baird, The Blade
- Honorable Mention – James Verniere, Boston Herald
- Honorable Mention – John Beifuss, The Commercial Appeal
- Honorable Mention – Kristian Lin, Fort Worth Weekly
- Honorable Mention – Brian Miller, Seattle Weekly
- Included in Best Documentaries – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
- Runner Up – A.O. Scott, The New York Times
- "Jodorowsky's Dune (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. January 14, 2015. Retrieved January 14, 2015.
- "Jodorowsky's Dune". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- "Dune: Book to Screen Timeline". Duneinfo.com. Archived from the original on May 17, 2011. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
- Jodorowsky, Alejandro (1985). "Dune: Le Film Que Vous Ne Verrez Jamais (Dune: The Film You Will Never See)". Métal Hurlant. DuneInfo.com. Archived from the original on April 29, 2011. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
- Barber, Nicholas (March 14, 2019). "Is Jodorowsky's Dune the greatest film never made?". BBC. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
- Jodorowsky, Alejandro. "THE FILM YOU WILL NEVER SEE". Retrieved November 23, 2021.
- Nashawaty, Chris (December 12, 2014). "10 Best/5 Worst Movies of 2014". Entertainment Weekly (1341). Retrieved December 8, 2014.
- Scanlon, Paul; Michael Cross (1979). The Book of Alien. London: Titan Books. ISBN 1-85286-483-4.
- Kit, Borys (May 12, 2011). "Alejandro Jodorowsky's Dune Will Finally Hit Screens". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
- Keslassy, Elsa (April 23, 2013). "U.S. Fare Looms Large in Directors' Fortnight". Variety. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
- "Sony Classics Acquires Cannes Docu Jodorowsky's Dune". Deadline Hollywood. July 11, 2013. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
- Cecchini, Mike (August 25, 2013). "Jodorowsky's Dune Gets a Release Date From Sony". DenofGeek.us. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
- Debruge, Peter (May 19, 2013). "Cannes Film Review: Jodorowsky's Dune". Variety. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
- Dalton, Stephen (May 19, 2013). "Jodorowsky's Dune: Cannes Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
- "Jodorowsky's Dune (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
- "Jodorowsky's Dune". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- Film Prize "Best Documentary", Australian Film Critics Association, February 9, 2015
- Film Prize "Best Documentary", Boston Society of Film Critics, December 7, 2014
- Film Prize "Best Documentary", Chicago Film Critics Association, December 7, 2014
- Film Prize "Best Documentary", Cinema Eye Honors, January 8, 2014
- Film Prize "Best Documentary", 20th Critics' Choice Awards, January 15, 2015
- Film Prize "Best Documentary", Detroit Film Critics Society, December 15, 2014
- Film Prize "Best Documentary", Fantastic Fest, September 24, 2013
- Film Prize "Best Documentary Feature", Florida Film Critics Circle, December 19, 2014
- Film Prize "Best Documentary Feature", Houston Film Critics Society, January 10, 2015
- Film Prize " Syfy Silver Scream Audience Award ", Imagine Film Festival, April 19, 2014, archived from the original on October 28, 2014
- Film Prize "Top 5 Documentaries", National Board of Review, January 10, 2015
- Film Prize "Audience Award", Night Visions Film Festival, November 6, 2013
- Film Prize "Best Documentary Film", Satellite Awards, February 15, 2015
- Film Prize "Best Documentary", San Francisco Film Critics Circle, December 14, 2014
- Film Prize "Grand Prix", Sitges Film Festival, October 19, 2013
- Film Prize "Grand Prix", Utopiales, November 6, 2013
- Film Prize "Best Documentary", Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association, December 8, 2014
- "Best of 2014: Film Critic Top Ten Lists". Metacritic.
- "The Best Movies of 2014". Asbury Park Press.
- "We Pick the Year's 5 Most Intriguing Documentaries". Wired.
- "The top 10 films of 2014, as decided by Globe film critic Liam Lacey". The Globe and Mail.
- "Neil Rosen's Top 10 Best Films of 2014". NY1. Archived from the original on January 1, 2015. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
- "Mike's Picks for The Best & Worst Films of 2014". MediaMikes.com.
- "Angry Nerd's The 10 Most Underrated Movies of 2014". Wired.
- "Top 10 Best Movies". Time.
- "The Top 10 Best Films of 2014". Cincinnati City Beat.
- "Top 10 films of 2014: in search of originality". The Japan Times.
- "Top 10 movies of 2014 include Birdman, Whiplash, The Lego Movie". Tampa Bay Times.
- "2014's best films". San Francisco Examiner.
- "10 Best/5 Worst Movies of 2014". Entertainment Weekly.
- "Erik's 15 Favorite Movies of 2014". Portland Mercury.
- "10 Movies manage to Glitter Amid Dark Year at Multiplex". Portland Mercury.
- "Verniere: Here's my list of year's best films". Boston Herald.
- "Best Movies of 2014". The Commercial Appeal.
- "Top 10 Movies of 2014". Fort Worth Weekly.
- "Brian Miller's 10 Favorite Movies of 2014". Seattle Weekly.
- "The best movies of 2014: Boyhood, Force Majeure, Selma and more". Washington Post.
- "A. O. Scott's Top 10 Movies 2014: Boyhood and More". The New York Times.
- Official website
- Official website (Sony Pictures Classics)
- Jodorowsky's Dune at IMDb
- "Doomed Dune Was Generations Ahead of Its Time". NPR. March 22, 2014. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
- O'Connell, Max (March 18, 2014). "Jodorowsky's Dune Director Frank Pavich on 2,000 Defecating Extras and How Dune Became Part of the Cosmic Consciousness". Indiewire. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
- Corliss, Richard (March 20, 2014). "Jodorowsky's Dune: A Great Dream of Movie Madness". Time. Retrieved October 13, 2015.