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‘Waltz With Bashir’ Director Ari Folman Salivating for the Amazing—Failed—Animated ‘Jodorowsky’s Dune’

Animated Jodorowsky

Waltz With Bashir director Ari Folman says to anyone who would listen just how badly he wants to do an animated adaptation of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s version of Frank Herbert’s Dune.

Let’s go to Wiki:

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In 1973, film producer Arthur P. Jacobs optioned the film rights to Dune, but died and the option was taken over by Chilean filmmaker, playwright, actor, author, musician, comics writer and spiritual guru Alejandro Jodorowsky, who approached Virgin Records with progressive rock groups Tangerine Dream, Gong, and Mike Oldfield, before finally settling on Pink Floyd and Magma for some of the music.

Jodorowsky picked artists H. R. Giger, Chris Foss and Jean Giraud for set and character design. He took Dan O’Bannon for special effects; and Salvador Dalí, Orson Welles, Gloria Swanson, David Carradine, Mick Jagger, Amanda Lear, and others for the cast.

Salvador Dali was going to play Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV, and Orson Welles would have been Baron Harkonnen.

Amazing, right?

The author, Herbert, traveled to Europe in 1976, only to discover that $2 million of the $9.5 million budget had already been spent in pre-production, and that Jodorowsky’s script, “the size of a phonebook, ” as Herbert described it, called for a 14-hour film.

Jodorowsky took great creative liberties with the original book—as was only to be expected, but Herbert still insisted he and Jodorowsky remained friends.

The project died—as was to be expected, and the film rights lapsed until 1982, when Italian filmmaker Dino De Laurentiis (Three Days of the Condor, The Shootist, Drum, Ingmar Bergman’s The Serpent’s Egg, Ragtime, Conan the Barbarian, and Blue Velvet), who eventually released the 1984 film Dune, directed by David Lynch.

“I wish I could do that film, ” Folman, who’s out promoting his sci-fi film The Congress (see clip below), told Den Of Geek. “The Dune [Jodorowsky] wanted to do. At the end of the movie, he says that he didn’t want to do it animated, but he had a 300-page storyboard illustrated for that film. He said, ‘The time will come when a great animation director will take this book and make an animated movie out of it’.”

Is Folman concerned about picking up such a deeply cursed project?

“Well, you never know, ” he says. “I’m up for the challenge. I just recently got [Jodorowsky’s] email and I want to go and meet the guy. I’m busy now with a big project, but I’ll give it a shot. I want to see that story. I’d love to see that story.”

That big project is a stop-motion animated version of The Diary Of Anne Frank, which Folman is making in cahoots with DP Tristan Oliver (Fantastic Mr Fox).



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