I've read elsewhere on the Internet that Dune the novel actually is an inspiration for the Star Wars universe, even if the Star Wars cinematography predates and must influence (even if through intentional avoidance of such appearance) Lynch's treatment of Dune...
[edit: fixed typo of Dune, not Doom]
Have you seen the documentary "Jodorowsky's Dune"? If you're a Dune fan, or a fan of 70's and 80's era sci-fi films, I highly recommend it. What I found most interesting about that documentary is how the director created this amazing team to work on his Dune project, which eventually failed, but ended up influencing the style/art of so many subsequent Sci-fi films because that team dispersed and they worked on so many prominent films.
This film that never got made is the stuff of nightmares for project managers and money people, but damn, Jodorowsky's contagious inspiration was (and still is) off the charts. We need more Jodorowsky's in the world.
Where I like the SF version was the followup, Children of Dune. That I enjoyed, I didn't care for Leto's transformation makeup but marked it off as budget.
Thanks for response :)
I find it hard to praise as a lot of what gets passed off as Jodorowsky's 'work' is actually Moebius's work and as a big Moebius fan its disheartening to see the narrative downplay his achievements here to create this 'mad genius' Jodorowsky character. Yes it makes for good entertainment, but its not really fact and the documentary is very wary about giving credit where credit is due. Worse, the ending that showed future art as being derivative of this production was completely disingenuous. That art shown was already the established style of the people involved. Jodorowsky and his crazy Dune ideas didn't inspire Moebius, Giger, O'Bannon and others, they simply took their talents elsewhere. Of course the drawings and set ideas look alike, these people were already established artists at this point in their careers with established styles.
We also have to remember that this was before Star Wars and Alien. Most scifi at the time was, with some honourable exceptions (2001: A Space Odyssey, Silent Running, The Andromeda Strain, Solaris), pretty silly, childish, often campy stuff: The Black Hole, Buck Rogers, Moonraker. Pulp origins aside, Star Wars introduces a level of violence, maturity and realism to the genre that stood out at the time, and closer to that of contemporary adult 1970s productions like Apocalypse Now, Easy Rider and so on.
For all the considerable talent involved in the Dune adaptation, it's quite possible — and this eases the pain over the loss of the project a bit — that it would have been closer in tone to something like Zardoz or Flash Gordon, i.e. a big, colourful, but ultimately also a bit silly extravaganza. Even O'Bannon's Alien script was also pretty pulpy and silly until Ridley Scott, David Giler and Walter Hill hammered it into shape.
If it really _were_ made however, yeah, it could _only_ have be a disappointment in comparison to what the documentary about it suggests.
Jodorowsky's version of Dune is perhaps the greatest film that was never made and, ironically, it is better this way.
He spent an entire summer filming the Strugatskys' original screenplay, based on their masterpiece Roadside Picnic. But he was using a type of American Kodak film stock that was found to be out of date; he tried several times to confirm the problem with the Soviet processing lab, but they were unfamiliar with the stock, and only by the time he was done shooting did they realize that the footage was in fact unusable.
At this point Tarkovsky had used too much money, and had no choice but to go back to the Soviet film board to negotiate a new financing deal. At the same time, he was deeply unhappy with what he'd filmed so far (he had also fired his cinematographer), and was desperate to start over fresh. Helped by the Strugatskys, he developed a new, miminalistic framework for the film that eliminated most of the scifi trappings of the novel, and he reshot the film almost without a script. (The whole story of Stalker is much more complicated, of course. I recommend the book "The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky: A Visual Fugue", by Johnson and Petrie, for more information.)
I don't know what happened to the damaged footage, but I guess it must have been destroyed. We'll never know what it was like. I don't think anyone except a handful of people have seen the footage, and they are all dead.
To my taste, self-acknowledged silly extravaganza is always better than something silly, made with the intent of being serious.
It would take at least a Hobbit level of production and length of time. I don't ever see that happening. The book is just to large. It would be like movies for Asimov's Foundation Series. (Though the Caves of Steel would be awesome!!!)
I really hate the miniseries.
Same here. A good case for why a more a faithful adaptation doesn't make for a better product. You believe in the world Lynch creates. The miniseries, by contrast, is so fake looking and fake feeling that you can't suspend disbelief.
(I do think the second half of the movie and the battle scenes kinda dragged, though.)
Caladan is supposed to be a verdant world full of water, it looks like it's dark small and rainy in the movie.
Besides Star Wars and Blade Runner I can't think of another SF movie that has as much impact on me.
What finally won me over was the realization that Lynch's movie in no way devalued the books. Sure, it left out a lot... but it more than made up for it by giving me some visual glimpses of what a Dune universe might be like, how live-action representations of these characters might behave. The aggressive weirdness helped give it that otherworldly feel that I felt when reading the books. I would never recommended it as a substitute to reading it... but as a companion work, it's excellent.
I hope the scuttlebutt about a new Dune movie is true. The more the merrier!
The SciFi series was better, IMO. I would love to see McAvoy reprise his role as Leto for a "God Emporer" production.
This unexplainedness by the way also keeps the mind engaged without dropping into the game of trying to mentally map out every little detail as a plot explanation mechanism. This mode of watching besets me when I see a movie that caters to the "everything has to be explained" crowd, but it should be exclusive to the murder mystery genre. Attempts to transplant that into other types of movies tend to either be painfully obvious or pointlessly complicated, to avoid the former. And somehow, they often manage to be both at once. I want immersion, not a CGI-clad sudoku.
Thank you for that expression.
I also watched the movie before... actually I still haven't read the books. I guess they must be superb and that's why readers are spoiled and dislike the movie.
The scene with the emperor and the navigator is best thing I've ever seen in sci-fi, both visually and for meaning.
That might be kinda cool too...
Dune had a lot of water. It wasn't circulating in a normal precipitation model but was instead sequestered underground via a few different means. And that doesn't even mention the sand-trout.
In later books only portions of the surface of Arrakis are given to the worms and the spice.
"What is in the box?"
IMHO it all goes wrong after Paul and his mom escape the betrayal and attack. The movie gets so bogged down with turning Paul into a Freman god that it goes completely off of the rails.
A greater inspiration is the comic series Valerian and Laureline . Lucas pumped not just the characters and spaceships (yes, the Millenium Falcon comes from there) but also the atmosphere of Far West casual fun adventure and creativity bordering on the fantasy.
I look forward to reading articles about how Valerian copied Star Wars when the movie comes out .
Note the years the series was written and do not read the last few if you are not used to the way authors of that era dared to wrap up their stories.
Probably more of a common influence on both by the Lensman series, I'd guess.
[EDIT] I'd add that a bigger cinematic influence on Lynch's dune was probably Lawrence of Arabia, which is fitting since if you've read Seven Pillars of Wisdom it's hard to believe it wasn't sitting at the top of a pile of books on Herbert's desk while he was writing Dune.
There are detailed run downs of the differences between the TV version and the theatrical version (which apparently is called the extended edition) . A point brought up in that article which I agree with is that while the TV version is longer, the pan-and-scan removes much of Lynch's vision of the movie. IMDB walks through many of the known versions .
I've since read the book and I can see why fans hate it. It doesn't measure up to the book. But no movie could have /would have been good enough. The book is so grand it would have taken hours and hours to do it justice.
Over the years I've seen it a number of times and like it even more. But don't try to measure against the book. It will always fall short.
Dune could have been a proper masterpiece if the producers let Lynch geek out with a 3 hour cut. Instead we have the first half of a very gorgeous and interesting movie with a wonderful slow-burn leading up to something then... a sudden "Oh god, we have so much story to finish," second half that feels entirely too rushed for its own good. The non-canonical ending could have been workable with enough exposition and justification, but as-is completely comes out of nowhere and caps the mediocre 2nd half with a nonsense ending few walked away from happy.
There are alot of influences for Star Wars, but the biggest is probably all cinematic: Kurosawa's movies, WWII fighter movies, and some episodic action serials. I won't say that Sci-Fi books weren't an influence, as I'm sure there were people who read Dune working on Star Wars, but they weren't a huge influence for Lucas.