The first trailer for the new adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune from director Denis Villeneuve ignited a number of reactions among audiences, many of them being positive, but one person who wasn't entirely impressed with the early looks at the endeavor was filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky, who noted that nothing he saw provided him with any surprises. The filmmaker attempted to develop the narrative into a film back in the '70s, only for the project to fall apart due to budgetary limitations, so it's understandable that he would have already conceived of a film that looked the way this new movie does, but Jodorowsky's comments lean more heavily into claiming the film looks like generic science fiction.
"I wish his Dune would be a great success, because Denis Villeneuve is a nice director, about whom I have been told a lot of good things," Jodorowsky shared with Le Point, translated from French. "I saw the trailer. It's very well done. We can see that it is 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 is no surprises. The form is identical to what is done everywhere, the lighting, the acting, everything is predictable."
He added, "Industrial cinema is incompatible with auteur cinema. For the former, money 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. "
When Jodorowsky was developing the project, he had enlisted the likes of David Carradine, Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali, and Orson Welles to star, with Pink Floyd attached to craft the score. In the wake of that project falling through, director David Lynch ultimately adapted the narrative for a film in 1984, which ended up being a financial and critical disappointment.
Despite Jodorowsky's vision of the story never materializing, he previously shared that he was looking forward to this new take on the material.
When IndieWire asked about whether he would be going to see Dune, the filmmaker claimed he would see it "with pleasure, because it will be different. It's not the same." He also admitted the difficulty of adapting the story, noting, "It's impossible to do."
The new Dune is slated to hit theaters on December 18th.
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