Waltz With Bashir's Ari Folman wants to make Jodorowsky's Dune

News Ryan Lambie
11/21/2014 at 10:27AM

Exclusive: Waltz With Bashir and The Congress director Ari Folman talks about his desire to make an animated version of Jodorowsky's Dune...

December sees the home release of The Congress, Ari Folman's sprawling, psychedelic science fiction film which mixes live-action and animation to hypnotic effect. Director Ari Folman previously made Waltz With Bashir, the animated film about his life as a soldier during the Lebanon War in 1982.

During a recent interview with the director, we asked whether he'd be making another science fiction film like The Congress in the future, given that he's been quite vocal about his love of the genre in the past.

"I'd love to make another one," he said, before going on to talk about Jodorowsky's Dune - Frank Pavich's 2013 documentary about director Alejandro Jodorowsky's ambitious but ultimately doomed attempt to adapt Frank Herbert's seminal sci-fi novel back in the 1970s.

Inspired by Pavich's film, Folman told us that he was keen to finally realise Jodorowsky's vision on the silver screen.

"I wish I could do that film," Folman said. "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, you know, 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.'"

When asked whether this had a genuine chance of happening, Folman said, "Well, you never know. 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."

Ultimately, the scale of Jodorowsky's ambition proved to be Dune's undoing. Its script was unfeasibly long, and after two years in pre-production, the director couldn't find the funding he needed to get it made. A very different version of Dune, produced by Dino De Laurentiis and directed by David Lynch, emerged in 1984 to a less than ecstatic reception, and Jodorowsky's production remains one of the great what-ifs of cinema history.

If Folman really could find the funding for an animated version of Dune, the results could be extraordinary.

The Congress is out on DVD and Blu-ray on the 8th December. We'll be bringing you our full Ari Folman interview - in which he compares Blade Runner to Prometheus - nearer the time of release.

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