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    Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

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    Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby Jodorowsky's Acolyte » 01 Feb 2013 23:20

    Since Jacurutu harbors the best and thorough minded Dune fans I've encountered, have any of you written fan screen treatments of Dune yourselves? I know that some veterans of our sietch are not crazy over another film adaptation, but have others here attempted to write one? There are multiple ways for Dune to be adapted: as a ten-hour miniseries using the novel completely as the screenplay; a trilogy of lengthy theatrical films; or a single film which skips right towards the action of books 2 and 3 with flashback allusions to book 1 (it's an idea i'd want to elaborate upon later). Are there any other methods you've considered in adapting Dune?
    '...all those who took part in the rise and fall of the Dune project learned how to fall one and one thousand times with savage obstinacy until learning how to stand. I remember my old father who, while dying happy, said to me: "My son, in my life, I triumphed because I learned how to fail."' -Alejandro Jodorowsky
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    Re: Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby Naïve mind » 02 Feb 2013 03:47

    I've actually thought about this a lot, and I've come to the conclusion that the only right way to turn Dune into an exciting Hollywood movie would be to give it the Starship Troopers treatment: use a screenplay that's completely irreverent to the source material; distil the novel to comic-book level essentials, and use heavy-handed irony to give it a bit of depth.

    Ideally, the fifteen year-old boys leaving the cinema would be roused and excited, while their parents would be deeply disturbed by what they'd seen.

    Suffice to say, in the astronomically unlikely event I'm ever handed the opportunity to do this, everyone on Jacurutu will hate my guts :lol:
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    Re: Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby Jodorowsky's Acolyte » 02 Feb 2013 04:56

    (In Orson Welles' Voice) YES! And together with our meddlings in the Dune franchise, we will bend all those ignorant adolescents and Orthodox Herbertarians to our will, and then we will rule the world! But then we must extinguish all opposition to our emerging power. Naive Mind, plant the thumper in that sand box you have there, and grab the rope and maker hooks! We must ride the worm straight to Oregon, where we will seize the film rights to Dune, and overthrow the power of the silly men who represent the last stronghold of the Herbertz Haderach! But first, I want to put on my anti-gravity suspenders, and float around maniacally.

    (Back to normal User voice)
    That's the last time I'll come up with a Pinky and the Brain-like evil monologue in this sietch. NARF!

    I had an idea of beginning a Dune film just right after the Atreides were betrayed. The film would commence with Paul and Jessica wandering the dunes, with scenes of the Baron inquiring as to their whereabouts. The story will commence faithfully to the second and third book, with brief flashbacks to the first book. I'd add dialogue at the end, but it would serve to enhance the climax rather than dwindle it. I had the idea of Gurney and Jessica whispering observations to each other of Paul's difficulty in fighting Feyd, and a brief scene where Jessica reveals to Gurney her vision of the full scheme Paul has for the universe.

    I can only find out if such an experimental translation of Dune could work only by writing it out.

    Enough about me, I'm curious what the other chiefs would do with Dune.
    '...all those who took part in the rise and fall of the Dune project learned how to fall one and one thousand times with savage obstinacy until learning how to stand. I remember my old father who, while dying happy, said to me: "My son, in my life, I triumphed because I learned how to fail."' -Alejandro Jodorowsky
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    Re: Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby leagued » 02 Feb 2013 05:35

    12 hour miniseries on HBO by the guys who did Rome. Possibly combining it with Messiah to fill out the full season.
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    Re: Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby lotek » 02 Feb 2013 06:21

    Lynch read the book once and took some acid.
    He almost managed, maybe someone should up the. dosage of both.
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    Re: Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby Freakzilla » 02 Feb 2013 07:04

    I've thought about it but I'm too much the purist.
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    Re: Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby leagued » 02 Feb 2013 07:26

    I don't think there will ever be an adaptation that satisfies the complete purists; Dune is a book and books never get adapted straight into movies, and for good reason. Even Herbert said in some interviews that when he tried to adapt Dune into a screenplay that it turned out pretty poorly because he didn't have the right visual metaphors, though he chalked this up to lack of experience in screenplays rather than a belief that books can't be adapted to movies.

    But its pretty simple to acknowledge that not everything about a book, particularly books like Dune, can make the jump to the screen. I think you could make the first three books into two good seasons of a tv show on HBO or something but it wouldn't be pure Dune. You'd have to make some changes so that it works on screen and in that format. Though I think once you include the full subplots of Fenring and the Feyd-Baron dynamic you could make something really appealing to both Dune fans and fans of high-quality, political back-stabbery (similar to how Game of Thrones is working on HBO even now). God Emperor would probably never make it onscreen effectively. Though I'm about to get to GeoD in my reread, so maybe I'll find more there that would change my mind.

    I don't think any big-budget movie is ever going to do Dune justice. Lynch was at least able to use an auteur's approach to the film but we're unlikely to see any Hollywood studio put big money into it without demanding pretty faces and big action and the removal of all the difficult subject matter that fills the novel.

    On another note, would anyone else be interested in an anthology of Dune stories written by some of the best writers today? There's an anthology similar to that of LotR stories (After the King). Obviously none of them would be canon and this will never happen because KJA/BH are too greedy to let anyone show them up so dramatically but there are a handful of writers that I think could produce some interesting Dune-universe fiction.
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    Re: Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby DuneFishUK » 02 Feb 2013 09:07

    The scenes in Dune that are the best of the best are all written in a way that is unfilmable. They're all about internal conflict and characters not saying things to each other - which FH manages because you can do things in a book that you can't do in any other medium.

    This is why I'm not entirely convinced by the HBO option - you still wouldn't be able to do the best bits justice. Two decently long films is ample.





    (And God Emperor is filmable - there's a great film in there, but that one will definitely offend the purists :wink: )
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    Re: Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby Naïve mind » 02 Feb 2013 11:38

    leagued wrote:On another note, would anyone else be interested in an anthology of Dune stories written by some of the best writers today? There's an anthology similar to that of LotR stories (After the King). Obviously none of them would be canon and this will never happen because KJA/BH are too greedy to let anyone show them up so dramatically but there are a handful of writers that I think could produce some interesting Dune-universe fiction.


    Yes. A thousand times yes. The one Foundation novel that's most true to Asimov's work, Psychohistorical Crisis by Donald Kingsbury, is completely unlicensed (leading to amusing workarounds when using names from the Foundation series--Kingsbury cleverly twists that into names that have changed with the passing of time).

    If Kingsbury can do it without the Asimov estate's approval, something surely can be worked out for Dune.

    DuneFishUK wrote:The scenes in Dune that are the best of the best are all written in a way that is unfilmable. They're all about internal conflict and cha[quoracters not saying things to each other - which FH manages because you can do things in a book that you can't do in any other medium.


    The dinner table scene in the original comes to mind--how could you ever hope to translate something like that to the screen?
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    Re: Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby Nekhrun » 02 Feb 2013 12:24

    After what the HLP did to Mediteatro why would anyone admit to writing any fan-screenplay? They had what probably would've been/is the most accurate screen adaptation of Dune ever. They won't share it any more though.

    Maybe in a couple years when the talk of a new Dune film dies down it might see the light of day.
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    Re: Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby DuneFishUK » 02 Feb 2013 19:00

    Talk of a new Dune film has died down.

    Ever since Paramount called it a day and Byron said, “big production companies are banging on the door,” there has been no new news... at all.

    It's dead, Jim. :)
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    Re: Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby Serkanner » 02 Feb 2013 19:53

    DuneFishUK wrote:Talk of a new Dune film has died down.

    Ever since Paramount called it a day and Byron said, “big production companies are banging on the door,” there has been no new news... at all.

    It's dead, Jim. :)


    Quoted for truth.

    The Dune "Franchise" died because of the HLP. What remains is: DUNE, by Frank Herbert.
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    Re: Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby Jodorowsky's Acolyte » 03 Feb 2013 00:44

    Naïve mind wrote:
    DuneFishUK wrote:The scenes in Dune that are the best of the best are all written in a way that is unfilmable. They're all about internal conflict and cha[quoracters not saying things to each other - which FH manages because you can do things in a book that you can't do in any other medium.


    The dinner table scene in the original comes to mind--how could you ever hope to translate something like that to the screen?


    You could film those scenes by following the examples of Barry Lyndon and Dr. Zhivago. There are lots of scenes in those films which involve characters being silent or doing nothing, and exhibiting internal conflict. They required patience when watching, but the way the scenes were filmed and acted in those movies is incredible.

    Ah, if only I could get one of those cameras Kubrick used to film Barry Lyndon: a rear projection BMC camera with a NASA lense, and filming the desert sequences using only natural light. That would be an insane thing to do.

    Or, you could look to how Casablanca handled its scenes of internal conflict and silence. I don't mean the dinner scene should have a jazz orchestra. As the dialogue commences, you could have specially angled and filmed shots of each of the guests, with a clever use of light and shadows, and an array of intense and subtle emotions on the characters' faces. Perhaps filming the scene that way, if done well, would succeed in translating the intensity and unease of the party.
    '...all those who took part in the rise and fall of the Dune project learned how to fall one and one thousand times with savage obstinacy until learning how to stand. I remember my old father who, while dying happy, said to me: "My son, in my life, I triumphed because I learned how to fail."' -Alejandro Jodorowsky
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    Re: Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby leagued » 03 Feb 2013 02:16

    the internal conflict of characters is definitely one of the things that makes Dune difficult- but plenty of movies/shows have figured out how to convey that. I think the philosophy of prescience is far more tricky actually. In the end I think you have to add more dialogue and exposition than is actually in the books. Its part of translating from a literary context to a visual/audio one.

    I still think Rome serves as a great model for translation. If we consider Dune to be a historical text- and I think most of us here hold the novel in a regard just as high- then a tv/movie translation should be viewed not as an attempt to recast the book as a movie but as a dramatic interpretation of the truth. Rome created new storylines around a historical context in order to create a show that wanted to be close to historical accuracy but also entertain a wide audience (ditto Deadwood, Boardwalk Empire). FH wrote Dune as it actually happened, but that doesn't, to me, mean it can't be interpreted into other mediums for entertainment. It doesn't diminish the real events of Ceasar's rise to be portrayed in a fictional way and I like to think that it wouldn't diminish FH's works either.

    For the table scene specifically... I think you would have to set up a lot more of it beforehand- perhaps expand on the scene where Jessica describes the guests to Leto.
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    Re: Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby Jodorowsky's Acolyte » 03 Feb 2013 03:13

    leagued wrote:For the table scene specifically... I think you would have to set up a lot more of it beforehand- perhaps expand on the scene where Jessica describes the guests to Leto.


    John Harrison did that for the Sci-Fi miniseries, but he screwed up on some details. i.e. When Jessica said that the Spacing Guild was next to the Water seller's right when he was actually next to his LEFT. I couldn't understand how Harrison could confuse left from right.

    leagued wrote:I still think Rome serves as a great model for translation. If we consider Dune to be a historical text- and I think most of us here hold the novel in a regard just as high- then a tv/movie translation should be viewed not as an attempt to recast the book as a movie but as a dramatic interpretation of the truth. Rome created new storylines around a historical context in order to create a show that wanted to be close to historical accuracy but also entertain a wide audience (ditto Deadwood, Boardwalk Empire). FH wrote Dune as it actually happened, but that doesn't, to me, mean it can't be interpreted into other mediums for entertainment. It doesn't diminish the real events of Ceasar's rise to be portrayed in a fictional way and I like to think that it wouldn't diminish FH's works either.


    Plus, Rome added a LOT of sex, that it felt like one of those sexploitation dramas which Orgazmo lampooned. It's more a sensationalized version of Roman history than an accurate one, and I know that it's supposed to be historical fiction, but its not quite close. Colleen McCullough's First Man in Rome series is much more close to the accuracy of Caesar and his family than Rome, but I shouldn't be dissing Rome because it does have elements I admire (though I need to see the whole series). Besides, McCulloughs Roman books haven't been adapted yet, so it's not fair to compare the two.

    I do agree dialogue should be added to for the film. If I ever did so, I would want to avoid the kind of dialogue Harrison opted for. One such bad moment was when Irulan rebuked Paul with an ancient wise saying: "Never judge a book by its cover." The line made Harrison's Dune feel a little lame. Of course, it was getting weird when Paul and Irulan were having a Taming of the Shrew moment over silly stuff.
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    Re: Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby Naïve mind » 03 Feb 2013 14:52

    Jodorowsky's Acolyte wrote:You could film those scenes by following the examples of Barry Lyndon and Dr. Zhivago. There are lots of scenes in those films which involve characters being silent or doing nothing, and exhibiting internal conflict. They required patience when watching, but the way the scenes were filmed and acted in those movies is incredible.


    If I were a particularly cruel film school professor, I'd hand my students that scene and tell them to film it. Alas ... :D

    Jodorowsky's Acolyte wrote:Ah, if only I could get one of those cameras Kubrick used to film Barry Lyndon: a rear projection BMC camera with a NASA lense, and filming the desert sequences using only natural light. That would be an insane thing to do.


    I have a suspicion daylight scenes in the desert would be very easy to film using natural light, and nighttime scenes next to impossible without artificial lighting. (Most of earth's Dune-like deserts are near the equator, so don't count on twilight). Also, if you liked Barry Lyndon but have yet to see The Duellists, please run, don't walk, to a nearby videostore.

    Jodorowsky's Acolyte wrote:Or, you could look to how Casablanca handled its scenes of internal conflict and silence. I don't mean the dinner scene should have a jazz orchestra. As the dialogue commences, you could have specially angled and filmed shots of each of the guests, with a clever use of light and shadows, and an array of intense and subtle emotions on the characters' faces. Perhaps filming the scene that way, if done well, would succeed in translating the intensity and unease of the party.


    Hmm, perhaps it's my more cynical disposition, but I think that any attempt to capture Dune in all its complexities is bound to pale in comparison to the book. Witness the mostly true-to-the-novel Dune miniseries(*). What a movie can be is a fantastic advertisement for the novel. How many of us came here through the Lynch movie? How many more people would've read it if the movie had been as entertaining as Star Wars?

    (*) Yes, there was some silly stuff with Irulan in there, but neither were there weirding modules, nor an apotheotic ending where Paul calls the rain from the heavens(**)
    (**) Very, very powerful and iconic scene, despite it being cheesy as hell. Gives us a glimpse of what Lynch could've done if the studio had let him.
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    Re: Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby Freakzilla » 03 Feb 2013 17:50

    Most of the desert scenes in the book were at night.
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    Re: Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby leagued » 03 Feb 2013 18:04

    Hmm, perhaps it's my more cynical disposition, but I think that any attempt to capture Dune in all its complexities is bound to pale in comparison to the book. Witness the mostly true-to-the-novel Dune miniseries(*). What a movie can be is a fantastic advertisement for the novel. How many of us came here through the Lynch movie? How many more people would've read it if the movie had been as entertaining as Star Wars?


    I concur completely. Any new visual media of Dune should, to my mind, stay as close to the original as possible but still adapted appropriately, and that's gonna mean some liberties- it has to (like filming scenes during the day that took place at night in the desert perhaps). The book is still there and its never going to be matched entirely on screen. I think a straight-up word-for-word enactment of the book would fail just like it would for almost any book; but what does need to be preserved is the story and the meaning behind it (there's no reason to change the ending or add weirding modules). And no chubby Fremen this time
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    Re: Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby Naïve mind » 04 Feb 2013 01:19

    leagued wrote:what does need to be preserved is the story and the meaning behind it


    There are multiple meanings and themes in Dune. I'd advise anyone to pick one, or two at most.

    leagued wrote:I concur completely. Any new visual media of Dune should, to my mind, stay as close to the original as possible


    Then we don't concur completely. I'd give a screenwriter license to rape and pillage the plot as he sees fit, as long as the result is entertaining and gets a message across, preferably one intended by Frank Herbert.

    The straightforward modifications to the plot I'd make would be

    • Combine Gurney Halleck and Duncan Idaho into one character (perhaps name him Duncan Halleck or something). Most of the bits about Gurney joining the Spice smugglers don't move the plot along one iota. Idaho is offscreen for most of the beginning (winning the hearts and minds of the Fremen), comes back to watch Jessica, gets drunk, saves Paul, then dies. Between the two of them, they have enough screen time to make for one interesting character. Yes, this would require further (but fairly minor) modifications to the plot.
    • In the novels, the conspiracy against the Atreides is revealed upfront. Frank Herbert did that because the book is obviously not about the conspiracy against the Atreides. A movie won't have such depth, and keeping the plot a secret helps to cut away much goatee-stroking exposition.
    • Make Jessica a much more morally ambiguous character. This can be done without doing great injustice to the dialogue she has in the book, but about half of the book is written from her perspective, so we're not inclined to question her motives. Make the audience suspect that she really is a Harkonnen spy, or a Bene Gesserit agent, at least until halfway through the movie.
    • The fremen would be more of a caricature. They would be exemplary noble savages in the beginning. Near the end they should be ululating fanatics, suicide bombing the Arrakeen fortress.
    • Feyd would have to be a more intimidating character. In the book, he's a clever coward who wins fights by his wits. In the movie, he'd have to be more intimidating. If I'd keep Irulan around, then perhaps some depth could be added to his character by introducing a romance subplot between the two.

    There would be many more minor things to keep the story internally consistent--any kind of rearranging on this scale is bound to introduce some plot holes, but I think that it's not impossible to end up with a lean, clean storyline that preserves some of Frank Herbert's intentions.
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    Re: Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby leagued » 04 Feb 2013 04:45

    [quote="Naïve mind"]

    • Combine Gurney Halleck and Duncan Idaho into one character (perhaps name him Duncan Halleck or something). Most of the bits about Gurney joining the Spice smugglers don't move the plot along one iota. Idaho is offscreen for most of the beginning (winning the hearts and minds of the Fremen), comes back to watch Jessica, gets drunk, saves Paul, then dies. Between the two of them, they have enough screen time to make for one interesting character. Yes, this would require further (but fairly minor) modifications to the plot.

      I would take the opposite approach. I'd expand both characters by showing a lot that Frank left off-screen. Especially in the 12 episode format that I've espoused. You can spend time showing Duncan among the Fremen or with Gurney during the time that he thinks Paul is dead. There's a huge chunk of blank time from the book between Paul joining the Fremen and when we next see him as a leader of raiding parties and such. That block of time could be spent w/ Paul and Jessica off-screen for an episode as we explore what Gurney was doing and the ramifications among the Houses of the Baron's success. This is also a great time to go back to Geidi Prime and Kaitan.
    • In the novels, the conspiracy against the Atreides is revealed upfront. Frank Herbert did that because the book is obviously not about the conspiracy against the Atreides. A movie won't have such depth, and keeping the plot a secret helps to cut away much goatee-stroking exposition.

      No issue with the idea, but I'm less sure how to pull it off. I do think that Yueh's betrayal should be kept secret while the audience accepts him as a valued, loyal member of the House. the last miniseries tried to do this but they failed to make Yueh into an actual character that people recognized let alone cared about.
    • Make Jessica a much more morally ambiguous character. This can be done without doing great injustice to the dialogue she has in the book, but about half of the book is written from her perspective, so we're not inclined to question her motives. Make the audience suspect that she really is a Harkonnen spy, or a Bene Gesserit agent, at least until halfway through the movie.

      Concur with this.
    • The fremen would be more of a caricature. They would be exemplary noble savages in the beginning. Near the end they should be ululating fanatics, suicide bombing the Arrakeen fortress.

      Do not agree with this. caricature rarely makes for a better quality product and showing desert people leading suicide bomb charges is probably going to convince the bulk of the audience that Paul is no longer the good guy. I think Lynch did alright by the Fremen; but I'd love to see some more action from them.
    • Feyd would have to be a more intimidating character. In the book, he's a clever coward who wins fights by his wits. In the movie, he'd have to be more intimidating. If I'd keep Irulan around, then perhaps some depth could be added to his character by introducing a romance subplot between the two.

    I think Feyd could be a very good character. His schemes against the Baron added some of my favorite segments of Dune. But we should see him in the arena and fighting to help sell him more. Ditto on his interactions with Thufir. And yeah, make him intimidating for sure.
    I'm also good on expanding Irulan's role, though I think she'd make a more interesting plug as a main character to explore her father's court.
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    Re: Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby Naïve mind » 04 Feb 2013 11:18

    leagued wrote:Do not agree with this. caricature rarely makes for a better quality product and showing desert people leading suicide bomb charges is probably going to convince the bulk of the audience that Paul is no longer the good guy.


    This would be completely true to the book, though.
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    Re: Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby Freakzilla » 04 Feb 2013 12:41

    Naïve mind wrote:
    leagued wrote:Do not agree with this. caricature rarely makes for a better quality product and showing desert people leading suicide bomb charges is probably going to convince the bulk of the audience that Paul is no longer the good guy.


    This would be completely true to the book, though.


    Was he the 'good' guy? He duped the Fremen into thinking he was their messiah so he could avenge his fathers death and take over the universe, then once he does he sends the Fremen out into that universe to kill 61 billion non-believers, they serilize 90 planets, beat 500 into submission and wiped out 40 religions.

    He makes Hitler look like a pacifist.
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    Re: Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby lotek » 04 Feb 2013 13:17

    "'...What little information we have about the old times, the pittance of data which the Butlerians left us, Korba has brought it for you. Start with the Genghis Khan.' 'Ghenghis . . . Khan? Was he of the Sardaukar, m'Lord?' 'Oh, long before that. He killed . . . perhaps four million.' 'He must've had formidable weaponry to kill that many, Sire. Lasbeams, perhaps, or . . .' 'He didn't kill them himself, Stil. He killed the way I kill, by sending out his legions. There's another emperor I want you to note in passing--a Hitler. He killed more than six million. Pretty good for those days.' 'Killed . . . by his legions?' Stilgar asked. 'Yes.' 'Not very impressive statistics, m'Lord.' "
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    Re: Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby Freakzilla » 04 Feb 2013 13:40

    Gengis Kahn, Hitler, Stalin... PUSSIES!
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    Re: Jacurutu Fan Screenplays of Dune?

    Postby lotek » 04 Feb 2013 13:55

    Not a wet pussy on Arrakis.
    - Dune wisdom.
    Spice is the worm's gonads.
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    lotek
     
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