In the attics of Hollywood who knows how many abandoned scripts that could have become the new blockbuster of the century, or the debut film of who knows which director never achieved glory. Among the most talked-about unfinished masterpieces is Alejandro Jodorowsky’s famous Dune, whose original draft would have included Salvador Dali, Orson Wells, Mick Jagger, Pink Floyd, Alain Delon and David Carradine.
The film’s storyboard is one of the few remaining tools for imagining the Chilean director’s project, which was never realised due to excessive expenses and Jodorowsky’s planned ten-hour duration, impossible to negotiate with Hollywood production companies. In the film’s storyboard we are left with the sketches of the characters and the setting created by the hand of Chris Foss and the Swiss designer and sculptor Hans Ruedi Giger, an imagery from which the designer and director Johnny Darrell started to think about what another cult film like Tron would have looked like, had Jodorowsky himself been the screenwriter.
While the design of Dune was from the mid-1970s, the science fiction film directed by Steven Liesberg dates from 1982 and immediately defined a world that audiences appreciated, made of neon and incredible costumes. Tron was the first film to deal with the subject of virtual reality and the first Disney film to make extensive use of computer graphics.
To imagine a new version directed by Jodorowsky, Johnny Darrell chose precisely to use technology. Thanks to artificial intelligence, highly detailed images were processed that seem to have come straight out of the mind of the psychomagician author of, among other cult films, ‘The Holy Mountain‘.
Those generated in AI are frames of a film that we would like to see but which remains unfinished, or rather never realised and never even thought of. Artificial intelligence thanks also to this project discovers another of its infinite applications and possibilities, it is possible to imagine films and visualise new stories in advance, starting from the style of the directors who often use recurring elements.
AI could become a possibility for the industry to predict the success of a film, to test its popularity in advance. The time may have come for those dusty manuscripts we want to imagine in an attic in Hollywood, waiting for their moment.