It’s easy to imagine why Hollywood felt it might take a maverick genius to film Dune, Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi/fantasy opus. The novel, and its five sequels, are phantasmagorical and psychedelic in the extreme, like Star Wars on acid. In fact, George Lucas borrowed much from Herbert’s story: the witchy women of the Bene Gesserit are not so far from the wise, all-seeing Jedi. The planet of Arrakis, where the novel’s hero Paul Atreides finds himself caught up in a devious aristocratic plot to bring down his family’s noble house, resembles the desert planet of Tatooine where we first meet Luke Skywalker.
The first maverick to take on the task was the controversial Chilean-French film-maker Alejandro Jodorowsky in the early 1970s.