Whenever a sci-fi movie makes it to the big screen,
there’s always a niggling voice in the back of canny viewer’s heads which can’t
help but wonder, “was this one another Jodorowsky’s Dune?”
For anyone not familiar with the El Topo director’s
trippy back catalogue, Alejandro Jodorowsky is the visionary helmer of Fando y
Lis and The Holy Mountain who was approached in the seventies to create an adaptation
of Frank Herbert’s iconic sci-fi epic Dune. So began years of development, staggering
concept art, and the announcement of a slew of incredible collaborations—only for
funding to fall through, the ambitious project to be scrapped, and the film
eventually arriving onscreen as David Lynch’s unrecognizable 1984 effort.
Particularly in the genre of sci fi, where fans want
innovation and originality and studios want reliable returns on their investment,
almost every film released contains within its development the shadow of a stranger,
more daring concept. In some cases, it’s just as well these quirky pitches were
lost to time, as they would have been laughable onscreen.
But just as often, there are masterpieces out there which
we never got to see.
So it’s with a heavy heart that we’re running down a
dozen cases of sci fi movies where, thanks to studio intervention, we never got
to see the creator’s initial vision.