SUNDANCE REVIEW – ROB SCHNEIDER’S DUNE

SUNDANCE- Alex Gibney’s shocking new documentary tells the story of the best science fiction never made: Rob Schneider’s Dune.

Frank Herbert’s novel Dune has proven a disaster for many film makers. First Ridley Scott tried and failed. Then Alejandero Jodorowksi. Then Alan Parker, John Boorman and David Lynch. Admittedly David Lynch actually completed the film but by then no one was interested because they knew the one that mattered – Rob Schneider’s – would never be seen.

Often praised by peers as a visionary consistently let down by inferior material, Schneider has also been a lifelong fan of Science Fiction. Throughout the Eighties, the young comedian wrote script after script based on Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series. When those attempts came to naught and emboldened by his growing success on Saturday Night Live, Schneider turned his attention to the massive 1963 Frank Herbert novel which had previously been made into a film by David Lynch in 1984. Schneider says:

I always felt that the Lynch film had got some major aspects of the book wrong. In a way that film is great as a Lynchian play with the future, but it just doesn’t sustain the sweep of the story and I had a feeling I could do it.

Casting himself as Paul Atreides, Schneider wrote a script and prepared to direct. George Lucas – a fan of the book and Schneider’s Tiny Elvis – was on board as a consultant and producer, but the two ultimately fell out over a comic character Lucas wanted to introduce into the film, who would later become Jar Jar Binks. ‘This is the one time in comedy history when Rob actually had more taste,’ jokes collaborator John Milius.

Alex Gibney‘s documentary is an entertaining portrait of a period as well as of the non-making of an almost classic. Talking head interviews with all the principles – except for Meg Ryan who pulled out of the project at a late stage for undisclosed reasons – are enlightening though there is the rosy hue of nostalgia distorting some of the harder economic realities. And despite Schneider’s presence there are moments of genuine comedy such as the casting reel, which shows Robert Downey Jr and James Caan struggling to get into their roles, Duke Leto and the Beast respectively.

Ultimately, heavy drug use and a spiraling budget doomed the project, but its influence can still be seen in such far flung regions of the galaxy as Paul Blart Mall Cop and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.

To read more Reviews CLICK HERE.  

DREDD TO BE A HBO TV SHOW

HOLLYWOOD – It’s the news all 2000 AD fans have been waiting for – HBO are going to be making a TV series based on the cult comic strip character Judge Dredd.

Created by Pat Mills, Carlos Ezquerra and John Wagner, Judge Dredd is a futuristic Dirty Harry, who motors around the post-Apocalyptic Mega-City One as judge, jury and executioner of the teeming city.

We spoke to a source close to the production.

This is going to be a great show. We have so many stories that we can do and they’re all basically coming from the pages of 2000 AD the cult British comic that started it all.

So what inspired you to make the show now?

We saw the movie. We thought it was great. Really exciting and it had a lot of stuff visually that looked interesting. We just thought that it also felt like an episode of a television show. It’s hard to give Judge Dredd one big story. He’s a cop and essentially the show will be a procedural, but one set int he future and with plenty of violence.

Will anyone from the movie be involved in the production?

I wish. No, I think Danny Cannon has gone on to other things now and Sylvester Stallone is a bit too old for the role. But we’re hoping to recreate the spirit of the movie and we do have Rob Schneider signed up to reprise his role as Herman ‘Fergee’ Ferguson. He was so f*cking funny! What a guy!

But surely the Dredd movie with Karl Urban was better?

There was another movie? Wow! That sounds great but no, I cannot believe that it was as good as the Danny Cannon version. What I loved about that film was how brave they were to get Dredd to take his helmet off and develop his warmer side. That was the genius and that’s what we hope to do.

His human side?

Sure, he has to fall in love. Otherwise how we going to jimmy all the sexposition into the show?

Judge Dredd will be broadcast in 2017.

ROB SCHNEIDER’S DUNE: REVIEW

HOLLYWOOD – Charting the unsuccessful attempt by Deuce Bigalow ‘comedian’ Rob Schneider to make a movie of Frank Herbert’s classic Science Fiction novel, Schneider’s Dune is a thoughtful documentary about an almost masterpiece, an epic and what could have been ‘the best Science Fiction film never made’ (The New York Times).

Often praised by peers as a visionary consistently let down by inferior material, Schneider has also been a lifelong fan of Science Fiction. Throughout the Eighties, the young comedian wrote script after script based on Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series. When those attempts came to naught and emboldened by his growing success on Saturday Night Live, Schneider turned his attention to the massive 1963 Frank Herbert novel which had previously been made into a film by David Lynch in 1984. Schneider says:

I always felt that the Lynch film had got some major aspects of the book wrong. In a way that film is great as a Lynchian play with the future, but it just doesn’t sustain the sweep of the story and I had a feeling I could do it. 

Casting himself as Paul Atreides, Schneider wrote a script and prepared to direct. George Lucas – a fan of the book and Schneider’s Tiny Elvis – was on board as a consultant and producer, but the two ultimately fell out over a comic character Lucas wanted to introduce into the film, who would later become Jar Jar Binks. ‘This is the one time in comedy history when Rob actually had more taste,’ jokes collaborator John Milius.

Jonathan Demme‘s documentary is an entertaining portrait of a period as well as of the non-making of an almost classic. Talking head interviews with all the principles – except for Meg Ryan who pulled out of the project at a late stage for undisclosed reasons – are enlightening though there is the rosy hue of nostalgia distorting some of the harder economic realities. And despite Schneider’s presence there are moments of genuine comedy such as the casting reel, which shows Robert Downey Jr and James Caan struggling to get into their roles, Duke Leto and the Beast respectively. 

Ultimately, heavy drug use and a spiraling budget doomed the project, but its influence can still be seen in such far flung regions of the galaxy as Paul Blart Mall Cop and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.

To read more Reviews CLICK HERE.