In telling the behind-the-scenes story of 70's-era cult director Alejandro Jodorowsky's failed attempt to adapt Frank Herbert's sci-fi epic, "Dune," into a movie, filmmaker Frank Pavich documents one of Hollywood's most legendary tales of "What if?" Told largely by Jodorowsky himself, through ceaselessly entertaining talking head interviews, the director explains how he'd hoped his film would act as a "prophet," by recreating the experience of taking LSD, expanding the imaginations of audiences around the world and altering the art form of filmmaking forever. So, you know, he had only minor ambitions for his work.
At 84 years old, Jodorowsky is a lively and energetic speaker as he explains how, with the help of French producer Michel Seydoux, he went about recruiting a band of "spiritual warriors," who would help him translate his vision to the screen. These collaborators would include everyone from Pink Floyd, to H.R. Giger, Mick Jagger, Orson Welles, and Salvador Dalí. Pavich supplements these interviews with all the concept art, storyboards, and character sketches which Jodorowsky and Seydoux had commissioned to be bound into an enormous coffee-table book (of which there are now only two in existence) to distribute to studios in order to garner interest in the project. The effect is to create for audiences a concrete picture of what the film could have looked like. Though the film was never made, Pavich shows how, by growing into Hollywood lore, it allowed Jodorowsky's dream to live on, planting the seeds that would go on to influence the next generation of great science fiction filmmakers.