Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dystopian Graphic Novel ‘The Incal’ Gets Taika Waititi’s Attention

Lead Photo: Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images.
Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images.
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Avant-garde author and filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky, best known for his films in the 1970s like El Topo and The Holy Mountain, is getting some love from contemporary Hollywood.Director and Oscar-winning screenwriter Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit) will adapt Jodorowsky’s 1980s science fiction graphic novel series The Incal.

Much of The Incal includes concepts Jodorowsky originally conceived when plans were for him to direct the original 1984 sci-fi film Dune before David Lynch landed the gig. Jean Giraud, AKA Mœbius, illustrated the Incal.

Waititi will collaborate on The Incal script with frequent writing partner Jemaine Clement (What We Do in the Shadows) and Peter Warren (The History of Us).

“When [I was] introduced…to Taika Waititi’s work, it became obvious to me that he was the one,” Jodorowsky told Deadline. “I fully trust Taika’s creativity to give The Incal a stunning take, intimate and at the same time of cosmic proportions.”

The Incal follows a private investigator named John Difool, who finds a mysterious artifact known as the Incal that possesses mystical powers. The more Difool learns of the object’s capabilities, the more he understands why others across the galaxy want it and realizes why he can’t let it fall into the wrong hands.

“The films and graphic novels of Alejandro Jodorowsky have influenced me and so many others for so long,” Waititi told Deadline. “I was stunned to be given the opportunity to bring his iconic characters to life.”

The story of Jodorowsky’s failed attempt at making Dune in the 1970s is captured in the 2013 documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune. The ambitious plans included an acting role for Spanish artist Salvador Dalí, which would’ve paid him $100,000 an hour, and a movie with a total runtime of 14 hours.