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The Dune Movie That Never Was

March 30th, 2014 - 12:12 pm

GIGER DUNE

Avant-garde filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky tried in the mid-’70s to make a movie version of Frank Herbert’s Dune starring Salvador Dali and Orson Welles, with concept art by HR Giger and Jean Giraud, and special effects by Dan O’Bannon who went on to write Alien.

Wow.

Just.

Wow.

Jodorowsky’s goal was to “fabricate” on film the effects of LSD, and I’m not sure he couldn’t have done just that.

I’m a big fan of Giger’s work, having been allowed to see Alien on the big screen at far too young and impressionable an age, but this Dune would have been a million time better or a million time worse — or maybe both. The whole thing fell apart because, really, what studio would have touched it with a ten-foot maker hook?

For sure it would have made David Lynch’s 1984 version look like a Shirley Temple feature.

Full story, video interviews, and tons more concept art at The Verge.

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All Comments   (10)
All Comments   (10)
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I read the original trilogy -- ok, with some interesting ideas but a bit tedious. then there was a fourth book I read out of obligation. Never finished the fifth. It just went on far too long.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Frank Herbert: the Steely Dan of sci-fi.
Okay, it's a stretch.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't understand the cult of "Dune." I read the book back before it became famous and it struck me as nothing special; then I re-read it later and it still strikes me as nothing but a reasonably well-written SF novel of the swords-and-spaceships genre.

Just about anything by Phillip K. Dick is both stranger and more memorable AND has a higher drug-culture content. And there are many others.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
I would even challenge "well written". I found such a chore to get through that I quit reading it while on deployment and spent the extra time doing maintenance on my ship instead.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think it was the time period in which it gained popularity. It had many of the elements that mirrored what was going on in Western culture at the time: mystic youth taking on the old order (and winning), ecology playing a major role in the series, One mighty being ruling society in the best way to insure its survival (the God Emperor on the Golden Path) probably resonated with young readers as the world seemed chaotic.

Really only the first few novels seem popular. People rave about the books up until God Emperor of Dune. The last two books don't seem to be interesting to people as much as the first four. The ones written by Herbert's son are even less well received.

The original movie had its moments. Not the one with Sting in a speedo though.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
I completely agree. I was arguing this point re music just the other day. Something about the culture, age of the audience and limited distribution options came together making what would otherwise be forgotten become iconic for all times.

Re the never-was movie, I'm thinking it'd turn out to be an R rated Flash Gordon.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
I read up to God Emperor of Dune, then I was done with the series. I agree, I don't understand the fascination of Dune.

But then, I don't understand the fascination with Tolkien, who I thought rambled far to long on meaningless subjects in his books.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
i agree.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
It would have had to work very hard to be a worse adaptation than Lynch's version. I much preferred the book.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Sci-Fi channel did a pretty good adaptation of Dune in mini-series.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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