The Dune That Wasn’t

Dune has always been a famously problematic book to adapt to the big screen. The 1984 version was so silly, director David Lynch ended up taking his name off it. The subsequent mini-series versions, Dune and Children of Dune, didn’t hit the mark either.

There was a version of Dune that was supposed to launch back in the ‘70’s, and it would have been pretty insane. Dan O’Bannon, the screenwriter of Alien, penned the script, and Alexandro Jodorowsky, the director of the trippy ‘70’s midnight movie El Topo, was on board to bring the big screen version of Frank Herbert’s classic novel to life. H.R. Giger, who created the insane creature designs for Alien, was going to be the film’s art director, and we feel this combination of talent would have made one of the most mind blowing sci-fi films in history.

While this incarnation of Dune of course never came to pass, there is a documentary about it, Jodorowsky’s Dune, and it’s being billed as a document on “the greatest movie never made.” The Wrap has given it a rave review, calling it “a riveting chronicle,” and we’re certainly looking forward to it when it comes out next April.

Already, we’re learning that Mick Jagger, Orson Welles and Salvador Dali (!) were up to star in the film, and it was going to be 14 hours long (!!!). 

This version of Dune is an example of what the Wrap calls “the kind of batshit creativity that was all but completely drummed out of Hollywood after the 1970s.” We at TGD have always been fascinated by movies that never got made that were probably too wild and ambitious to pull off. We’re certainly looking forward to seeing what Jodorworski could have done with one of the most important sci-fi novels in history.