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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Alejandro Jodorowsky's unrealized version of Frank Herbert's, DUNE

Poster for the unrealized Alejandro Jodorowsky version of Frank Herbert's, DUNE which would have starred Salvador Dali as the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV (with a reported salary of $100,000 an hour), Orson Welles as the Baron Harkonnen, Charlotte Rampling as Lady Jessica, and Jodorowski himself as Duke Leto Atreides. Brontis Jodorowsky (his son) would've played Paul Atreides. Other actors would've included Gloria Swanson, David Carradine, Geraldine Chaplin, Alain Delon, Hervé Villechaize and Mick Jagger. Jodorowski organized Harkonnen visualizations by H.R. Giger, costumes by Moebius (Bladerunner, The Abyss, Tron, The Fifth Element), effects by Dan O'Bannon (who later wrote Alien), spaceship designs by Chris Foss and music by Pink Floyd, Magma, Henry Cow and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Dali and Jodorowsky quarreled over money, and just as the storyboards, designs, and script were finished, the financial backing dried up. Frank Herbert travelled to Europe in 1976 to find that $2 million of the $9.5 million budget had already been spent in pre-production, and that Jodorowsky's script would result in a 14-hour movie ("It was the size of a phonebook", Herbert later recalled). Jodorowsky took creative liberties with the source material, but Herbert said that he and Jodorowsky had an amicable relationship. The rights for filming were sold once more, this time to Dino de Laurentiis. Although Jodorowsky was embittered by the experience, he stated that the Dune project changed his life.


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