Friday, October 21, 2011

Concept Art Shows There Was Almost A Weirder Version of Dune Made

Friday, October 21, 2011 - by Maurice Mitchell 0

If you thought a shirtless Sting was weird check this out.

Back in 1974 a group purchased the rights to make a movie out of Dune directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky. Using French artist Jean "Moebius" Girard's 3000 drawings he finalized the script and almost made the weirdest adaptation of Dune ever.
In December 1974, a French consortium led by Jean-Paul Gibon purchased the film rights to Frank Herbert’s epic 1965 science fiction novel Dune and asked Jodorowsky to direct a film version.

Jodorowsky set up a pre-production unit in Paris consisting of Chris Foss, a British artist who designed covers for science fiction publications, Jean Giraud (Moebius), a French illustrator who created and also wrote and drew for Metal Hurlant magazine, and H. R. Giger. 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.  - Wikipedia
The most interesting part is that each of the planets had their own concept artist leading to some truly bizarre and creative visions of the science-fiction epic. How they would have all meshed together is anyone's guess.

Most of the artwork is from the awesome site Dune Behind the Scenes

H.R. Giger

H.R. Giger's vision of the sand worms of Arakas

Chris Foss' (1975) Pirate ship. The camouflage of this pirate ship is useless the powerful sensors of her attacker. Valuable spice leaks out, as the ship drifts lifelessly away from the scene of a conflict.

Chris Foss (1975). Emperor’s artificial planet. Under the Emperor's rule, many a tortured souls' voice rang out from the palace to echo across the prairie. Clad in pure gold, this citadel remains a valuable testament to the cruelties of some civilizations.

Jean "Moebius" Giraud's design of Duke Leto Atreides
Jean "Moebius" Giraud Lord Piter Mental murderer of Baron Harkonnen, effeminate, drugged, sadist, in love with Lady Jessica.

Jean "Moebius" Giraud - The Baron Harkonnen is an immense man of 300 kilogrammes. he is so fatty and heavy that, to move, he must make continuous use of antigravitational bubbles attached at his limbs... His delusion of grandeur does not have limits

Great bizarre stuff.

The following is a clip from the director along with an interview with Moebius.

All in all it would still be a fun film to watch for the production design alone. Ah well.

Here are some of the artist websites who have some truly inspiring artwork.

H.R. Giger http://giger.com/
Chris Foss http://chrisfossart.com/
Jean Henri Gaston "Moebius" Giraud http://www.moebius.fr/

Via io9

About the Author

Maurice Mitchell
Lover of science fiction and art.

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