It’s an unfortunate truth that some of the greatest ideas that get developed in the film industry die on the vine. Be it conflicting egos between the creators and studio execs, bankruptcy from overly ambitious budgets, or plain bad luck, some ideas only make it to the “what if” stage. One of the greatest examples of this unfortunate truth was Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1974 adaptation of Dune. While the film itself was never made, one of the only five storybooks of this fabled project that exists is being auctioned at Christie’s.
Despite the massive critical and commercial success of the 2021 version of Dune, its 1974 counterpart was a spectacular (and heart-wrenching) failure. The 1974 Dune adaptation is often referred to as “the greatest movie that was never made,” and for good reason. With a cast featuring the likes of Salvador Dalí, Mick Jagger, Orson Welles, David Carradine, and Alain Delon, as well as a score composed by Pink Floyd, how could a movie with such talent be anything short of magnificent? Director Alejandro Jodorowsky planned to adapt the multi-book franchise faithfully, which required a massive amount of time, money, and resources. The Franco-Chilean director planned on using 10-15 hours of screen time to tell the colossal story. While he was putting together the storyboards of this incredible undertaking, Jodorowsky enlisted the help of all-star designers and illustrators such as Jean Giraud (AKA Moebius), Chris Foss, and Hans Ruedi Giger to oversee the preproduction design of this expansive world. To say that the illustrations and designs they created were beautiful would be the understatement of this decade.
This volume includes reproductions of thousands of drawings and storyboards made by Moebius, Foss, and Giger that were made in an attempt to garner financial backing from major American production companies and studios. Unfortunately, the scope and cost of the film scared off literally everyone, and funding quickly dried up. All that remained from that legendary run were five volumes of gorgeous art telling the story of the greatest movie never made. It will be available for auction on Christie’s website on November 22.