Jodorowsky's Dune Book Sells for a Sand Worm-Sized Amount of Money
Kelvin Childs
A rare copy of a book incorporating production art from director Alejandro Jodorowsky's failed 1975 film adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune has sold for nearly $3 million -- 10 times its asking price.
Christie's sold the copy this week, whose full title is Michel Seydoux Presents Alejandro Jodorowsky's Dune from Frank Herbert's Novel. Design by Jean Giraud. Machines by Chris Foss. Special Effects by Dan O'Bannon. Dialogue by M. Demuth and A. Jodorowsky. Christie's expected it to sell for €25,000-35,000 EUR, or about about $28,000-$40,000 in USD. When all was said and done, the book sold for €2.66 million EUR, or about $2.98 million USD.
Published by Aviaplans, the book features illustrations from famed science-fiction artists Christopher Foss, H.R. Giger and Jean Giraud, known as Moebius. The images include captions and script dialogue, in English and in French.
The book chronicles an attempt by Jodorowsky to adapt the 1965 Frank Herbert novel into a film. Jodorowsky's ambitious plans called for filming 10 to 15 hours of footage, with a cast including David Carradine, Alain Delon, Mick Jagger, Orson Welles and Salvador Dalí. Rock bands Magma and Pink Floyd were tapped to provide music for the soundtrack.
Foss, Giger and Moebius were brought aboard to provide artistic vision, and the three of them did pre-production and designed the look of the world, as well as the vehicles, characters and costumes. Giger is famed for his designs for the creature in the film Alien, and Moebius was a founder of Métal Hurlant, forerunner of illustrated magazine Heavy Metal. Foss is a cover illustrator for science-fiction works including novels by Edmund Cooper and Isaac Asimov.
An unknown number of volumes incorporating Foss', Giger's and Moebius' production drawings and storyboards were made -- estimated between 10 and 20. Jodorowsky and producer Michel Seydoux brought them to potential investors to raise $5 million for preproduction, but their effort didn't come to fruition. The copy sold was marked as No. 5 of the series. Fewer than 10 copies of the book are believed to still exist.
The book includes 268 monochrome plates, 11 color plates and a title page, photographic reproductions of the art by Foss, Giger and Moebius. Jodorowsky's effort to make the novel Dune into a movie fell through. The failed production was chronicled in the 2014 documentary Jodorowsky's Dune.
Dune was eventually adapted into a feature film by director David Lynch in 1984. A three-part miniseries adaptation of Dune later aired on The Sci Fi Channel in 2000. More recently, Denis Villeneuve helmed a new film adaptation of Herbert's novel, which premiered in theaters and on HBO Max back in October. A second part is slated for release in 2023.
Source: Christie's