Storyboards for doomed 'Dune' film up for auction

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A page of one of the ten Alejandro Jodorowskys epic 1970 Dune storyboard copies is displayed to the public three days before an auction at Christies Paris gallery, on November 19, 2021.
A page of one of the ten Alejandro Jodorowskys epic 1970 Dune storyboard copies is displayed to the public three days before an auction at Christies Paris gallery, on November 19, 2021.
Photo: Alain Jocard/AFP

  • A storyboard for the doomed 1970s adaptation of Dune is going up for auction.
  • The project directed by Franco-Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky was supposed to bring together Salvador Dali, Mick Jagger and Pink Floyd.
  • It collapsed for lack of funding - a story retold in the 2013 documentary "Jodorowsky's Dune".


It has entered film folklore as one of the great missed opportunities: the doomed 1970s adaptation of Dune that was supposed to bring together Salvador Dali, Mick Jagger and Pink Floyd.

The project famously collapsed after four years of work by cult Franco-Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky, but now his storyboards are going up for auction in Paris on Monday.

With a new version of Dune starring Timothee Chalamet packing cinemas around the world in recent weeks, interest in Jodorowsky's version has been reignited and Christie's is valuing the drawings at 25 000 to 35 000 euros ($28,000 to $40,000).

They are collected in one large notebook, and were made by celebrated French graphic novelist Moebius (alias Jean Giraud, who died in 2012) and Swiss illustrator Giger, who went on to design Alien in 1979 and died in 2014.

A page of one of the ten Alejandro Jodorowskys epi
A page of one of the ten Alejandro Jodorowskys epic 1970 Dune storyboard copies is displayed to the public three days before an auction at Christies Paris gallery, on November 19, 2021. - Christies will auction off the storyboard, featuring original illustrations by Moebius and H.R. Giger, AKA the Swiss painter behind Alien's concept art, in Paris on November 22, 2021. The project of the movie ran out of funding.
A page of one of the ten Alejandro Jodorowskys epi
A page of one of the ten Alejandro Jodorowskys epic 1970 Dune storyboard copies is displayed to the public three days before an auction at Christies Paris gallery, on November 19, 2021. - Christies will auction off the storyboard, featuring original illustrations by Moebius and H.R. Giger, AKA the Swiss painter behind Alien's concept art, in Paris on November 22, 2021. The project of the movie ran out of funding.
A page of one of the ten Alejandro Jodorowskys epi
A page of one of the ten Alejandro Jodorowskys epic 1970 Dune storyboard copies is displayed to the public three days before an auction at Christies Paris gallery, on November 19, 2021. - Christies will auction off the storyboard, featuring original illustrations by Moebius and H.R. Giger, AKA the Swiss painter behind Alien's concept art, in Paris on November 22, 2021. The project of the movie ran out of funding.

The tumultuous project was due to include surrealist Dali, Rolling Stones frontman Jagger, actor-director Orson Welles and silver screen legend Gloria Swanson in the cast, with Pink Floyd among the bands approached for the soundtrack.

It collapsed for lack of funding - a story retold in the 2013 documentary Jodorowsky's Dune.

The brainchild of author Frank Herbert, Dune was first published in 1965 and became a six-volume space opera of massive influence, not least on Star Wars.

Following the latter's blockbuster success, Hollywood took renewed interest in Dune in the early 1980s.

That led to David Lynch's version, released in 1984 with a cast including British musician Sting and Patrick Stewart of Star Trek: Next Generation, which had its own troubles and became one of the decade's biggest flops.

Jodorowsky's storyboards have taken on mythical overtones among sci-fi fans - said to have influenced later genre hits including Blade Runner.

"We know of several other copies: one was offered for auction several years ago, another is in Jodorowsky's possession... A third has been partially reproduced online," said Christie's.

It said around 10 to 20 copies were produced, though it was hard to be certain. 

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