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Moebius Concept Art for Jodorowsky’s ‘Dune’ Characters

Moebius concept art for Jodorowsky's Dune

Moebius concept art for Jodorowsky's Dune

The film version of Dune directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky may be the most famous movie that was never made. Jodorowsky signed on to film Frank Herbert’s award-winning novel in 1974, and assembled a bizarre, celebrity-studded team with the goal of crafting a 10-hour adaptation. Salvador Dalí, Orson Welles, Gloria Swanson, David Carradine, Geraldine Chaplin, Alain Delon, Hervé Villechaize, and Mick Jagger were attached. Pink Floyd would do the soundtrack. And the film’s visuals would be in the hands of Chris Foss, H.R. Giger, and Jean “Moebius” Giraud, a co-founder of Metal Hurlant and mainstay of Heavy Metal. The artists got to work on their designs (with Dan O’Bannon enlisted for special effects) but money ran out fairly quickly. All we have of the movie that would have been is a folder of visual fragments and the 2013 documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune.

Chris Foss was in charge of designing the spaceships, while Giger got started on creepy architecture. Moebius concentrated on the cast of characters:

House Harkonnen

Baron Vladimir Harkonnen
Baron Vladimir Harkonnen
Feyd-Rautha Rabban and Piter De Vries
Feyd-Rautha Rabban and Piter De Vries
Glossu the Beast Rabban
Glossu the Beast Rabban

House Atreides

Duke Leto Atreides
Duke Leto Atreides
Paul Atreides and Lady Jessica
Paul Atreides and Lady Jessica
Duncan Idaho, Gurney Halleck, and Thufir Hawat
Duncan Idaho, Gurney Halleck, and Thufir Hawat
Dr. Wellington Yueh
Dr. Wellington Yueh

House Corrino

The Emperor of the Galaxy Padishah Shaddam IV and Imperian Count Fenring
The Emperor of the Galaxy Padishah Shaddam IV and Imperian Count Fenring
Sardaukars
Sardaukars
A Sardaukar
A Sardaukar

Other Characters

The Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam and Liet-Kynes
The Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam and Liet-Kynes
A member of the Spacing Guild and a Spice Smuggler
A member of the Spacing Guild and a Spice Smuggler
Representatives of minor houses
Representatives of minor houses

The African, the Russo-American, the Chinese…?

Sources group these drawings with Moebius’ Dune concept art, although how they relate to the Dune saga isn’t clear. If anyone knows, leave a comment.

The African and a Russo-American Chief
The African and a Russo-American Chief

Chinese Chief and Chinese Buffoon
Chinese Chief and Chinese Buffoon

14 thoughts on “Moebius Concept Art for Jodorowsky’s ‘Dune’ Characters

  1. I disagree to the suspicion of african. I think the inference is native american. quetzalcoatl is what the colors remind me more ofthan anything african. I think the russo american is more european, like the duke in belladonna of sadness

  2. This is amazingly insane. I love it. Not sure it’s even close to what I imagined from reading the books, but there is something so deliciously crazy about this.

    1. Agreed! It’s been over a decade since I read the books, but seeing these drawings sparked memories of the strange, dark sci-fi themes the novels had. Such bizarre elements… it makes me wanna read them again.

  3. Thanks for posting this. I think we have the book. The film about Jodorowsky’s Dune is fascinating and a must see. I loved hearing that Dali wanted to be the worlds highest paid actor so they paid him some outrageous amount for a few seconds of work.

  4. “All we have of the movie that would have been is a folder of visual fragments and the 2013 documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune.”

    Wrong; a copy of Jodorowsky’s Dune bible sold at auction for $42,500 early last year. Someone out there has that massive tome of an art book and it desperately needs digitized; especially now that Villeneuve’s adaptation is on the horizon.

  5. I’m inclined to think Moebius assumed (not unreasonably) old-Earth origins for the eldest “minor houses”, who themselves may have all but forgotten the roots of their style and heraldry.

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