In December 1974, a French consortium led by Jean-Paul Gibon purchased the rights to the movie from APJ. The director this time would be Alejandro Jodorowsky.
In 1975, Jodorowsky tried to film the story as a ten hour feature, in collaboration with Orson Welles, Dan O'Bannon, Salvador Dalí, Gloria Swanson, Hervé Villechaize and others (nicknamed by him as "his seven samurais"). The music would have been done by Pink Floyd. Jodorowsky set up a pre-production unit in Paris that consisted of Chris Foss, a British artist who designed covers for science fiction periodicals, Jean Giraud (Moebius), a French illustrator who created and also wrote and drew for Metal Hurlant magazine, and H. R. Giger. Moebius began designing creatures and characters for the film, while Foss was brought in to design the film's space ships and hardware. Giger started designing the Harkonnen Castle based on Moebius' storyboards and Dali was to play the role of the Emperor for a reported $100,000 an hour. Jodorowsky also hired Dan O'Bannon to head the special effects department. Dali and Jodorowsky began quarreling over money and just as the storyboards, designs, and the script were finished, the financial backing dried up. Frank Herbert travelled to Europe in 1976 to find that two million dollars of the 9.5 million budget were already spent in pre-production and that the Jodorowsky's script would result in a 14-hour movie ("It was the size of a phonebook" Herbert recalled). Although Jodorowsky took several creative liberties with his novel, Herbert stated that he and Jodorowsky had an amicable relationship.
OK, maybe I missed this link on Lynchnet long ago or whatnot, but a quick search on Alan Smithee brought up (of course) the wikipedia for Dune, and while I knew his name was once briefly attached, I'd never heard this before--jesus, the names involved:
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"I'm like a dog chasing cars, I wouldn't know what to do if I caught one. . . . I'm not a schemer. I just do things."