Trivia: Dune

The book series:

  • Author Existence Failure: Frank Herbert died in 1985, leaving the Dune series on an apparent massive cliffhanger. His son and Kevin J. Anderson continued the series to mixed critical and reader response.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!:
    • Several quotes from the 1984 film are widely assumed to be from the novel:
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
    It is by the juice of sapho that thoughts acquire speed,
    the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning.
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
    • Both adaptations gave us "the Spice must flow".
  • Doing It for the Art: Dune contains a sprawling universe adorned with myriad details and complicated histories, economics, and ecology. Frank Herbert loved to show his work, as detailed below. It began as work for a newspaper article ("They Stopped the Moving Sands"), but he became so enthralled that it became a passionate epic. He never even got around to finishing that article.
  • Outlived Its Creator: Since Frank Herbert's death, Brian Herbert (Frank's son) and Kevin J. Anderson have written a number of prequels and sequels.
  • What Could Have Been:

The 1984 film:

  • Actor Allusion: Siān Phillips has some experience playing a scheming matriarch.
  • Dawson Casting: Sting and Kyle MacLachlan, both in their mid-late 20s, played the 15 year olds Paul Atreides and Feyd Rautha in the '84 film.
  • Deleted Scene: Several scenes were cut from the theatrical release of the 1984 film and later restored to the extended versions, which is part of why they're so much longer. Of these, one of the most significant is the death of Thufir Hawat, a powerful scene in which Paul separates Thufir from the captured Harkonnen and offers him his life, only for Thufir to commit suicide rather than kill Paul. This omission creates something of a What Happened to the Mouse? moment in the original cut, as Thufir—one of the film's more important characters—can clearly be seen standing among the prisoners (between the Emperor and Gaius Mohiam) in one shot, and simply vanishes in the next; his disappearance is never explained.
  • Executive Meddling/Screwed by the Network: Dino De Laurentiis pared the film down by hours and the result was a confusing mess to many people who didn't read the book. It was such a negative experience for Lynch that he actually turned down the chance to do a director's cut years later and had his name taken off the extended version that was made without him, so while the extended version does expand on and explain the overall universe and setting better it's still mostly guess work.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: The movie is almost a "Who's Who?" of the David Lynch stock company: So Dale Cooper is the Kwisatz Haderach, his father is the captain from Das Boot, Wendy Crowe is his little sister, Maya marries him but Rachael, the daughter of Ming the Merciless is his true love/concubine, Ed Hurley's his dragon, Captain Picard taught him, and Brother Cavil betrayed him, while Livia is upset he didn't marry into the Harkonnens. Jack Doyle is his enemy, who is raising Sting as his heir, while the Archduke is his brother.
  • Old Shame: For Lynch, as he perceived it as "selling out".
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Val Kilmer was reportedly almost cast as Paul in the 1984 film version.
    • The late Christopher Reeve of Superman fame was reportedly considered for the role at Paul in one of the earlier pre-Lynch periods - which makes the casting of Kyle MacLachlan even funnier as he would later voice Superman in the animated feature Justice League: The New Frontier.
    • Jack Nicholson was reportedly considered for the role of Gurney Halleck at one point.
    • The Alejandro Jodorowsky version would've cast Salvador Dali as the Emperor, Orson Welles as Baron Harkonen, and Mick Jagger as Feyd. Jodorowsky had cast his son as Paul Atreides, who spent several months training in martial arts and other various fighting styles before the project was shelved.
    • Also, Jodorowsky had intended to have the ending of his film be vastly different from the book, having Feyd killing Paul during hand-to-hand combat in front of the Emperor. But as he dies, Paul's consciousness then infuses into the planet Arrakis. Paul then mocks the Emperor, by moving about from person to person, including Alia, Stilgar, and Irulan, who when inhabited, all speak in Paul's voice. The non-corporeal Paul, fulfilling the prophecy of the Kwisatz Haderach, then causes Arrakis' terraforming to occur immediately, with the skies turning a brilliant blue. The movie then ends with the planet breaking orbit, to roam throughout space, to re-educate the universe. Oh and Duke Leto was going to be castrated into a Eunuch following a ritual bullfight (Paul would have been conceived as a virgin birth by way of his mother Jessica taking his father Leto's blood and turning into semen to impregnate herself). Author Frank Herbert did not like that last idea among others.
    • Duke Leto's death in Jodorowsky's version would have been even more gruesome and graphic than his death in the book. In the original book Leto dies from poisoning, but in Jodorowsky's version Leto would have been mutilated to death, his arms and legs cut off as torture and then finally his head being cut off and then tossed into a box with the rest of his severed limbs, leaving what was left of his body on the table.
    • At one point, the David Lynch film was going to include incestuous themes between Paul and his mother.

The miniseries: