From world building to its lore and creatures, Dune has had ample stuff to offer for these popular sci-fi, fantasy franchises to take inspiration from.
Alien – The Xenomorphs Were A Direct Result Of Dune
The movie Alien is generally associated with the works of famous surrealistic artist H.R Giger. But little do many know that Giger was also associated with the Dune franchise. Alejandro Jodorowsky once tried making a Dune movie that never managed to take off. Giger was one of the staff artists in that project. Dan O’Bannon, who was also working on the visuals on the cancelled Dune movie, saw Giger’s work up close. He was so impressed that he roped the artist in for the Alien movie. Giger then used his earlier artwork and designs he made for Dune, modified them and gave Hollywood it’s first rendition of the mighty Xenomorph.
Tremors – The Iconic Dune Sandworms Were Refashioned Into A Monster Movie
To be inspired does not always mean a movie needs to be influenced via design work or theme/tone. Sometimes inspiration can be very simple and basic. Tremors for example, took the most iconic element of Dune and turned into into a blockbuster franchise. The Fremen of Arrakis call the Sandworms “Shai-Hulud” which roughly translates to as the old man of the Desert. In Arabic, it means an immortal creature. Tremors gave us Graboids, a smaller but more vicious Sandworm like creature. The horror comedy would have never existed without Frank Herbert’s Dune.
Blade Runner – Ridley Scott Tried His Best To Make His Version Of Dune
Director Ridley Scott is a huge fan of Dune and the work of Alejandro Jodorowsky. He was really looking forward to Jodorowsky’s version of Dune. Sadly the movie was never released but Ridley Scott let his love for Dune direct his energies to make Blade Runner. Both Dan O’Bannon and Moebius, who had worked with Jodorowsky, were hired for Blade Runner. Blade Runner has a society that is trying to rebel against the stifling regulations of the police state government, just like Dune. The visuals and plot elements of Blade Runner also closely resemble that of Dune’s.
Star Wars – The Franchise Is Basically Dune But On A Lighter Note
Turns out Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dune project was the most anticipated movie project of its time. Even George Lucas was inspired by Dune. There are enough sources to confirm that Lucas used Baron Harkonnen’s design as the inspiration to direct his artists to come up with the design for Jabba the Hutt. Lucas has also confirmed that many sci-fi movies, including Star wars, were directly inspired by Dune. At least one movie – Star Wars: A New Hope, took multiple cues from the Dune storyboard.
Game Of Thrones – The Series Copies Dune In More Ways Than You Can Count
There are so many similarities between Game of Thrones and Dune. Ned Stark and Duke Leto Atreides have literally the same character arc. Both franchises are known for their sudden deaths of fan-favorite characters. There’s magical realism and mystical creatures in both. Frank Herbert and George R.R. Martin established a massive lore and incredibly fleshed out backstories behind their characters. There’s political conspiracies and betrayals as major houses having their own crests and colors make a play for power. Dune and Game of Thrones both show us sword trainers, mystic assassin guilds, secret societies and factions and witches and prophecies. Coincidence? We think not.