Back in November 2008, concept artist Jock mentioned in an interview that he was working on some art for a film called Dune directed by Peter Berg. That particular project died a death with Berg’s departure and new director Pierre Morel’s decision to start again from the ground up. Jock is currently working on art for Berg’s forthcoming Battleship adaptation (yes) and Judge Dredd.
The pictures are not detailed working drawings, they are rough initial concepts and colour studies. Pictures like The Fremen Caves, Sardaukar Attack and even Spice Mining, suggest a mood for a scene – the art is a starting point without too many details to tie things up later on.
The Caladan image is more illustrative. Caladan is in many ways the opposite of Arrakis, so it makes sense that the opposite of a world without water, is a water-world – which is what we see here. My one criticism of this approach is that it Frank Herbert doesn’t mention the seas of Caladan in the first part of Dune, instead he speaks about “orchards” and “green farmlands”, this foreshadows the greening of the desert and the importance of plant-life.
Of the twelve images, perhaps the most interesting ones are the six sandworm pictures. The approach is pretty unorthodox – they are not neat tube-shaped creatures, these are weird malformed beasts, with giant mandible-flippers to propel themselves through the sand. The Newborn Worm does look like a cross between a chest-burster and a tumour and the others seem to carry on the Alien influence mixed with varying degrees of mutated random. The energy in these sketches is undeniable, however they all lack any real sense of scale and it’s difficult to imagine how they would translate into believable mile-long beasts.
But… the Long Shot (posted above) of an adult specimen makes me think that they might just have managed to pull it off. The weight and mass of these huge worms as a monsters is something that neither Lynch or the miniseries managed completely successfully.
The pictures are well worth a look and can be found on Jock’s site here: