Frank Herbert’s epic science fiction novel Dune, won the 1966 Hugo award and was followed by the sequel Children of Dune in 1969. Associate Producer Robert Greenhut convinced Arthur P Jacobs to purchase the rights to Dune, which his company, AJPAC did in 1971…
The film was delayed a year while Jacobs worked on other projects (such as the first Planet of the Apes sequel) and Greenhut worked on the first draft. It had a $15 million budget and Jacobs wanted David Lean to direct, but he declined.
Robert Bolt was brought on as new screenwriter, eventually replaced by Rospo Pallenberg. Charles Jarrott was considered as director. In August 1972, storyboards, sets and preproduction started for filming to start in 1974.
Jacobs’s fatal heart attack in June 1973 stalled the project. The film was Jacobs’s pet project and the was little interest at AJPAC in continuing with it. In December 1974 a French Consortium purchased the rights from Jacob’s estate.
The French purchase of the rights lead to Alejandro Jodorowsky’s failed attempt to adapt the novel.