Crypto winners of the Jodorowsky Dune Auction will make a TV show

Concept art for a mine guild from Jodorowsky's Dune.

Picture: Chris Foss / Sony Classics

At the end of last year, he made a rare copy of one of the pitch books that the legendary director Alejandro Jodorowsky made for put his sight up for an adaptation of Dune went to auction. Expected to sell for around $ 30-40,000, it went for around a confusing three million dollars, thanks to a backed collective known as TheSpiceDAO. Now they want to use script to … make their own Dune.

SpiceDAO’s overwhelming bid for the book – one of a handful of copies still in existence, some of which has already been partially made available online before and highlighted in the documentary Jodorowsky’s clit -was part of a series of headline-setting landmark auctions for collectibles last year. Rare copies of Mario and Zelda games, comics like Spider-Man’s debut in Fantastic Fantasy, and more generated all wildly overrated record-breaking bids, driven in part by people with more money than common sense, who placed speculative bids in rare collectibles as the next big thing. Christie’s sale of Jodorowsky’s Dune was no exception to this trend, though it was one that nurtured another speculative trend: cryptocurrency-backed DAOs or decentralized autonomous organizations that raise millions of dollars from supporting cryptocurrencies in an attempt to buy something and web3- ify it in some foggy capacity. There was a failed attempt to buy the US Constitution, and plans to transform Blockbuster into a future streaming service of similar DAOs, and now there is SpiceDAO. The difference with SpiceDAO’s plans for these, however, is that they suddenly think that spending three million dollars just means that they own Dune.

SpiceDAO attracted a lot of attention – mostly scorn – over the weekend by repeating their plans for Jorowsky’s Dune after the purchase. The first to publish the book with a new digitized copy, while the purchased physical book is stored in a “storage in art quality with a professional, insured service, ”Is admirable, if not, as previously mentioned, something that has never happened to other copies of the book before. The problem is the other two plans, which involve turning Moebius-illustrated storyboards into an animated series to sell to a streaming service, and then also have done so, encouraging derivative projects based on the script from crypto enthusiasts who supported the bid in the first place.

Except, of course, Jodorowsky’s Dune still is Dune, an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s iconic novel. Buying a book with storyboards – one of several that exist even though the number is low – and expecting to transfer the rights to these storyboards or the story itself would have been like the one who bought that copy of Fantastic Fantasy # 15 last year and expected they could go to Sony and instruct Spider Man: We still do home-word games?. Or maybe you go into a bookstore and pick up one of the republished copies Dune with the cast from Denis Villeneuve’s film on the front page, and thinking you could go up to Timothée Chalamet and tell him how Chapter two is yours now.

At least SpiceDAO has admitted in other ways that this would be a significant roadblock for adaptation, and instead intends to lean more towards creating something inspired by the work instead. “Jodorowsky’s expansive vision for Dune somehow planted the seed for almost every sci-fi project over the last 50 years. “Although we do not own the IP of Frank Herbert’s masterpiece, we are uniquely positioned with the opportunity to create our own addition to the genre as a tribute to the giants that came before us,” DAO wrote on its own Medium page in the wake of the auction last year. Any project that came out of SpiceDAO’s purchase would have to gently tread the line to pay tribute not only to Herbert’s work – and now the work of a major Hollywood studio in Warner Bros. – but the legal rights to Jodorowsky’s property, Moebius’ property and others involved in the original pitch itself. But why then should SpiceDAO buy Jodorowsky’s pitchbible to create something that is simply inspired by Dune and the aesthetic Jodorowsky and his collaborators imagined if they were so keen to create an original work?

Perhaps the answer is that you could not run an extra effort to get the crypto enthusiasts who supported the bid in the first place to invest in your own Dune-theme cryptocurrency that way, could you? The spice must flow one way or the other.


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