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What Inspired Frank Herbert to Write “Dune”?

With the film Dune Part One out, many people have been heading back to the origin of the feature. As of November 15, 2021, the film has grossed about $353 million worldwide. But what was the story behind Frank Herbert’s novel?

Frank Herbert was talking to a friend from the Quileute Tribe whose lands were being destroyed due to excessive logging. His friend expressed how white people would turn the whole planet into a wasteland, just like what happened in North Africa. This story inspired Herber to write “Dune.”

Who is Frank Herbert?

Franklin Patrick Herbert Jr. was born on October 8, 1920, in Tacoma, Washington. He spent his formative years in the countryside. Growing up, he was quite fascinated with books and literature. Before the age of five, he was already reading newspapers.

Aside from his interest in literature, he also loved photography. At the early age of ten, he purchased his first camera. By the 1930s, he upgraded to a full-color film camera.

Herbert grew up in a poor home, and this was mainly because of the Great Depression. He ran away from home by 1938 and chose to live with relatives in Salem, Oregon. There he continued his education and graduated from North Salem High School.

After graduating, he got a job at the Glendale Star by lying about his age. He went on to work for the Oregon Statesman Newspaper as a writer and photographer. (Source: The Dreamer of Dune)

When Did Herbert Start Working for Dune?

Herbert started his research on his book in 1959. He focused on his writing since his wife, Flora Lillian Parkinson, worked full-time in an advertising agency. She was the breadwinner for their family. He was able to have his book published by 1965.

Herbert mentioned to Willis McNelly that the novel was originally intended to be a magazine article. He became too engrossed with the research that he ended up with so much content to work with. Although the article was never written, it was the basis of his masterpiece.

I don’t worry about inspiration, or anything like that later, coming back and reading what I have produced, I am unable to detect the difference between what came easily and when I had to sit down and say, “Well, now it’s writing time and now I’ll write.

Frank Herbert

(Source: Fiction Speculative)

The Dune Movie Franchise

Dune is also known as Dune Chronicles and is known as a science fiction media franchise that started with Frank Herbert’s novel of the same title. The book itself has been described to be the best-selling science fiction novel in history. It won the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1965 and the Hugo Award in 1966.

The first film was made in 1984 but was considered a colossal flop. Fans appreciated the effort, but it was apparently not close enough to the book. They worked on an estimated budget of $40 million but grossed about $30 million worldwide. (Source: IMDB)

In 2000, a mini-series about the same novel started, and a 2021 film is currently out, starring Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson. The film worked with a $165 million budget but grossed at $353 million worldwide in just a few days of opening. While there are still critics commenting on the narrative and the story’s slow pace, this film, without a doubt, did way better than its 1984 version. (Source: IMDB)

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