2,000 extras pooping at once. Charlotte Rampling refused to be Lady Jessica in Alejandro Jodorowsky’s version of ‘Dune’

The filmmaker could not carry out his adaptation of the novel by Frank Herbet. The actress, on the other hand, gives life to the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam in the film directed by Denis Villeneuve.

Fit Dune to the big screen was never an easy task. In the mid-1970s, Alejandro Jodorowsky tried to turn Frank Herbert’s novel into a film without success. Later, in the 80s, it would be David Lynch’s turn. Their Dune, although it became a reality, it did not meet expectations. Now, in 2021, it has been Denis Villeneuve who has taken on the arduous task of translating into images what Herbert wrote. And, by the critics and the box office data, someone has finally succeeded in the mission.

The funny thing is that one of the actresses who appear in the 2021 version was going to join Jodorowsky’s project. We are talking about Charlotte Rampling, who gives life to the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam on the Dune de Villeneuve and that he was going to play lady jessica in the adaptation of the 70s. Finally, the interpreter rejected the role. The reason? Jodorowsky wanted to do a scene in which 2,000 extras appeared defecating at the same time.

In 2013 the documentary was released Jodorowsky’s Dunewhich tries to show how the version of Dune from the director. In an interview with Indie Wirethe director of the documentary Frank Pavich recounted what happened with Rampling.

“To insult Duke Leto, David Carradine, Rabban the Beast makes his army drop their pants in front of the palace and shit.”says the director.

“So there was going to be a scene with 2,000 extras pooping at the same time. So there’s Charlotte Rampling, who agrees to meet with Jodo, they give her the script, she reads it and she says: ‘I can’t be in a movie where there are 2,000 extras pooping on the screen! I need to be in a movie that people actually want to see! Who the hell is going to see this movie?’. Jodo said: ‘It was a big disappointment for me. A big disappointment”.

Among other of the names that sounded for the film -besides David Carradine as the Duke Leto– was that of Salvador Dalí, who was going to give life to the padishah emperor. Brontis Jodorowsky, the filmmaker’s son who was 12 years old at that time, was going to be paul atreides. Orson Welles, Gloria Swanson, and Mick Jagger were some of the other cast members.

Dune de Villeneuve is now available on HBO Max for your enjoyment, while Warner Bros. is already preparing what would be the second part, in addition to the series Dune: The Sisterhood.