Crypto Group Buys Rare Copy of ‘Dune’ Book for 100 Times Its Value, Gets Roasted For NFT Scheme Gone Wrong

Crypto group Spice DAO wanted to produce an animated “Dune” series after paying $3 million for a failed movie pitch.

Warner Bros. Pictures (Video Still)

A group of crypto-backed Twitter users paid millions to purchase a rare Dune book–after incorrectly assuming they would have the rights to adapt it into a movie, according to media reports.

Well before Denis Villenueve’s epic HBO Max Dune reboot and even before David Lynch’s 1984 movie, filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky attempted to adapt Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi novel for the big screen in the 1970s.

Jodorowsky created massive movie “bibles” to pitch the concept to studios, but the project never entered production. The text is free to read online, and a few physical copies of the books still exist.

One was purchased at a Christie’s auction for just over $3 million in November 2021 by a group of Twitter users dubbed @TheSpiceDAO.

Screen Rant reports that the group paid close to 100 times the asking price, believing they then had the right to adapt the book into an original animated series.

But Legendary Entertainment, the production company behind Villeneuve’s Dune (2021) and upcoming Dune: Part Two, acquired the actual film and TV rights from Herbert’s estate in 2016.

It’s unclear if @TheSpiceDAO knew that owning a physical copy of Jodorowsky’s book does not give them the right to produce Dune content.

The group recently tweeted tweeted its mission is to “produce an original animated limited series inspired by the book and sell it to a streaming service” and “support derivative projects from the community.”

As many snarky Twitter users noted, they do not own the copyright to do that. Check out some of the choicest replies below: