The complete transcript of a 1970 Interview with Frank Herbert and Beverly Herbert by Willis E. McNelly, encountered subsequent to a searchtrawl looking for commentary linking Lawrence of Arabia, the film, with Dune, the novel.
Here’s the bit about Lawrence, near the end, which, I must say, is not a particularly thoughtful or nuanced take on the character of Lawrence as constructed for the film, but which does turn on the idea of Lawrence as akin to the Muad’Dib:
“WM (William McNelly, the interviewer – MW): Oh, I-I caught overtones of Lawrence of Arabia in the thing, for example.
FH: He could very well become an avatar for the… for the Arabs.
FH: If Lawrence of Arabia had died at the crucial moment of the British…
WM: Say, when Allenby walked into Jerusalem.
FH: Yes. If he had died… if, for example, he had gone up and killed the people who were destroying his breed, walked into that conference and said, Gentlemen, I have here under my javala a surprise, Bang! Bang! Bang! and he had been killed…
WM: He’d have been deified.
FH: He would have been deified. And it would have been the most terrifying thing the British had ever encountered, because the Arabs would have swept that entire peninsula with that sort of force, because one of the things we’ve done in our society is exploited this power… Western man has exploited this avatar power.”