David Lynch, whose 1984 version of Dune was his only attempt at big-budget science fiction, is emphatic that he has no plans to see Denis Villeneuve’s new version of the Frank Herbert novels.
“I have zero interest in Dune,” he said in a wide-ranging Hollywood Reporter interview on Monday.
When prodded a bit, the Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive mastermind answered, “Because it was a heartache for me. It was a failure and I didn’t have final cut. I’ve told this story a billion times. It’s not the film I wanted to make. I like certain parts of it very much — but it was a total failure for me.”
Asked if he would see the Villeneuve version, he reiterated: “I said I’ve got zero interest.”
Lynch took on Dune not long after George Lucas approached him about directing Return of the Jedi. He said in a 2010 interview that he had “next door to zero interest” — there’s that phrase again — but took a meeting because he admired Lucas. Lynch explained that he ended up getting a headache as Lucas walked him through the ideas for the film.
When he moved on to Dune, he made the mistake of giving up final cut, he told Deadline in 2018.
“With Dune, I sold out on that early on, because I didn’t have final cut, and it was a commercial failure, so I died two times with that,” he said.
Lynch’s Dune starred Kyle MacLachlan in his film debut, as well as Sting, Sean Young and Virginia Madsen, among others. MacLachlan and Lynch would go on to collaborate on Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks.
Last week brought the first look at Villeneuve’s vision of Dune, which stars Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides. Villeneuve told Vanity Fair that one key to his vision was splitting the story into two films: “I would not agree to make this adaptation of the book with one single movie,” he said. “The world is too complex. It’s a world that takes its power in details.”