With the upcoming Dune movie, it was expected that it wouldn’t be long before we heard from David Lynch, the director of the first attempt to adapt Dune back in the ’80s. It was and remains a divisive movie for many, including Lynch himself, who was recently asked about his interest in seeing the new adaptation. Spoiler alert: none.
“I have zero interest in Dune,” Lynch told The Hollywood Reporter. When the reporter followed up asking why, Lynch delivered a response that makes sense considering what he has already said about the film. “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.” Some cuts of Lynch’s Dune are credited to the director “Alan Smithee,” a name used by directors who want to distance themselves from their involvement in a movie.
After asked if he would potentially be interested in any other version of Dune that would be out in the future, Lynch’s response was clear: “I said I’ve got zero interest.”
I’ve seen David Lynch’s Dune and while I can easily see why it could be considered a mess, there are so many interesting elements present in the film. It is ambitious and I love a lot of the costume designs. As an adaptation, it is frightfully imperfect, but as a film, I got a lot of fun out of watching it, especially since I’d just re-read the book.
Back in 2017, new Dune director Denis Villeneuve spoke to Yahoo! Movies about his respect for David Lynch as a filmmaker and the respect for Lynch’s vision, but a desire to go back to the images in the book:
“David Lynch did an adaptation in the ’80s that has some very strong qualities. I mean, David Lynch is one of the best filmmakers alive, I have massive respect for him. But when I saw his adaptation, I was impressed, but it was not what I had dreamed of, so I’m trying to make the adaptation of my dreams. It will not have any link with the David Lynch movie. I’m going back to the book, and going to the images that came out when I read it.”
People have already started making comparisons between the upcoming Dune and other science-fiction films, most notably Star Wars. The difficult thing about discussing Dune now is, as I’ve said before, it has been taken apart by many different series and adaptations since its publication. My hope is that while Villeneuve will stay true to the messages of Dune, that he will find ways to really bring to life why the text was, and remains, so important to the genre for over fifty years.
I have been continuing my own deep dive into the series and I’m currently re-reading Dune Messiah. If anyone is interested in the world of Dune but isn’t so much a reader, I highly recommend this video series for all your Dune needs.
(via Comicbook, image: Universal Pictures)
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