It’s official: David Lynch has entered the director’s cut chat. See Zack Snyder shaking in his boots over in the corner?
Nearly forty years after his ill-fated adaptation of Dune hit theaters, Lynch has confessed that he wants a do-over. You’ll remember that Lynch’s Dune bombed at the box office back in 1984, earning just $40 million against a $30 million budget, and leading the director to ultimately disavow the film. Lynch once said that he’s “proud of everything” he’s ever directed, “except Dune,” which was subjected to final cut approval by Universal Studios.
Now, in a new interview with The AV Club, Lynch reveals he wants another whack at the cult classic:
People have said, “Don’t you want to go back and fiddle with Dune?” And I was so depressed and sickened by it, you know? I want to say, I loved everybody that I worked with; they were so fantastic. I loved all the actors; I loved the crew; I loved working in Mexico; I loved everything except that I didn’t have final cut. And I even loved Dino [De Laurentiis]who wouldn’t give me what I wanted [laughs]. And Raffaella, the producer, who was his daughter—I loved her. But the thing was a horrible sadness and failure to me, and if I could go back in I’ve thought, well, maybe I would on that one go back in.
The comments mark a sharp 180 from Lynch, who’s long rebuffed the idea of a Dune director’s cut, even rejecting overtures from his onetime foe Universal. Luckily for Dune fans, there’s likely a lot of material left on the cutting room floor: Lynch’s intended cut ran almost three hours long, until Universal whittled it down to two hours. In 1986, he planned to sell a four and a half hour director’s cut on the burgeoning home video tape market, but then, talks fell apart, with no forward motion ever since. Now, Lynch’s new remarks give some reason to hope, but even so, he doesn’t seem too confident about the decades-old material.
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“With Dune, I sold out before I finished,” he told The AV Club. “It’s not like there’s a bunch of gold in the vaults waiting to be cut and put back together. It’s like, early on I knew what Dino wanted and what I could get away with and what I couldn’t. And so I started selling out, and it’s a sad, sad, pathetic, ridiculous story. But I would like to see what is there. I can’t remember, that’s the weird thing. I can’t remember. And so it might be interesting—there could be something there. But I don’t think it’s a silk purse. I know it’s a sow’s ear.”
What would a director’s cut even look like? More of those goofy, blocky shields? More Sting in a metal Speedo? Now that Denis Villeneuve has created the definitive adaptation of Duneit’s difficult to imagine a return to the Lynch Dune-iverse. It’s also worth noting that Lynch’s Paul Atreides has already moved onto greener pastures, volunteering his services for a cameo in Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two and striking the Atreides salute with his successor, Timothée Chalamet. Lynch himself says “it’s not going to happen,” but fans thought the same thing about Snyder’s cut of Justice Leagueand look how that turned out. keep the faith, Dune fans, and don’t be afraid that Lynch’s four and half hour cut is lost to the sands of Arrakis. After all, you know what Lady Jessica says about fear.
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