Why Original Director David Lynch Doesn't Plan On Seeing Denis Villeneuve's Dune

Dune cast

At the end of this year, Denis Villeneuve’s next movie, Dune, finally arrives in theaters. This will mark the second time that Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel has been adapted for the big screen, the first time being under the helm of David Lynch in 1984, with a cast that included Kyle MacLachlan, Brad Dourif, Linda Hunt and Patrick Stewart, among many others.

However, just because David Lynch has already dipped his toes in the Dune pool doesn’t mean he plans on seeing this new offering. When recently asked if he’d seen any of the recently-released photos from Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, Lynch responded that he has “zero interest” in the new movie. When asked why, the filmmaker responded:

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.

So David Lynch’s apathy for Dune isn’t because he doesn’t like Denis Villeneuve or anything along those lines. Far from it, as he also clarified to THR that he’s not interested in seeing any other person’s interpretation of Dune. Lynch is just altogether done with this corner of science fiction because he doesn’t look back on how his movie turned out fondly.

Had David Lynch’s fully realized version of Dune been released to the masses, it would have been close to three hours long. However, during the postproduction process, the movie was trimmed to a little over two hours, with these edits including certain plot points being simplified or removed altogether, and voiceover narration being thrown in. While there is a longer version of Lynch’s Dune that aired on TV and has been called Dune: Extended Edition on DVD, Lynch does not approve of this version of the movie, to the point that he had his named removed from the credits.

So clearly David Lynch does not consider Dune to be one of the bright points of his career, and he’d rather just completely separate himself from the property rather than see what someone else can do with Frank Herbert’s original story. I guess that means Lynch hasn’t checked out the Dune miniseries from 2000 either.

While that’s one less ticket sold for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, considering the man’s filmmaking track record so far, including with fellow sci-fi movies Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, you can bet there are plenty of folks who are interested to see how he adapts this literary material. Villeneuve has also said it has been his dream to adapt Dune, so obviously this story means a lot to him.

One big difference between Denis Villeneuve’s take on Dune compared to David Lynch’s is that Villeneuve plans to adapt the original novel over two movies rather than just one, although a Dune sequel hasn’t officially gotten the green light just yet. There’s also a Dune prequel spinoff series in the works for HBO Max called Dune: The Sisterhood, and Villeneuve will direct the pilot.

As far as the other talent attached to the new Dune movie, along Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts working on the script with Denis Villeneuve, the cast includes Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Zendaya, Stellan Skarsgård, Jason Momoa and Javier Bardem, among others. The project began filming on March 18, 2019 in Hungary, and principal photography wrapped up the following July.

Dune is still set for a December 18 release, though if it ends up being pushed back like so many other movies have been lately, we here at CinemaBlend will let you know.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.