Dune’s Denis Villeneuve Explains Why He Was ‘Half-Satisfied’ With David Lynch’s Original

Timothee Chalamet in Dune

The newest adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune novel is almost upon us, and science fiction fans are pretty much of two different mindsets: either excited for a new take on the classic novel or concerned for how another version of the already beloved 1984 film will turn out. When a Dune superfan is behind the making of the film, though, it’s already off to a promising start. Director Denis Villeneuve explains how he has been a fan since childhood and David Lynch’s original film left him “half-satisfied” and wanting to bring his own version to life on the big screen.

Director and writer for the upcoming Dune reboot Denis Villeneuve grew up with the world building sci-fi novel Dune, and apparently wasn’t blown away with David Lynch’s film version. In an interview with Empire, Villeneuve says that even though he loves Lynch’s work, there are parts of Dune that left him wanting more and that’s why he believed there was plenty of room for another Dune film. Here it is in his own words:

I’m a big David Lynch fan, he’s the master. When I saw [Lynch’s] Dune I remember being excited, but his take... there are parts that I love and other elements that I am less comfortable with. So it’s like, I remember being half-satisfied. That’s why I was thinking to myself, ‘There’s still a movie that needs to be made about that book, just a different sensibility.’

Make no mistake, what David Lynch did with Dune back in the ‘80s was pretty remarkable. The world that Frank Herbert created in his Dune novels is nothing short of amazing, and something that would be very tough to recreate on screen almost 40 years ago. Now that CGI and special effects have allowed for some pretty fantastic things to be shown on the big screen, the world of Dune may be a little more reachable and relatable for those who love the books.

There is also the problematic choice David Lynch made to squeeze the entire 600 pages book of Dune into one film. Denis Villeneuve’s version of Dune will potentially have two parts, the first of which will cover just half of the novel. This allows a lot more of the world and plot to be explored - star Jason Momoa has even expressed that there is definitely a premise for Dune to get the Snyder treatment and be even longer than a typical feature length film.

Denis Villeneuve being a fan of both Dune and David Lynch and still not only seeing areas for improvement for the world of Dune, but also using those improvement ideas to create his own version is probably a pretty good sign for fans just like him. Fans don’t have long to wait to see the first part of Villeneuve’s creation, though, because Dune is set to hit theaters and HBO Max this October 22nd.

Carlie Hoke
Content Writer

Constantly thinking about books, coffee, and the existential dread I feel from Bo Burnham’s Inside.  While writing I’m also raising a chaotic toddler, who may or may not have picked up personality traits from watching one too many episodes of Trailer Park Boys.