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David Lynch Is Done With Film, and Promises 2006’s ‘Inland Empire’ Was the Last Movie He’ll Ever Make

As "Twin Peaks" returns in a few weeks, Lynch says there's no room for an auteur like him on the big screen anymore.

David Lynch David Lynch speaks during a press preview of David Lynch: The Unified Field, at his former school The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) in Philadelphia. The show is schedule to be on view from Sept. 13, 2014 to Jan. 11, 2015, and is the first major U.S. museum exhibition of the filmmaker and PAFA alumnus' workArt David Lynch, Philadelphia, USA

David Lynch

Matt Rourke/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Say it ain’t so, David Lynch! As we await the return of his TV masterpiece “Twin Peaks” later this month, Lynch is making it clear that he won’t be returning to the film world again.

Lynch hasn’t made a picture since 2006’s “Inland Empire.” Now, he tells the Sydney Morning Herald that “Inland Empire” represents the end of his filmmaking career. It’s a changing business, after all, and there isn’t much room anymore in the blockbuster- and franchise-minded industry for creatives like him.

READ MORE: ‘Twin Peaks’ Teaser: New Footage Brings an Eerie First Look at Familiar Faces

“Things changed a lot,” Lynch told the newspaper. “So many films were not doing well at the box office even though they might have been great films and the things that were doing well at the box office weren’t the things that I would want to do.”

Asked point blank whether he has made his last feature film, Lynch paused, and then confirmed it. “Yes.”

Lynch’s insistence that he’s done with features comes soon after the 40th anniversary of his landmark first film, 1977’s “Eraserhead.” The auteur’s credits include “Blue Velvet,” “Wild at Heart,” “Mulholland Drive,” and “Lost Highway.” Of course, “Twin Peaks,” which originally aired on ABC from 1990-1991 and spawned 1992’s “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me,” is also a key piece of Lynch canon.

The new “Twin Peaks” premieres on Showtime with 18 episodes starting May 21. Marketing surrounding the revival has mostly focused on old footage, iconic characters and very little imagery from the new show. That’s by design, Lynch told the newspaper, arguing that too much marketing “completely ruins” the experience.

READ MORE: David Lynch Responds to ‘Twin Peaks’ Fan Theories: ‘We All See Something Different in a Story’

“People want to know up until the time they know, then they don’t care,” he said. “So, speaking for myself, I don’t want to know anything before I see something. I want to experience it without any purification, pure; [I want to] go into a world and let it happen.”

The two-part premiere of “Twin Peaks” airs Sunday, May 21, on Showtime. Fans will have access to the third and fourth parts of “Twin Peaks” immediately following the premiere, exclusively across the Showtime streaming service, Showtime Anytime and Showtime On Demand. In its second week, “Twin Peaks” will air the third and fourth parts back-to-back on May 28, starting at 9 p.m., followed by single parts in subsequent weeks.

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Steve Barr

Don’t forget the under appreciated Dune and the sublime Elephant Man .


Too bad as I’m sure his fans will be disappointed. Fortunately for me I’m not a fan of his work. Never have been. I did like Elephant Man, but that wasn’t his typical whacked out stuff he usually does. So I won’t miss his films in the least.


    Cool story Bo


    Yeah! Really good story, Bo. You should be like …you should be a story teller person. Because your stories are so good.

    Colin Poul

    Stick to the kiddie crap that pollutes our screens these days, chump – nobody misses dunces like you. It’s just a shame that lowlifes like you are responsible for the demise of the careers of true artists.


      Colin you come across as an unsophisticated thug that can’t handle is someone doesn’t fit in with you perceptions about movies. I thought my post was a pretty intelligent and respectful articulation of my perceptions of Lynch’s work. I see him as a true artist, but that certainly doesn’t mean I have to like his art. Are you too crude and rude to understand that? I’m an older guy who has worked on several of the biggest and most respected films in history. My tastes are serious and tend towards foreign films more than American. I find American movies, the super hero comic book nonsense as vapid and without merit. I like Tom Hardy and his films, especially The Drop and his Taboo on cable TV. I don’t care for Lynch’s work and if you allow yourself to get angry and upset by that then you have some real issues having to do with immaturity and lack of class and respect for other’s opinions. Especially someone like me who has worked in films and has undoubtedly forgotten more about films than you will ever know. My suggestion would be to grow up and engage in a bit of self examination as you come across rather childish and stupid and a bit like a coward who shoots off his mouth in the safety of his room without fear of another man taking you to task for being such a chicken sh*t dork who would never confront another grown man in person as you did here on an internet comment section. You’re punk, man. We had ways of dealing with your kind when I was in the Army. We called them blowhard momma’s boys.


        Right, you were in the Army. I hope you’re no scriptwriter because for a good story you shouldn’t twist reality too much or no one would believe you.


          Your reply just doesn’t make sense, bub. Yes, I was in the Army. In fact, I was a Drill Sgt. That’s the truth, but in this day and age of trump and his chumps the truth is not easily recognized as you have demonstrated here. How could you possibly come to the conclusion that I’ve twisted reality when you don’t know me and don’t know my reality. Once again, distorted perceptions by a lesser mind attempting to refashion reality to one’s inner needs.

        Ray Butlers



          …lol…yea, in this day and age it is too long…sorry…I’m just an old dog not willing to change his ways while communicating to follow the newly installed rules for 140 characters. Having not read my brilliant retort though is your loss…just sayin’…

Steve McQueen

If I try wasn’t for the lurid tastes of millennials paying for superhero schtick, and scissor kicking females beating up a room full of men twice her size Hollywood wouldn’t keep pushing these insidious insipid movies meant for 13 year olds and pushing out auteurs who have something to say.

    Colin Poul


    50 plus

    Some of my best friends are millennials. But no seriously, being an old fart myself, I get tired of other old farts blaming millennials, generation x, gen y, whatever marketing term of the moment….

    Get a life, and realize a lot of things you find distasteful about the younger generation is your fault. They live in the bed you made….

      Steve Mcqueen

      Aye carumba, did someone just say “old fart?” You smelled it you dealt it. And if, in your smelly gas, those fumes have blinded your understanding on understanding the basics of sociology, let me quickly enlighten you, old smelly one, that the mores & societal philosophies of time bend, acquiesce, and socialize impressionable children of the next generation: for better or for worse. This affects ALL society, psychically, spiritually & economically. In all your years of living on the earth, & education, if you can’t get a hold of what I said, I’m not going to type away a dissertation on behavioral psychology or situational ethics. Read. Maybe start with Guy Deboard: “Society & the Spectacle.” With all due respect.

        Steve Mcqueen's Mom

        Nothing you said was particularly insightful. It’s just jumping on the bandwagon. You try and put the thinnest veneer of intellectualism hoping no one looks deeper revealing the pile of shit you’ve laid at our feet. No offense.


          Re: auteurs…McQueen makes a valid point. And for you, well, LOL at least you spelled the words you wrote correctly.


        Well said McQueen. Taste is educated and some, like the nincompoop here, haven’t graduated from reading rainbow! LOL


You’d think whole books would have been written by now on INLAND EMPIRE alone. The world just doesn’t have the enthusiasm for arthouse cinema that it had in the 50s and 60s, and that’s a real shame.


    So true, at least not in America.

Deion Pinder

If he was a true artist and really cared about his art he would just self fund his films. It’s not like he’s poor.

Good riddance.


    Self fund his films? He’s not rich enough to do that. It costs million$ to produce films – and then they have to be distributed.

Jordan Ray Allen

Me being a filmmaker that creates projects off the beaten path, I get his gripe. But nowadays there are creative alternatives if the current system is no longer a good fit. Tugg comes to mind; where they can get your film into theaters nationwide ONLY if you meet their ticket pre-sale quota in whatever state (s) you want to screen. In my opinion, that’s a great-if-not-better way to reach your core audience and personalize the experience, as the show can’t go on without their support.


Lynch was misquoted in this interview. Check this interview from 3 days ago

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