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Denis Villeneuve Was ‘Half-Satisfied’ and Partly Uncomfortable with David Lynch’s ‘Dune’

Villeneuve previously said his adaptation of Frank Herbert's novel would have zero connection to Lynch's version.

David Lynch's "Dune"

David Lynch’s “Dune”


Following in the footsteps of David Lynch is never a great position to be in, but “Dune” wasn’t a project Denis Villeneuve was willing to pass on. Lynch’s infamous 1984 “Dune” adaptation was widely panned at the time, and the filmmaker lost so much creative control on the project that he asked to remove his name from it entirely. In a new interview with Empire magazine, Villeneuve says Lynch’s uneven “Dune” adaptation meant there was room for him to step in and make the “Dune” movie the big screen deserves.

“I’m a big David Lynch fan, he’s the master,” Villeneuve said. “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.’”

In one of the first interviews Villeneuve gave about “Dune” in November 2017, he was clear his adaptation would be far different than anything Lynch dreamed up for the 1984 movie. As Villeneuve said at the time, “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.”

As for Lynch, the “Blue Velvet” and “Mulholland Drive” director revealed in April he has “zero interest” in seeing Villeneuve’s “Dune” adaptation. That’s not because Lynch dislikes Villeneuve, it’s just making “Dune” was such a bad experience for Lynch that he remains unable to revisit the world and its characters.

“I always say, ‘Dune’ is a huge gigantic sadness in my life,” Lynch said last summer during the opening night of his art exhibition in the United Kingdom, “I did not have final cut on that film. Total creative control, I didn’t have it. The film is not the film I would’ve made had I had that final control. It’s a bit of a sadness.”

Warner Bros. is currently set to open Villeneuve’s “Dune” in theaters December 18.

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