David Lynch was “sickened” by his version of Dune, wishes he could revisit it

Regrets, the auteur has had a few

By Natalie Zamora

Published April 18, 2022 8:21PM (EDT)

Dean Stockwell and Francesca Annis with director David Lynch on the set of 1984's "Dune" 
 (Nancy Moran/Sygma via Getty Images)
Dean Stockwell and Francesca Annis with director David Lynch on the set of 1984's "Dune" (Nancy Moran/Sygma via Getty Images)

This story originally appeared on Winter is Coming.

Acclaimed filmmaker David Lynch is known for some of the best movies of all time, including "Mulholland Drive" (2001), "Blue Velvet" (1986), and "Eraserhead" (1977). Of course, he also created the cut classic '90s show "Twin Peaks," which returned after almost three decades for another season in 2017. But while Lynch is widely considered one of the great directors, that doesn't mean his credits are perfect. Case in point: His "Dune" adaptation which came out in 1984.

After "Dune" the novel by Frank Herbert came out in 1965, a handful of talented filmmakers tried to bring it to life, including Alejandro Jodorowsky and Ridley Scott. For many reasons, it seemed no one could make a film adaptation work, and even though Lynch eventually did make a movie, the same could be said for him.

Lynch recruited his now-frequent collaborator Kyle MacLachlan to play Paul Atreides, marking the actor's film debut. While people now love seeing this duo work together, "Dune" was a box office bomb when it hit theaters, not even breaking even on its $40 million budget. Over the years, the movie has gained a bit of a cult following, but Lynch was devastated by how it all turned out, claiming he didn't have total creative control over the finished product.

Fast forward to 2021, and filmmaker Denis Villeneuve was finally the one to do it. He made "Dune" a huge success. With a stellar cast and awesome cinematography and visual effects, his film premiered to rave reviews and took home six Academy Awards at this year's ceremony. Lynch came out in 2020 and admitted he had "zero interest" in seeing the new adaptation, still feeling hurt over how his version came out.

Will David Lynch ever revisit his version of "Dune"?

And now, in a new interview with the AV Club, Lynch is reminding us how much his "Dune" still stings, admitting he would go back and do things differently if he could. When talking about remastering his 2006 film "Inland Empire," Lynch was asked if he ever considered a new cut of the film. He said:

"No. But 'Dune' — 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."

Lynch's answer is surprising considering he has typically not even wanted to talk about "Dune" in interviews. But now, despite saying "it's not going to happen," he does have some interest in revisiting the movie all these years later.

Diehard fans of Lynch would no doubt love to see a new version of his "Dune," though with all the pain the director experienced as a result of the movie, we wouldn't get our hopes up.


Natalie Zamora

MORE FROM Natalie Zamora


Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Brief David Lynch Dune Movies Winter Is Coming