twin peaks negotiations

The Twin Peaks revival has already turned really weird, and the show isn’t even shot — but this may not be the kind of weird fans were hoping for. David Lynch bowed out of directing the series a few days ago, citing Showtime’s unwillingness to commit the proper money “to do the script the way [Lynch] felt it needed to be done.” That came as a surprise to his creative partner, Mark Frost, and also to Showtime. The cable network is still trying to keep Lynch on board, and the cast is clamoring for his return, but whether the Twin Peaks negotiations will pan out is still open to question.

Variety has a report saying that once the scripts for the show’s nine episodes were turned in, Showtime realized that it was all going to cost a lot more than was originally thought, and more than was agreed to. (We’ve wondered if Lynch’s desire to shoot film rather than digital is part of the budget issue, but there’s no confirmation there.)

Reportedly, Showtime was willing to lay out more money to cover the budget, but asked for concessions such as a diminished profit participation from Lynch and Frost. We don’t know how much higher the budget ran after scripts were delivered.

The Variety report says “[Showtime’s] David Nevins has reached out to Lynch directly to discuss the impasse over the series budget.” There are intimations of other efforts to keep Lynch on board. There are also suggestions that Lynch simply quit the series on his own, without talking to his long-time lawyer or anyone else connected with the project, including Mark Frost.

So questions remain. Will Frost stay on? Will Lynch return, and if he does not, will the series go on without him? Much has been made of the fact that Lynch only directed a handful of episodes in the original season, but Lynch was still a guiding force throughout. This time the scripts are written beforehand, which wasn’t the case with the original series, but even so, Lynch is viewed by many, including the cast, as an essential participant.

Meanwhile, here’s the video created by cast members lamenting Twin Peaks without Lynch:

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