David Lynch Now Wants A Director's Cut Of Dune, But Doubts One Will Actually Happen

David Lynch's 1984 adaptation of the Frank Herbert novel "Dune" was weird. It's campy and shoves way too much into the runtime, and I love every second of it. Denis Villeneuve's 2021 version of the first half of the classic sci-fi novel is brilliant and beyond stunning, and I love that in a very different way, but there is something just so Lynchian about the first "Dune" that you cannot watch it without joy. Perhaps also with a few head tilts like a dog hearing a weird sound, but joy nonetheless. 

Lynch's "Dune" starred Kyle MacLachlan as Paul Atreides in his very first film, and what a film it was. Overdramatic dialogue, Sting in the very Sting-iest performance as Feyd-Rautha, Sir Patrick Stewart at the same age he is now (because the man is frozen in time) as Gurney, Sean Young as Chani, music by Brian Eno and Toto ... it's pretty much perfect in its oddness. Though for the longest time, Lynch thought the exact opposite — "Dune" was famously one of the only films in Lynch's filmography that he wished to disown. Until now. In an interview with the AV Club, Lynch revealed that he's open to doing a director's cut of his 1984 film. Lynch, however, doesn't think it's ever going to happen. 

Fear is the mind-killer

In the interview, Lynch was asked about reworking his "Inland Empire," and though he said he hadn't considered that, he did mention "Dune." He said:

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.

Wait, no! I don't like to think of Lynch having "horrible sadness" about this film. I mean, it's bizarre and strange, but sir, you are David Lynch. This is what I expect from you. I also hardly expect perfection in sci-fi outside of "Star Wars" from the 1980s. It's not that there weren't wonderful films or shows. It's just that there has been a long tradition of weird and oddly goofy sci-fi, and this was part of it. 

Think about the strangeness of "They Live," or "Zardoz." What about "The Running Man?" "Enemy Mine," "Tron" ... it's all extremely silly and weird, and films like this occupy a special place in the hearts of sci-fi fans. Why would you be "depressed and sickened" by "Dune?"

'It's not going to happen'

Alas, Lynch continued by saying, "Yeah, but I mean, nobody's ... it's not going to happen." I don't know about that, with everyone using "Fear is the mind killer" as a hand-washing count during the pandemic, and the popularity of Villeneuve's film getting people back into the novel series. I love the original with all my heart, but I could 100% see this happening.

As much as I don't want him to change a single beat, if it's coming from his head and we still have the original, it might be fun to see what he'd change. However, he said he "sold out before I finished," and, "It's not like there's a bunch of gold in vaults waiting to be cut and put back together." He also said he can't remember what is there, so hey, maybe there is something there to play with. He added, "And so it might be interesting — there could be something there. But I don't think it's a silk purse. I know it's a sow's ear." 

Aw, Mr. Lynch, no. Not every film has to be serious high art. There is an art to films like this as well. The world would be a very depressing place if nothing was silly and colorful. There is a place for all things, your "Dune," and Denis Villeneuve's "Dune." One might not exist without the other. I hope at some point you can take as much pleasure in what you've created as you've given all of us.