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Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’
Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson as Paul Atreides and Lady Jessicavia Warner Bros

Denis Villeneuve was ‘half-satisfied’ with David Lynch’s Dune adaptation

Given that Lynch himself deemed the film a ‘total failure’, that’s not a bad review tbh

Back in April last year, David Lynch admitted that he has “zero interest” in watching Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming Dune film, due to the “total failure” of his own adaptation. “It was a heartache for me,” he told the Hollywood Reporter at the time. “It was a failure and I didn’t have final cut. I’ve told this story a billion times. It’s not the film I wanted to make.”

Later that year, the Blue Velvet director expanded on his feelings toward Dune in a 40-minute interview on his YouTube channel, reiterating that it was a low-point in his filmmaking career. “I’m proud of everything except Dune,” he says.

Now, Denis Villeneuve has shared his thoughts on David Lynch, and detailed his experience of watching Lynch’s take on the Frank Herbert epic for the first time. “I’m a big David Lynch fan, he’s the master,” Villeneuve says in an interview with Empire, adding: “When I saw (Lynch’s) Dune I remember being excited.”

“But his take…” he goes on. “There are parts that I love and other elements that I am less comfortable with. So it’s like, I remember being half-satisfied.”

Apparently, it’s because of this ambivalence toward Lynch’s version that Villeneuve thought to himself: “There’s still a movie that needs to be made about that book, just a different sensibility.” He adds that he began seriously considering the possibility when working on Blade Runner 2049 with composer (and fellow Dune enthusiast) Hans Zimmer, who has composed not just one, but two scores for the new project.

Admittedly, David Lynch faced some pretty steep odds when directing his ill-fated Dune film. Despite bringing along future Twin Peaks star Kyle MacLachlan and some trademark Lynchian weirdness, the filmmaker was tasked with cramming almost 600 pages into a two-hour cut. He even hated a later, extended version of the film so much that he had his name removed from the credits.

Villeneuve has plans to sidestep some of these issues by splitting the Dune story into two parts, and has even hinted at the possibility of a trilogy incorporating the sequel, Dune Messiah

His first Dune film stars Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, the role previously played by Kyle MacLachlan (MacLachlan approves, for the record), and Zendaya as his Fremen love interest, Chani. Following a premiere at Venice Film Festival, it will be released in cinemas and streaming on October 1. Revisit all the worst (and seemingly cursed) attempts to remake Dune over the years here, and watch the new trailer below.