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Denis Villeneuve doesn’t want to talk about Dune with David Lynch

The director’s Timothée Chalamet-starring adaptation follows Lynch’s self-proclaimed ‘total failure’ from 1984

Denis Villeneuve has previously discussed his mixed feelings about David Lynch’s ill-fated adaptation of Dune, released in 1984 and effectively disowned by the Mulholland Drive filmmaker. “I’m a big David Lynch fan, he’s the master,” the new Dune director told Empire back in August.

“When I saw (Lynch’s) Dune I remember being excited,” he said. “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.”

“There’s still a movie that needs to be made about that book, just a different sensibility,” Villeneuve concluded at the time. Now, decades into his career, he has made that movie a reality; his Dune, starring Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, is finally set to hit cinemas this month.

You’d think that adapting Frank Herbert’s sprawling sci-fi epic would give the two filmmakers plenty to talk about if they happened to bump into each other (even if Lynch can’t watch the new version due to the “heartache” his caused). In a new interview, however, Villeneuve has revealed that he isn’t interested in broaching the subject.

Saying that he doesn’t want to share his experiences on Dune with David Lynch, Villeneuve tells the Happy Sad Confused podcast: “If I was meeting with Lynch, I’d be more interested to talk about painting than Dune.” Since before he became a filmmaker, Lynch has also been a painter, as captured in the documentary David Lynch: The Art Life.

Either way, Villeneuve admits: “I’m not expecting to have that chance to share the experience.” 

Elsewhere in the podcast, he also discusses whether his interpretation of Dune is likely to garner more success than Lynch’s, keeping his answer pretty humble. “I don’t know if I succeeded, ok,” he says. “I have a very close relationship with the movie I made… I’m kind of proud of the movie, but it’s up to other people to judge. For me… it’s about the process.”

Last week, the final trailer for Villeneuve’s Dune was released, hinting at a sequel, which is already much-anticipated, but yet to be officially confirmed. The film will hit cinemas and HBO Max on October 22.