David Lynch sets the record straight regarding his mythical Dune cut

Dune David Lynch
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In a remarkable change of perspective, the filmmaker also leaves the door open to recutting Dune, which he’s effectively disowned for 30 years.

We can’t think of many other filmmakers that have washed their hands of a movie as consistently and vociferously as David Lynch and 1984’s Dune. Perhaps Fincher and Alien 3 might compare, but it’s a close heat. From as far back as 1984, Lynch has a longer history of denouncing and disowning his projects. Interest in 1984’s Dune has never really gone away, especially because of the continued belief that a rumoured six hour version of the film exists somewhere, a director’s cut that elevates the film to realise its true potential.

However, after decades of washing his hands of an experience which was clearly painful for him, Lynch appears to have softened his stance, telling the AV Club that “the thing was a horrible sadness and failure to me, if I could go back in I’ve thought, ‘well, maybe I would on that one go back in’.”

The news that Lynch would consider recutting Dune will certainly mean that the talk about a longer director’s cut will continue. However, the filmmaker is adamant that there’s no lost masterpiece lurking in a vault somewhere, admitting that he wasn’t happy with much of what he was shooting, even as he was shooting it.

“Yeah, I wanted to walk away. I always say, and it’s true, that with Dune, I sold out before I finished. It’s not like there’s a bunch of gold in the vaults waiting to be cut and put back together”, Lynch says. “Early on I knew what Dino wanted and what I could get away with and what I couldn’t. And so I started selling out, and it’s a sad, sad, pathetic, ridiculous story. But I would like to see what is there. I can’t remember, that’s the weird thing. I can’t remember. 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.”

It’s an interesting new piece of information that closes one door whilst opening another. Fans of Lynch’s Dune (and there are still many out there) may have to accept that there isn’t a version of the film that showcases the director’s ‘true’ vision, but the news that he’d be willing to come back and reassemble something approaching his story means that the legend surrounding this film will continue to burn brightly.

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