The first photos from Denis Villeneuve’s Dune arrived online last week, giving eager cinephiles their first look at the filmmaker’s ambitious new adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic. While Film Twitter excitedly weighed in on one of this year’s most anticipated releases (fingers crossed), there was one person who unsurprisingly kept quiet: David Lynch. The brilliant and enigmatic filmmaker mounted his own ambitious adaptation of Herbert’s novel, resulting in the poorly-received 1984 film starring frequent collaborator Kyle MacLachlan. Lynch has made his feelings about Dune well-known on numerous occasions, but that didn’t prevent The Hollywood Reporter from revisiting the subject in the latest installment of “How I Live Now,” in which the trade interviews various creatives about how they’re coping with life during quarantine.
As you might imagine, Lynch is adjusting just fine. In fact, not much has changed for the director, who already spent much of his time at home before the public was ordered to shelter in place. “I like isolation,” Lynch says, adding that he’s been working on various solo projects and practicing Transcendental Meditation—a technique he’s supported for many years. The filmmaker had quite a bit to say about TM, but when asked if he’d seen the photos from Villeneuve’s Dune, his response was comparatively brief and direct: “I have zero interest in Dune,” Lynch said. Rather than leave it at that, the interviewer pressed Lynch to elaborate, resulting in this comic exchange:
Because it was a heartache for me. 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. I like certain parts of it very much — but it was a total failure for me.
You would never see someone else’s adaptation of Dune?
I said I’ve got zero interest.
HE SAID WHAT HE SAID.
On the subject of rumors surrounding a potential new project at Netflix, Lynch’s response was similarly on-brand: “It’s a rumor that even if it was true—there’s nothing happening.” The filmmaker was more interested in discussing humanity’s eventual emergence from the COVID-19 lockdown and what that might look like, sharing this very optimistic perspective:
I don’t know how it’s going to unfold, but I think Mother Nature is playing a big role in what’s going on. They say from the satellite pictures they see things are way cleaner in the world, because people aren’t out polluting so much. And it’s a quieter, peaceful, cleaner, friendlier world, in a way. I think that people are going to come out of this different than they went in. There are many people that want to go back to work now, and I don’t think it’s going to be that easy. I think this is going to last long enough to kind of instill a change in people. And I think on the other side it’s going to be more spiritual, kinder, friendlier, more caring for one another, very exciting for inventions and cures for problems. And it’s going to come out to be a really, really great world.