David Lynch says he'll "never watch" Denis Villeneuve's Dune movies

Originally published at: David Lynch says he'll "never watch" Denis Villeneuve's Dune movies | Boing Boing


I was excited to see Lynch’s Dune as a kid in high school. Then I saw David Lynch’s Dune. I had no idea that movies were allowed to stray so far from the story. I was bewildered and angry about it. Looking back, I still think it sucked. No amount of ‘fiddling’ by David Lynch is going to make that incoherent mess into a watchable movie because Lynch invented and inserted too much of his own bullshit.


I miss his daily number draws. This was his last one: TODAY'S NUMBER IS... 12/16/22 - YouTube

1 Like

I actually tried watching it again last night, since it’s currently on the Criterion channel. I had hoped that with older eyes I’d see in it something that I had missed as a 15-year-old fan of the novels in '84. Nope. It’s still nigh-unwatchable, a catastrophic mismatch of artistic agendas between Herbert and Lynch. I say this as a huge fan of David Lynch’s other work. He was just the wrong guy to direct it.

Having said all that that, it could’ve been worse: Jodorowsky could have gotten his crack at it.


Maybe He could give Akira Toriyama´s version a chance…


I’ll say this: Lynch’s Dune is much more of a visual feast than Villeneuve. I recently watched a fan-reconstruction of the 4 hour cut, and it’s still a narrative mess, but it looks amazing. They’re both dull, but at least Lynch gave me pretty things to look at.


If I’m flipping through the TV and I come across Lynch’s Dune, I just watch it. I think it’s a masterwork. It’s noisy, incoherent, disconnected, beautiful, visionary, and delightful.

I agree with most of the criticisms of the film – the story is hacked to pieces, stuffed full of exposition, and nearly meaningless unless you’re familiar with the souruce material, while simultaneously deviating from the source material to a profound degree. But in terms of sheer design and world-building, I think it’s the closest we could ever hope to see to capturing the heightened reality that defines Herbert’s future-feudalist world.

One thing that Lynch gets that Villeneuve utterly misses most of the time is the sense of register. A central theme in Dune is the idea of “a place for every person, and every person in their place”, which in a way is a defining characteristic of every aspect of the Dune universe. To that end, every character is always playing a very particular role all the time – filling a specific purpose in the context of the universe – and has to “turn on” that role, and speak and act with the mannerisms that go along with it. And I think Lynch has managed to capture that perfectly. The visuals, setpieces, etc., help to support that heightened sense of reality as well – every visual for each location and character is reinforcing the role that each component plays in this absurd world.

It’s perfect.


A movie with these scenes couldn´t be bad after all…


I do kinda love Gurney’s battle-pug. :heart:


I unironically love Lynch’s Dune and own it on DVD and watch it from time to time. Yes, it isn’t “faithful” to the book, but visionary directors often make a much more interesting movie that way. Stephen King may have not cared for Kubrick’s The Shining, but it is far and away the best movie based on any of King’s horror novels. I feel the same way about Lynch’s Dune. Yes, the recent Dune movie was more “faithful” but it was just so boring.


And the cat that needs milking!


Understand Captain America GIF


I’d also contend that a lot of the set and wardrobe design in Villeneuve’s version couldn’t have existed without Lynch’s.
I remember reading various opinions and reviews lauding the look of the Villeneuve movie and how it looked so much better than the Lynch movie, only to watch it myself and think “This doesn’t look that different to the Lynch movie at all”.

And Lynch’s production was a lot more inventive and a feast for the eyes.
Baron Harkonnen in particular is a lot more disturbing, with a lot more character in the Lynch movie.
I can close my eyes and see those sores weeping, and him flying around the room cackling, whereas I can barely remember any detail about the Villeneuve Harkonnen.

But then, I thought Blade Runner 2049 was dull too.
Maybe Villeneuve just isn’t for me?


One which doesn’t hold much weight, considering that only one half of Villenueve’s project has been released to the public.


Lynch’s Dune is a glorious mess that deserves more love. It’s just so impactful.


Man, I don’t know how often I randomly shout things like “Mood’s a thing for cattle and loveplay!” and “We’d have joined each other in death!”

That’s the other thing about this movie; it’s so meme-able.


“And how can this be? For he IS the Kwisatz Haderach!”


I should re-watch that movie. I remember liking the visuals a lot. I understand Dune in general is a deep dive sci fi series that the fans are very passionate about, like LotR, but is even less accessible for people who are only casually interested.

I do like some media that is derivative of it.


I like the SyFy channel miniseries. It probably does a better job of getting the story across than either theatrical version.

And hey, there’s a graphic novel too, or two thirds of one. Not sure if the third part is out.

But I still have never made it through God Emperor of Dune.


Wait, an auteur known for strong opinions has a strong opinion? You don’t say.

His loss. Villeneuve’s Dune is a masterpiece as it stands, and it only covers about a half of one of the books. Lynch’s was an interesting take, but the campiness really turns me off. It’s the most epic of sci-fi epics, and I like the more serious tone of Villeneuve’s take. Plus that Zimmer score, like, damn. I’m surprised to see that people were bored; personally, I only realized the movie was ending like 30 seconds before it did. I knew it was a long movie, but when credits rolled, my first thought was, “wait, are we already at the end?” Can’t wait for part 2.


I saw it in the first week of release, although I wasn’t one of the passionate fans. I saw the passionate fans walking out of the theatre in tears.