Failure or cult movie? What exactly happened to David Lynch’s Dune

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The unexpected arrival of the coronavirus to the entire world completely delayed the schedule of major movie premieres. AND Dune it was one of the feature films that suffered the most. However, the truth is that now the wait seems to be closer to ending since it will have its premiere next October. In fact, the film starring zendaya and Timothée Chalamet has been presented this week at the Venice International Film Festival.

Directed by Denis Villeneuve, a science fiction expert known for films such as The arrival and Blade Runner 2049, has generated great expectations in moviegoers around the world. The reason? Well, it is not a film like any other. What happens is that it is a second version and the first was in charge of nothing less than David Lynch. The eccentric and prestigious American filmmaker is valued for works such as Twin Peaks O Blue Velvet, but not precisely because Dune. So much so that at the time of its launch it was a real failure.

However, it must be said that this is never synonymous with a movie being bad, good, or almost never. There are hundreds of examples of great films that have become cult films that when they were released were not exactly box office as in the case of Taxi Driver O Pulp Fiction. It is not always fully understood what a tape expresses so quickly. But, to be honest, it’s not what happens with Dune from David Lynch.

Kyle MacLachlan and Sean Young in Dune (Photo: IMDb)

Originally Dune is a homonymous novel that the writer Frank Herbert published in 1965. About 10 years later, after the success of the literary work, attempts began to take it to the cinema. From the beginning the family of Laurentiis She was interested in making a film adaptation, only that process lasted 9 years. The first director of the film was to be Riddley Scott, who was in charge of Blade Runner. However, after Herbert’s unexpected death and disagreements with the producers on the script, Scott stepped aside.

The failed work of David Lynch?

It was already the beginning of the 80s and the De Laurentiis had not given up on making a movie of DuneOnly now they had very little time left to keep the rights to the work, which were almost expiring. But they got away with it. Universal Studios approved the scripts and after some comings and goings they decided that David Lynch would be the director.

By then, Lynch, 35, had just come from directing The elephant Man, film for which he had been nominated for an Oscar as Best Director. Thanks to this film, his career began to gain a clear notoriety in Hollywood that stood out for its innovative and surrealist style little seen so far. Perhaps that was what most caught the attention of Raffaella De Laurenttis, daughter of Dino, who immediately proposed to him to be the director of Dune.

Despite not having a certain high interest in science fiction, the young Lynch accepted the proposal without imagining that it would later become a complete failure. The script was developed in conjunction with Eric Bergren for about 6 months and towards the end of 1982 they began filming. And maybe that’s where the problems began. Is that the project did not have a specific purpose or a well-defined identity, so while the producers had an idea about the film, Lynch and the scriptwriters others, which, by the way, did not know how to combine at all.

The synopsis of the film tells that the Atreides family must take over the exploitation of the planet Arrakis, known as Dune and previously ruled by the Harkonen. Thus an intense battle is unleashed between the two that is the center of the story. As for the cast, Lynch brought together actors like Patrick Stewart, Francesca Annis, Leonardo Cimino, Kyle MacLachlan and even the leader of The Police, Sting, for the film.

And there is more. The total budget of Dune it was more than 40 million dollars and they raised 10 million less, which was considered a huge loss for the studio when it was released. And one of the notable imbalances was in the montage, something like what happened with the first installment of Suicide Squad, just a few years ago. Here there were clear cuts of scenes with almost no concrete narrative structure.


Dune premiered in 1984 (Photo: IMDb)

So the Dune by David Lynch only got the odd accolade for its sound, special effects and the music of Brian Eno and the band This, but not much more than that. Fortunately, only three years later, Lynch managed to vindicate himself with Blue Velvet and somehow rebuilt his name. What is clear is that nothing wants to know with Dune as he claimed that he will not see the new version of Villeneuve.

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