Movie Reviews

"All My Fault": Dune Director Shares Major Regret For 1984 Sci-Fi


  • David Lynch shares that one of his biggest regrets with 1984’s
    is not pushing for final cut.
  • Lynch reveals that he wasn’t able to make the version of
    that he wanted to, and he takes responsibility for not putting final cut in his contract.
  • 1984’s
    earned mostly negative reviews from critics and was a notable box office bomb.

David Lynch shares his one major regret with 1984’s Dune. Based on the 1965 novel by Frank Herbert, Lynch’s Dune starred Kyle MacLachlan as Paul Atreides, chronicling the young lord’s fight against the villainous Harkonnens on the planet of Arrakis. The film was infamously divisive, earning mostly poor reviews from critics and failing to make any kind of impact at the box office.

During a recent interview with Rachel Martin for NPR’s Wild Card podcast, Lynch reflects on his experience making Dune. The director is asked about the failure that he learned the most from during his career, and he quickly mentions his troubled 1984 adaptation, revealing that one of his biggest regrets with the film is not pushing for final cut. Check out Lynch’s full comment below:

“My film
. I knew already one should have final cut before signing on to do a film. But for some reason, I thought everything would be OK, and I didn’t put final cut in my contract. And as it turned out,
wasn’t the film I wanted to make, because I didn’t have a final say.

“So that’s a lesson I knew even before, but now there’s no way. Why would anyone work for three years on something that wasn’t yours? Why? Why do that? Why? I died a death. And it was all my fault for not knowing to put that in the contract.”

The Failure of 1984’s Dune Explained

David Lynch’s Adaptation Didn’t Connect With Audience Or Critics

Herbert’s Dune has long been considered unadaptable, and one of the major reasons for this is just how badly Lynch’s version was received. The film wasn’t a hit with critics, and its score on Rotten Tomatoes is a lackluster 37%. Reviews varied, but the consensus is generally that, unlike Denis Villeneuve’s acclaimed Dune movies, Lynch’s version doesn’t capture the grandiosity or epic scope of Herbert’s story.

The Rotten Tomatoes audience score for Herbert’s Dune is a more respectable 65%, suggesting general moviegoers enjoyed the film more. Rotten Tomatoes wasn’t around at the time of the movie’s release, however, meaning, unlike the critics’ score, which does take into account reviews written in 1984, the audience score will have come from viewers experiencing the film sometime after the website’s founding in 1998.


Why A David Lynch’s Director’s Cut Of Dune Will Never Happen

Despite continued interest in the film, director David Lynch will never revisit his 1984 Dune movie. Here’s why there won’t be a director’s cut.

Audiences, at least at the time, weren’t really connecting with Lynch’s Dune, and the film was a notable box office failure. Made on a budget of about $45 million, the sci-fi film made only $30.9 million worldwide. It’s not known if Lynch having final cut would have drastically improved things for 1984’s Dune, but it’s clear that the director certainly has some big regrets about the film.

Source: Wild Card/ NPR

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