David Lynch Blames Himself For Dune (1984) Failure; Says 'I Didn't Have Final Say'

Dune by acclaimed filmmaker David Lynch in 1984 could not satisfy critics and audiences alike. And the filmmaker thinks it his fault as he said that he had not a final say in the making of the film.

Published on Jun 16, 2024  |  12:18 PM IST |  40.4K
David Lynch Blames Himself For Dune (1984) Failure
Dune (1984) Failure(P.C.- IMDb)

When we talk about some gifted directors in the history of filmmaking, definitely David Lynch's name comes out. Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, Inland Empire, and his thriller series Twin Peaks are some of the standout craft of the filmmaker. But even he has career failure and that too from the movie he regarded as his most ambitious project. 

It is Dune (1984), an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s evergreen sci-fi novel series Dune. Even four decades after its release, Lynch finds it tough to digest this one of the worst failures, both in cinema's history and of course in his career.


David Lynch calls Dune his biggest career failure

This is not the first when David Lynch has opened up about his 1984 movie Dune. Now, he has said that the film went wrong because he was not in control of the film, though he was the director himself.

In a conversation with NPR, when the interviewer asked him about the biggest flop of his career, without taking any seconds, Lynch pinpointed his Dune movie. 

He openly admitted: “My film Dune. 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.”

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"And as it turned out, Dune wasn’t the film I wanted to make, because I didn’t have a final say,” he added. Lynch continued by blaming himself for staying with the movie despite knowing he ought to have asked for a final cut. "I died a death. And it was all my fault for not knowing to put that in the contract,” he remarked. 

Dune was his most ambitious movie

Whatever audiences or critics say, we have to give credit to Lynch for at least trying to make such a movie at a time when cinematical technology was a thing to rethink. 

But the movie was panned by critics which led the film to bomb at the box office. Lynch’s Dune received a 37% score on Rotten Tomatoes which is way too low if we compare it to Denis Villeneuve's latest Dune projects. Also, the movie only managed to gross USD 30.9 million whereas the budget was USD 40-42 million. 

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A few years back, Lynch talked about the adaptation during a Q&A video on YouTube and said that he is proud of everything but Dune. He further said that it is not only about taking pride in making a film but the enjoyment of making one. "I’ve enjoyed working in all these different mediums. I feel really lucky to have been able to enjoy those things and to be able to live.”

The movie stars Fallout actor Kyle MacLachlan as Paul Atreides alongside a roaster of talents Francesca Annis, Leonardo Cimino, Patrick Stewart, and co.

But, keeping all these aside, Lynch’s Dune movie paved the way for the franchise. He showed the world that Herbert’s books could be adapted for the screen. Later, the movie went on to become a cult classic and mega box office hit. 

Lynch’s Dune is now streaming on Netflix.

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ALSO READ: David Lynch And Chrystabell Reunite To Announce New Album Cellophane Memories; Everything We Know So Far

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