As Hollywood prepares for the release of Denis Villeneuve on his Dune reboot, we decided to take a look back behind the scenes of David Lynch’s original.
The film, written and directed by Lynch, is based on the 1965 Frank Herbert novel of the same name. Starring Kyle MacLachlan as young nobleman Paul Atreides, with an ensemble of well-known American and European actors in supporting roles, Dune was filmed in Mexico City and included an epic soundtrack by the rock band Toto as well as the enigmatic genius Brian Eno.
It’s an interesting film, to say the least, if only for the controversy which followed it. The picture was a critical and box-office flop, only taking $30million from a $40million budget. Lynch went on to distance himself from the project, claiming that pressure from the producers and financiers stopped his process—even denying him the final cut on the film.
With other major offers on the table at the time, in retrospect, Lynch accepted that making Dune was a mistake: “I started selling out on Dune. Looking back, it’s no one’s fault but my own,” he once said. “I probably shouldn’t have done that picture, but I saw tons and tons of possibilities for things I loved, and this was the structure to do them in.”
Despite Lynch’s disappointment in the project, the film remains one of the most ambitious science fiction tales in pop culture and still enjoys a cult following of fans and remains somewhat of a mysterious blip on the glittering CV of the filmmaker.
Among the star names to be involved in the film, actress Sean Young—who played Chani—carried around a Super 8 handheld camera with her to the set of the film and got some interesting shots of the cast and crew.
“It was an international crew, we all loved it, we were all happy,” the narration explains before describing Kyle MacLachlan as Lynch’s “personal pet” during film.
Watch the mini documentary, below: