Comparing of Denis Villeneuve’s and David Lynch’s ‘Dune’ films
After 26 years, an epic science-fiction story is being retold. Denis Villeneuve, with an all-star cast alongside him, is attempting to breath new life into Dune with an adaptation of the 1965 novel of the same name by Frank Herbert.
In 1984, with the world at his feet, the great David Lynch turned down the opportunity to direct Star Wars film Return of the Jedi and it began a series of questionable career decisions. The now-iconic 1983 space opera, which was eventually directed by Richard Marquand with the screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas himself, arrived as the third instalment in the original Star Wars trilogy and was met by astonishing commercial success alongside positive reviews. “I had zero interest,” Lynch once said. “But I always admired George. George is a guy who does what he loves. And I do what I love.”
However, after witnessing the success of the Star Wars project, Lynch was left with an itch he just couldn’t scratch. Shortly after, the filmmaker, who at the time had just been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director for The Elephant Man, was approached by Dino de Laurentiis who asked him to create a film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel Dune—which again threw Lynch outside of his comfort zone with the extraordinarily large budget. Perhaps spurred on by his decision to turn down Lucas, Lynch accepted the Dune job. Although De Laurentiis hoped it would be as successful as Star Wars, Lynch’s Dune turned out to be a major commercial and critical flop and would later see the Twin Peaks director dissociate himself from its existence.
While the original Dune was panned by critics, leaving Lynch with something of a stain on his glittering CV, the film has actually gone on to gain a cult following in the years that came after its release. Now, picking up the mantle, Denis Villeneuve’s hotly anticipated remake of the epic sci-fi film is due for release with lead actor Timothee Chalamet topping the bill.
The first trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s version of the film landed with aplomb and already whipped fans of sci-fi up into an extremely excitable frenzy at what is to come. The trailer offers up the first real glimpse of Villeneuve’s vision of the story and will show young Paul Atreides (played by Chalamet), the scion of the noble House of Atreides who has been tasked with ruling the desert planet Arrakis, also known as Dune.
The film may well be steeped in sub-plot and clever writing but Villeneuve’s version of the film will be a blockbuster. Huge battle scenes coupled with giant monsters and stunning landscapes means this film will be a treat for all, sci-fi fan or not. As well as being very clear on the destination of the film, we were also treated to a snippet of the soundtrack. With Hans Zimmer on board, there is no doubt that it will be impressive but his reimagining of Pink Floyd’s classic ‘Eclipse’ for this clip is sensational.
The cast has grown exponentially since the first announcement with the likes of Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa and Javier Bardem all being involved.
Despite Lynch denouncing his Dune project, Lynch was recently drawn into a conversation about his thoughts on the latest remake effort: “I have zero interest in Dune,” Lynch said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter without any consideration. He added: “It was a heartache for me. It was a failure and I didn’t have final cut. I’ve told this story a billion times. It’s not the film I wanted to make. I like certain parts of it very much — but it was a total failure for me.”
For now though, see a side-by-side comparison to explore how the old and new match up.