While it’s still on the schedule for December, it’s unclear if this year will finally bring Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” to theaters. However, that uncertainty isn’t going to prevent us from talking about the sci-fi epic and how it relates to David Lynch’s, uh, unique version from 1984. And thankfully, we have Kyle MacLachlan, who starred Lynch’s “Dune,” to talk about the issues with adapting the classic novel and why he’s not so sure a feature film is the way to go.
Speaking to IndieWire, MacLachlan was asked about his thoughts on Lynch’s “Dune.” The filmmaker has famously said that he’s not proud of that feature and doesn’t really consider it as part of his filmography. Hell, he even wanted his name removed from it before it was released. But MacLachlan has more gentle thoughts regarding the sci-fi feature.
“My feelings about it evolve over time. I look at it as a flawed gem,” MacLachlan explained. “It’s stunning in so many ways. As a story, and trying to recreate that story, it’s almost impossible. It’s incredibly dense, and a little bit like a house of cards. If you leave out one element of the story or another, the structure tends to wobble, and you don’t get the full effect.”
When it comes to the upcoming film starring Timothee Chalamet in the role that MacLachlan inhabited decades prior, the actor is “curious” what director Denis Villeneuve is able to accomplish, but feels like a film version of “Dune” is already handicapped.
“I would lobby for three or more films because it has that kind of potential to really open up,” said MacLachlan. “In my imagination, I always thought it would be great to approach it like a ‘Game of Thrones’ model, where you have seasons, or at least a 10-part series, or a 12-part series. You could really go from beginning to end.”
Of course, the series version of “Dune” (as well as its sequels, “Dune Messiah” and “Children of Dune”) was released back in 2000. At that time, they were just Syfy originals and didn’t have the blockbuster budgets of the film adaptations. That being said, many consider them to be the best adaptation of the source material to date. Obviously, that’s without seeing Villeneuve’s film.
And the filmmaker does have plans for at least two “Dune” features. The film that is set to arrive in December is said to only showcase the first half of Frank Herbert’s original novel. And so, with a two-part approach to the book, perhaps the upcoming films will occupy a happy medium between Lynch’s version and the Syfy channel series.
“Dune” is set to arrive in theaters on December 18.