Kyle MacLachlan believes that David Lynch’s Dune movie should have been a TV series instead of a movie. There has been a lot of debate on the subject with Denis Villeneuve’s big screen adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune arriving later this year. Villeneuve will be tackling the source material over the course of two movies, as opposed to just one, which many Herbert devotees find encouraging. With that being said, there are still more than a few who are skeptical about the project.
Any current interview with Kyle MacLachlan is going to bring up talk of Dune. “My feelings about it evolve over time. I look at it as a flawed gem. It’s stunning in so many ways,” he says. Agreeing with recent thoughts from Alejandro Jodorowsky, MacLachlan thinks it’s practically impossible to pull off the story on the screen. “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 card,” he says. In the end, the actor believes a TV series would have worked out best now, and for David Lynch’s take on the material. MacLachlan explains.
“I would lobby for three or more films, because it has that kind of potential to really open up. 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.”
When asked to go further about his thoughts on adapting Dune, Kyle MacLachlan continued to agree with Alejandro Jodorowsky’s recent words on the subject. Both men are interested in seeing what Denis Villeneuve was able to pull off, but both also remain a bit skeptical at the same time. With a story that is so beloved and so dense, it’s going to be impossible to please everybody. MacLachlan had this to say on the matter.
“There’s a mysticism about it that is difficult to capture on film… That, combined with a straight-ahead story, and characters that are really well-created. They’re full people, and you want to spend time with each one of them. And that eats up your film time. It’s a real puzzle. It’s just so many elements that you have to bring together. I remember that when I first started reading the book back in the day, I would get to about page 50 or 60 and then have to return back to the very beginning just to put all the players in place. There are so many relationships that are important to understand and know. To hold the stories of each of those so the audience can remember, it’s just almost impossible.”
The amount of characters in Dune has always been a part of the problem when adapting, or even reading the source material. As Kyle MacLachlan notes, there’s a lot going on within all of the characters and there’s not a whole lot of time to introduce each one in a way that is faithful to the book, which is also some of the same problems that Game of Thrones ran into at the start. For now, there is a lot of hype surrounding Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation.
We could end up seeing the first trailer for Dune by the end of this week. Star Timothee Chalamet has confirmed that the trailer will drop this month, but it’s unclear if it will be available online, or if it will only be in theaters in front of Christopher Nolan’s Tenet. Regardless, it’s only a matter of time before the world gets to see if Villeneuve is the one to break the Dune curse. The interview with Kyle MacLachlan was originally conducted by IndieWire.