David Lynch Says He ‘Died a Death’ Over Not Having Final Say on 1984 ‘Dune’ Movie

David Lynch said his biggest regret as a director is not ensuring he had final creative say on how his 1984 film “Dune” would turn out.

“I died a death. And it was all my fault for not knowing to put that in the contract,” Lynch said in an interview with NPR published Thursday.

At the time, the filmmaker was sharing his thoughts on the biggest career failure that taught him the biggest lesson. And that’s when he mentioned how he opted out of requesting final cut privileges, which give directors authority over the final edited version of film.

“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. And as it turned out, ‘Dune’ wasn’t the film I wanted to make, because I didn’t have a final say,” Lynch said. “So that’s a lesson I knew even before, but now there’s no way. Why would anyone work for three years on something that wasn’t yours? Why? Why do that? Why?”

Lynch’s sci-fi adventure landed in Hollywood on Dec. 14, 1984, and boasted a star-studded cast including, Kyle MacLachlan, Francesca Annis, Patrick Stewart, Sean Young, Sting, Everett McGill and more. It was distributed by Universal Pictures and was later remade by Dennis Villeneuve. The first film and its sequel “Dune: Part Two” stars Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Josh Brolin and Rebecca Ferguson.

Lynch went on to make several other cult hits like “Mulholland Drive, “Twin Peaks,” “Inland Empire” and more.

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