David Lynch's 'Dune:' The Controversial Attempt At Frank Herbert's Masterpiece
What was David Lynch supposed to do with Frank Herbert's science-fiction epic Dune? What is anyone supposed to do with Dune? The book series is one of the most important works of science fiction of the boomer era, and it's not exactly a breeze of a read. Herbert's first novel in a long-running series deals with the intermingling of politics and religion, technology and the environment, and the way in which power can warp someone regardless of their intentions.
The task of turning this classic novel into an "adult Star Wars" is Sisyphean, and in 1984 audiences weren't ready for the experience. Upon its release the film was maligned by critics, but it's not like David Lynch wasn't trying to make a good movie. With a cast of heavy hitters (Kyle MacLachlan, Sean Young, Patrick Stewart, and freaking Sting of all people), music by Toto and Brian Eno(!), and just some straight up weird choices, Lynch made an interesting movie out of a story that was long considered "unfilmable."
Since the release of Dune in 1984, plenty of directors have contemplated or tried adapting this dense, allegorical novel, but none of them has come up with anything as interesting as David Lynch's film.