Everyone maybe be fawning over director Denis Villeneuve's version of Dune, but it's important to note that, unlike Villeneuve, David Lynch's derided 1984 version was one that the filmmaker did not have full artistic control or final cut approval over. The latter fact allowed the studio, Universal, and producers to make changes that he did approve of. Despite being a critical and financial flop at the time of it's telease, the film has gone on to have quite the cult following In spite of that, 1984's Dune has garnered a significant cult following. In irony, the newer, more faithful adaptation has only increased the exposure of Lynch's film as both are available on HBO Max. And despite Lynch having disowned the film over the years, in a new interview with The A.V. Club, it turns out, if he was presented with the opportunity, he would be interested in revisiting Dune via a director's cut or other re-edit:
"Dune—people have said, 'Don’t you want to go back and fiddle with Dune?' And I was so depressed and sickened by it, you know? I want to say, I loved everybody that I worked with; they were so fantastic. I loved all the actors; I loved the crew; I loved working in Mexico; I loved everything except that I didn’t have final cut. And I even loved Dino [De Laurentiis], who wouldn’t give me what I wanted [laughs]. And Raffaella, the producer, who was his daughter—I loved her. But the thing was a horrible sadness and failure to me, and if I could go back in I’ve thought, well, maybe I would on that one go back in."
Even though the interview was about the remastering of his 2006 film Inland Empire, this just goes to show how the film has persisted in the mind's of fans. Not to mention given how original visions of initially critically panned films have become all the rage. While usually the idea of a film getting a belayed Director's Cut was exclusively a Ridley Scott habit, more and more have become curious to what other filmmakers tried to do before studio interference. The results are often improved products. Yes there are newer examples like Zack Snyder's Justice League but the list is endless. Classic examples like Robert Wise's Star Trek: The Motion Picture or Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America have seen revised cuts that showed the masterpiece visions that filmmakers originally had that were scarified for the sake of budget or pleasing studios. The most famous is Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate whose initial theatrical failure in 1980, following a chaotic and over-budgeted production, brought an end to the New Hollywood era and thus the end of auteur-driven cinema. An event that led to all the other films above being more constricted in the development process by the higher-ups than would have been. Yet, when a longer and more expansive cut was released of Cimino's film, it turned out to be a masterpiece.
This is all to say that while Lynch thinks it will never happen, it's a strong possibility that with enough noise, he very well could show what his vision could have been. Stay tuned!