The “Twin Peaks” Kerfuffle
After it was announced that Showtime was planning on a nine episode revival of the iconic show “Twin Peaks”, those plans hit a snag this week when David Lynch, acclaimed director and the series co-creator, announced that he would no longer be involved in the project. It had been previously reported that Lynch would co-write all nine episodes with co-creator Mark Frost, as well as directing all nine episodes. This aspect of the revival was not only a big deal for the devoted fan base of the original show, but also to any fans of Lynch, who hasn’t stepped behind the directors chair since the film “Inland Empire” in 2006. The media mayhem surrounding Lynch’s announcement, which has sparked the hashtag #savetwinpeaks, has lead to a great deal of confusion over what is actually going on with this revival.
Many of the reports I’ve read suggest that negotiations are still taking place, and that despite his announcement to the contrary, there is still a possibility that Lynch will be involved with the revival in some capacity. The reason for Lynch’s announced departure centers around a budgetary issue, as it appears the initial budget Lynch and Frost agreed upon with Showtime was well under what they felt they needed to fulfill their artistic vision. It has also been reported that Frost and Lynch have already submitted the nine scripts for the show, so it isn’t entirely clear what Lynch’s departure means for those supposedly completed scripts.
This media circus, which I think can be blamed on Lynch’s poor handling of things, has completely obscured the reality of the situation. Lynch’s decision to make all of this public has provoked fan outrage, which is muddying everyone’s sense of where these negotiations actually stand. This contract dispute is essentially about Lynch wanting more money, which is his own fault for not being willing to work within the initial budget that he had agreed upon with Showtime. Some reports have suggested that Showtime is willing to raise the budget if Lynch is willing to compromise and lower his own salary, which he doesn’t want to do. It seems clear to me that Lynch is being difficult here and that the outcry from fans, as well as the viral video posted this week offering an outpouring of support for Lynch from his cast members, isn’t really valid. For the fans who feel like David Lynch’s involvement as a director is imperative, they should remember that outside of the original pilot, Lynch hasn’t directed any other episodes of their beloved show. The fans who are angry at Showtime for what has happened should keep in mind that it was Showtime that first approached Lynch and Frost for the revival and not the other way around. Without Showtime, this “Twin Peaks” revival wouldn’t even be on the table. If this revival does ultimately fall apart, Showtime is not the one to blame, but instead Lynch for being unwilling to make the compromises necessary in pursuing his esoteric artistic vision.