David Lynch almost directed Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

When is the time to do Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, creator George Lucas decided to think outside the box for his choice of director. Being a former experimental filmmaker himself, Lucas’s research naturally led him down offbeat avenues, and he eventually set his sights on surrealist author David Lynch. The enigmatic Lynch had already achieved the shock of the midnight movie eraser head and had most recently helmed the mainstream hit, The Elephant Man; both of these efforts made him a prime candidate in Lucas’ eyes to make Return of the Jedi as a crowd pleaser and a unique film spiced up with a few creative quirks.

Lucas had employed a similar strategy on The Empire Strikes Back selecting director Irvin Kershner — known for his character-driven short films like In the sandbox – and it paid off. The Empire Strikes Back arguably surpassed the original film in every way, so Lucas was right to seek out the talents of another offbeat filmmaker in an effort to surpass Empireis success. Obviously, Return of the Jedi was eventually helmed by Welsh filmmaker Richard Marquand after Lynch turned Lucas down. It wasn’t until nearly 30 years later that Lynch told the full story of how Lucas tried to convince the director to do the third. star wars film, and their first and only meeting to discuss the project is as bizarre and oddly humorous as any of Lynch’s own films.

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In 2009 at the Hudson Union Society in New York, Lynch described meeting Lucas to an audience. After receiving a phone call to tour Lucasfilm’s Northern California offices, Lynch assumed he had virtually no interest in directing. Return of the Jedi. He had a lack of interest in science fiction and only agreed to see Lucas out of sheer admiration for the star wars creator, whose dedication to cinema and art made a great impression on him. Thus, Lynch began his journey to Lucasfilm, which turned out to be more of a complex adventure than a simple journey. “It was amazing,” Lynch recalled, “first I had to go to a building in Los Angeles to get a special credit card and special keys, and then a letter came and a card.”

After acquiring numerous items and boarding a plane, Lynch traveled to his destination and eventually met Lucas, who had barely planned the new movie, but was more than ready to bombard Lynch with migraines. star wars Info. “He took me upstairs and showed me these things called Wookiees and (my) headache was getting worse… he showed me a lot of animals and different things.” Lynch’s growing migraine worsened as he observed some of Lucas’ eccentricities. “He then took me for a ride in his Ferrari for lunch…his seat was very far back and he was almost lying in the car.” He then recalled that Lucas took him “to a restaurant; not that I don’t like the salad but that was all they had. Before returning home, Lynch called his agent to tell him that he was not influenced by Lucas and that there was “no way” he could do the film.

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Darth Vader aboard the Death Star II in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Lucas learns of Lynch’s refusal on the phone the next day: “George, bless his heart…I told him that he should direct it. It’s his movie, he invented everything about that.” Lucas obviously went against Lynch’s advice and sought another director. After Steven Spielberg, Lynch and David Cronenberg proved unavailable, Lucas and producer Howard Kazanjian hired Marquand after seen his war movie, needle eye. Meanwhile, Lynch decided to embrace the sci-fi genre after all. He was hired by producer Dino de Laurentiis to direct the first film adaptation of Dunes, which ultimately failed at the box office and forced Lynch to return to low-budget films. It was for the best, as most of his later films were critically acclaimed.

Direction Return of the Jedi undoubtedly would have brought Lynch greater fame and fortune, but would likely have deprived audiences of his later, smaller films like blue velvet. Yet fans are still wondering what a star wars film directed by Lynch would have been like. With Lynch’s empty schedule and Disney launches star wars projects like never before, perhaps audiences will one day see the eccentric filmmaker step into the galaxy far, far away.


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