Twin Peaks Revival: David Lynch Out as Director, Showtime 'Saddened' But Will 'Hold Out Hope' He Returns

Twin Peaks Cancelled on Showtime

Diane, Twin Peaks‘ resurrection has hit a snag.

On the heels of series co-creator David Lynch citing “complications” going on behind the scenes, multiple reports out of WonderCon on Sunday claimed that the cast had been told that the revival as a whole was dead and wrapped in plastic.

Lynch came forth to set the record straight — that he told the cast he won’t be directing, as planned — in a letter to the Twin Peaks Festival fan page (and via a series of tweets):

UPDATE: Showtime, which originally said things were “status quo” with the revival, issued a statement Sunday evening after learning of Lynch’s statement:

We were saddened to read David Lynch’s statement today since we believed we were working towards solutions with David and his reps on the few remaining deal points. Showtime also loves the world of Twin Peaks and we continue to hold out hope that we can bring it back in all its glory with both of its extraordinary creators, David Lynch and Mark Frost, at its helm.

Kimmy Robertson, who on the ABC series played sheriff’s office receptionist Lucy Moran, was the first to react to the news, via her Facebook page:
Madchen Amick aka “Shelly Johnson” later tweeted her support for Lynch:

The Twin Peaks revival was announced in October, with Lynch and co-creator Mark Frost penning all nine episodes (which they have already done), and Lynch directing every installment. In January, it was announced that Kyle MacLachlan would reprise his role as FBI agent Dale Cooper.

But on March 14, at the “Between Two Worlds” exhibition in Brisbane, Lynch hinted that “complications” had arisen with the project. A day later, on the Aussie arts and culture series The Mix, he warned, “I haven’t returned yet. We’re still working on the contract.”

And just last week, TVLine’s Ask Ausiello column confirmed that the rumors about Lynch and Showtime not seeing eye-to-eye on a few contract points “were true.”

Given that Lynch and Frost’s scripts are already in the can, do you still wish to see the series make it to screen, albeit with a different director?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Joey says:

    Sounds to me like Lynch is just trying to milk Showtime for more money.

    • OR the two things are separate. One contract for the acquisition of the property to produce new installments, written by Frost and Lynch and a different negotiation for Lynch to direct.

    • Bob Backus says:

      Sounds to me like Showtime wants the show back the cheapest way they can. Hence and good/great script filmed to look like crap. There was a certain look to the show, and I guess Showtime want’s it filmed at Kmart.

  2. Tea says:

    Yikes. They shoulda finalized things before announcing it.

  3. Ken says:

    This totally sucks. He already wrote all nine episodes with Mark Frost so the story is already completed so Showtime can continue with another director. It just won’t have David Lynch’s signature directorial stamp on it. This sucks and i’m very confused as to why Showtime wouldn’t have locked down all contacts before announcing the show, and i’m very upset with David Lynch for being a part of the entire thing and then backing out.

    • WayneAdneyC says:

      Don’t look in the mirror just yet. You might find it’s two ways and the new director could give the show what what lynch would have even under tight budget constrictions…albeit with showtime’s money they should be able to do at least the special effects with what ABC’s version sublimely bedazzled us with, little man riddles, red curtains, B&W jagged floors in all. If Lynch is out they should at least ask him who he thought [director] would do the scripts, cast and overall show justice. Showtimes owes him that much at least if not finally giving in to his demands.

      • WayneAdneyC says:

        P.S. Maybe showtime should dump or sell the script, especially the latter. Here’s a hint, which station is HAVEN on? And whoever is running that show seems to be doing a outstanding job with it thanks to Steven King’s Novella “The Colorado Kid” and numerous key influences from his other novels as a basis and running gags for the show. Maybe that would be the better choice move it to another network… My vote SYFY.

        • WayneAdneyC says:

          Even more P.S. B.S., why not just get the author of the inspiration for Syfy’s HAVEN to direct it. Have you seen some of his weird stuff…i.e. Kingdom hospital or mini-series, Storm Of The Century and Rose Red. He knows how to drive a plot with even the minor of minor characters. Someone should email SHOWTIME and name-drop this awesome writer/director guy. He may be the king of Horror but he’s just one of us Nerdy Guys, lol.

  4. BrightLight says:

    I really wished they would have waited to announce the project after everything was hammered out. That way if it had never happened, I probably wouldn’t have known it could have happened anyway.

  5. Are people mixing up contracts for the show to be produced with contracts for Lynch to direct the installments?

  6. Ashley says:

    Not sure that I’m interested if Lynch isn’t going to direct.:(

  7. TV Gord says:

    I feel the same way Agent Cooper would if he were told they were out of cherry pie.

  8. Phillip says:

    Greedy and selfish.

  9. How does Showtime plan to do this without Lynch, himself?

  10. Mathias says:

    Twin Peaks (original series) had many different directors, Lynch was only one of them. But his own Episodes always stuck out as the very best, I don’t think there’s one single person, fan or casual viewer, who would disagree.

    We might still be getting Twin Peaks in the watered down, always slightly disappointing, version the show was in when other people directed. So much more disappointing now when we already were promised 9 new episodes directed by Lynch.

  11. Geo says:

    C’mon, Showtime. You’ll get more attention– and a better show– with Lynch as director. Unless he’s asking for a completely insane level of money, do the right thing and fund the show at a quality level. That’s better for everybody: Showtime, Lynch, and viewers.

  12. Et al says:

    I know there’s a lot of things in life that matter a whole lot more than a dumb TV show, but damn it if I’m not almost in tears over this news. For a massive Peaks fan, this is like being told you won the lottery and then months later being informed there was a mistake with the numbers.

    • Tim says:

      Exactly!!! so disappointing

    • Nik Matt says:

      Unless there was a mistake that you caused, you wouldn’t have to return your winnings. I suppose it would depend on the laws in the state in which you won, but they’d have a hard time prying past winnings out of my hands, that’s for true.

  13. Et al says:

    One more thing: it’s now possible we are living in a world where Coach gets a revival and Twin Peaks does not. This is the darkest timeline.

  14. dominique says:

    A Twin Peaks revival is NOT Twin Peaks without David Lynch. Showtime needs to do whatever necessary to get him back. Otherwise, pull da plug.

  15. Lizo says:

    Well this is a mistake. They get one shot at this; one shot to make something even as remotely as evocative as the first series.

  16. sarah says:

    No!!!! I’m currently watching twinpeaks to catch up on what’s happened….and I’m really enjoying it. Please please please reconsider it’s a fantastic show

  17. S McMary says:

    At the risk of sounding stupid, I’m a little confused by his statements. Does he mean that Showtime won’t give him (David Lynch) personally enough money to direct or they won’t give or allow him the budget he claims he needs for the show to succeed?

  18. I still have the cassette tape of both music and “Diane” comments. They are on CD. I might give this reboot a looksee, if it ever makes it to air…

  19. SJ says:

    If the cast is all still there and the episodes have already been written, I really don’t see the problem. Directing is such a small part of the TV experience for the viewer. It really doesn’t matter who does it now.

    • Mark Linott says:

      I agree. A lot of shows have great eps directed by someone other than the main showrunner. 12 Monkeys on Syfy is doing great despite none of its original creators (Chris Marker, Terry Gilliam, Janet and Sam Peeples) being at all involved with it.

      Granted, much more of TP comes from Lynch’s mind (and Frost’s), but he honestly strikes me sometimes as someone with great ideas who then has difficulty implementing them well, as with George Lucas. (Yep, that’s right, I compared your sacred cow to Lucas. Deal with it, fanboys.) It might actually, at this point, be a -better- show with a little less of Lynch’s direct involvement (ooooh, blasphemy)–similar to how Empire Strikes Back was a better Star Wars film because Lucas took more of a backseat–though for admittedly different reasons. (For one thing, Lynch can actually get all his actors to -act-, and yes I’m referring mainly to the SW prequels here.)

      Also–while the surrealism of TP arguably demands a certain style that in turn requires a certain amount of moolah–in the end it should always come down to: is there a good script? good plot/characters? good acting? All the creepy realistic FX in the world won’t save lousy acting or writing.

      Maybe Showtime is remembering all the money spent on Lynch’s “vision” while adapting Frank Herbert’s Dune and how that turned out….

  20. kenl says:

    When the show aired its finale way back when, my heart sank because that finale and it’s last scene practically begged for a season 3. Or, even if you are someone who thought that last scene made sense as an ending, there were way too many other cliffhangers. So, it was agony. But, wait, they did a follow up movie. And my heart soared until it sank. Not because of what the movie was, but because of what it wasn’t. And then 25 years of feeling as if this amazing show as an unfinished masterpiece and would always remain so. Until a few months back. Again, hopes went soaring. Until yesterday. My guess is that main actors might pull out, knowing David Lynch won’t direct.

    My question, though, is: was the hold up because of the money D Lynch was going to get personally? Or, was it because of money Showtime agreed to spend on the show itself? If we’re only talking salary here, then David Lynch’s comments re his doing the show the way he wants to do it, are disingenuous. If we’re talking money being spent on the show, I am more in his camp.

    But, Showtime went on a limb, and agreed to put on a 25 year old show and give Lynch more creative control than he would have gotten anywhere else. It seems they have a lot invested in getting it right. With all due respect to Miss Robertson’s tweet about how Showtime S_ _ _s, I applaud them for trying to get this back on the air.

    If its only about money coming to Lynch for directing, how about a middle ground compromise? He will direct the premier episode and the finale, and others will direct the middle ones?

    Time will tell if Twin Peaks is as dead in the water as Laura Palmer was in the pilot.

    So friekeng annoying.

    • Bob Backus says:

      I can agree with some of your comments, but as for Showtime going out on a limb- yeah right. It’s a real tough decision to bring back a show with a huge cult following, so huge, that when a house seen on it goes on sale, it’s still covered in the news! Considered this limb about as risky as eating vanilla yogurt.

      • Bob Backus says:

        Actually, now Showtime has gone out on a limb by giving every fan the fear that they’re screwing this up already!

      • kenL says:

        I hear what you’re saying. I don’t necessarily disagree completely, but why I say they went out on a limb, I say it because, the show is 25 years old. Yes, I loved the show, and many others did and do, but its far, far from certain how much of a “hit” it will be for Showtime. I also said “went out on a limb” as, from what I had originally read, they had given Lynch a lot of creative autonomy. I really don’t think bringing the show back in that way is as much of a safe proposition as you suggest.

        But, hey, this is only my subjective opinion.

        My bigger point, and maybe I didn’t express it well enough, is that Showtime already made the big decision….to bring the show back. Negotiating over how much to spend on a show’s production is part of the business, and Lynch should know that. I would be gobsmacked if Showtime had shortchanged production costs to such an extent as to make Lynch’s job impossible. But, again, I’m not there and don’t know.

  21. dman6015 says:

    Blame it on CBS head honcho Les Moonves.

  22. TJ Norton says:

    Anyone of substance will tell you that the aesthetic that surrounds Twin Peaks requires an art form that isn’t necessarily box office-budget-busting, however, it does cost money. DKL spoke about this at “Between Two Worlds” at the GoMA discussion and it remains the truth – it’s not about money – for him. The production budget, however, clearly needs a line-item boost to see the vision into reality.

    If people honestly think David is into this for himself, they obviously have no earthly idea about the man and his modus operandi.

  23. buggerbutt says:

    Lynch didn’t direct most of the series, so is it THAT much of a loss? He just wants more $ and this is a ploy to get it and to get more advance word out about the show. I love most of his work, bit he hasn’t directed a film in almost 9 years. They can get a million directors to get them that Fink feeling