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David Lynch pulls out of Showtime's Twin Peaks. What happened?

Joshua Rothkopf
Written by
Joshua Rothkopf

Fans of David Lynch let out a collective shriek yesterday when the filmmaker announced via Twitter that he would be withdrawing from Showtime's new season of Twin Peaks, planned for 2016. (Apart from a number of shorts and shooting a Duran Duran concert, the TV show would have been Lynch's first long-form work since 2006's Inland Empire.) Over four tweets, the director indicated that he was calling his actors to break the bad news, stating that he left "because not enough money was offered to do the script the way I felt it needed to be done." Lynch also expressed disappointment: "I love the world of Twin Peaks and wish things could have worked out differently."

This throws the future of Showtime's much-buzzed reboot into question. It's hard to speculate on the precise nature of Lynch's dissatisfaction with the script (earlier reports said that the scripts for all nine episodes were finished). And Showtime, in a formal statement of reaction issued Sunday, is leaving some room for a change of heart: "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."

Lynch, who survived both Dune (a lesson) and the near-scrapping of Mulholland Drive (a triumph over adversity), certainly knows how to play the game with producers. He may be trying to mobilize his 2.4 million Twitter followers to gather support as he privately returns to the negotiation table. In any case, a Lynch-free Twin Peaks makes about as much sense to us as, well, the weirdest David Lynch moments from his movies.

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