David Lynch refuses to take any of his actors out of their original packaging.


David Lynch refuses to take any of his actors out of their original packaging.

DUNE

The Abridged Script

EXT. SPACE

FLOATING HEAD OF VIRGINIA MADSEN

The beginning is a time to shove 60 straight pages of ham-fisted exposition down the throats of your audience. Allow me to introduce myself as the emperor's daughter even though that's completely irrelevant and will only confuse you into thinking I'm somehow involved in the plot. Basically, my daddy rules the universe. Except he doesn't. He's actually a puppet of the Guild and the Bene Gesserit. Both of those groups rely on "Spice" to give them superpowers. Someday, the Bene Gesserit hope to use Spice to create the Kwisatz Haderach, the universe's superbeing, whatever the hell that means.

INT. EMPEROR'S PALACE

EMPEROR JOSÉ FERRER is chillin' with his Bene Gesserit weyotches when a bunch of FETISH GIMPS show up with a swimming pool on wheels. In the swimming pool is an enormous ORANGE CIRCUS PEANUT with tiny little embryo arms and eyes. This is a GUILD NAVIGATOR. And yes, if you haven't figured it out by now, this is a DAVID LYNCH movie.

EMPEROR JOSÉ FERRER

Welcome to-

FLOATING HEAD OF VIRGINIA MADSEN

Daaaaaaaaaaaad! I wasn't done yet! I forgot to tell you that the Spice is only found on the planet Dune, which is a huge desert filled with a bunch of religious fanatics, not entirely unlike oil in the Middle East, in case you were too dumb to catch that.

EMPEROR JOSÉ FERRER

But the Middle East is actually quite diverse in both culture and ecology, with–

FLOATING HEAD OF VIRGINIA MADSEN

OMG! You ruin everything! I hate you! Do your own exposition!

VIRGINIA MADSEN leaves the movie.

GUILD NAVIGATOR

Bad move, José. There's still a hour of exposition to go.

EMPEROR JOSÉ FERRER

It's okay. We'll just pretend its dialogue. For instance, did you know that I just ordered Duke Jürgen Prochnow to take over control of the planet Dune from Baron Kenneth McMillan?

GUILD NAVIGATOR

Of course. Everyone in our universe knows that.

EMPEROR JOSÉ FERRER clears his throat.

GUILD NAVIGATOR

I mean, how interesting. Why don't you explain to me why you did that.

EMPEROR JOSÉ FERRER

Well, the political structure of the Landsraad is unstable with the Guild and the Bene Gesserit propping up a figurehead monarch despite the surging popularity of the populist duke Jürgen Prochnow who-

GUILD NAVIGATOR

Holy crap, forget it! Can't we just say he's building a super weapon or something?

EMPEROR JOSÉ FERRER

Fine. He's building a super weapon, so I ordered him to move from his secure home world of Caladan to the impossible-to-defend planet Dune.

GUILD NAVIGATOR

And then you and Baron McMillan are going to sneak up on him and pop a cap in his ass.

EMPEROR JOSÉ FERRER

Exactly.

GUILD NAVIGATOR

Okay, here's the thing. Guild navigators can see the future. We strongly advise you to kill the Duke's son Kyle MacLachlan during your sneak attack.

EMPEROR JOSÉ FERRER

If you can see the future, then why don't you know that my troops will fail to kill him? Or that he'll team up with the natives and lead a revolt against me?

GUILD NAVIGATOR

Dude, that's not exposition! Those are spoilers! How about a "spoiler alert" next time, asshole!

INT. CASTLE PROCHNOW

KYLE MACLACHLAN is sitting at a Commodore 64 when FREDDY JONES, PATRICK STEWART, and DEAN STOCKWELL walk up behind him.

KYLE MACLACHLAN

At last, the plot begins!

FREDDY, PATRICK, and DEAN laugh heartily.

FREDDY JONES

Not even close. First we need to inform the audience about the giant sandworms on Dune, the native Fremen with their glowing blue eyes, our sonic-powered super weapons, the Mentat human computers, the–

PATRICK STEWART

Screw it, let's fight!

KYLE and PATRICK get in a KNIFE FIGHT with blocky CARTOON BODY SHIELDS that make them look like blurry rock-em sock-em robots.

PATRICK STEWART

Okay, back to the exposition.

KYLE MACLACHLAN

Hey, as long as we're explaining things to the audience, can you tell me why a sonic handgun is considered a super weapon when the emperor's troops all carry lasers?

FREDDY JONES

Uhhh... Why don't you go ask your mother.

Elsewhere in Castle Prochnow, Kyle's mom FRANCESCA ANNIS is hanging out with MOTHER SUPERIOR SIAN PHILLIPS, the head of the Bene Gesserit order.

SIAN PHILLIPS

The Bene Gesserit have a secret breeding program among the royal families, trying to produce the Kwisatz Haderach, which I remind you is the universe's superbeing. So far, the best we've been able to come up with is a pre-Twin Peaks Kyle MacLachlan and a Police-era Sting.

FRANCESCA ANNIS

You know, this may the only abridged script where the mock dialogue is no more blunt and stilted than the actual dialogue.

KYLE approaches.

SIAN PHILLIPS

So, Kyle... Wanna stick your hand in my box?

KYLE MACLACHLAN

Dude, my mom is right there.

SIAN PHILLIPS

Well, you seem to be good breeding stock, so I guess we'll try to save you from the emperor's sneak attack by teaching you the Jedi Mind Trick.

FRANCESCA ANNIS

Hey, Dune was using that trick a decade before Star Wars came out!

SIAN PHILLIPS

We also had a magical teenager stuck on a desert planet, whose his family gets killed so he joins a band of rebel warriors, and ultimately he discovers he's the secret descendent of the emperor's right-hand man. But, hey, who's gonna notice?

INT. CASTLE MCMILLAN

BARON KENNETH MCMILLAN is floating around the room while his nephew STING and Mentat advisor BRAD DOURIF mill about behind him.

KENNETH MCMILLAN

I'm Baron Kenneth McMillan! I'm ugly, fat, and gay! The trifecta of evil!

DIRECTOR DAVID LYNCH

Too subtle! Bigger! More evil!

KENNETH MCMILLAN

Okay, let me kill a random servant for no reason whatsoever while laughing manically! Bwa-ha-ha-ha!

DIRECTOR DAVID LYNCH

Sigh. I guess it'll do.

BRAD DOURIF

Behold my funky hand gestures! It will be the most interesting thing you've seen thus far!

KENNETH MCMILLAN

Thanks for taking the attention off my scenery chewing, Brad. I'm no longer the most bizarrely unnatural person in this scene.

BRAD DOURIF

It's what I do.

KENNETH MCMILLAN

We villains have our own bit of background to reveal to the audience. We have a traitor among Duke Prochnow's people! But I won't tell you who it is or when he'll strike!

CUT TO:

DEAN STOCKWELL

It's me. I'm the traitor.

CUT TO:

KENNETH MCMILLAN

Well, fuck. That was the only hint of intrigue this movie had going for it.

EXT. ARRAKIS. DUNE. THE DESERT PLANET.

DUKE JÃœRGEN PROCHNOW, PATRICK STEWART, and MAX VON SYDOW are flying over the desert. Fortunately, KYLE is also there or else that much badassery concentrated in one place would make the film BURST INTO FLAMES out of sheer awesomeness. It also helps that the vehicle they're flying in looks a STAR TREK SHUTTLECRAFT built by ED WOOD.

KYLE MACLACHLAN

Are you sure solid black, skin tight, plastic bodysuits are really the best outfits to wear in the middle of a scorching desert?

MAX VON SYDOW

Oh yeah, totally. All the cool Fremen are wearing them.

MAX gives DICK CLARK a HIGH FIVE off-screen.

You know, DICK CLARK from TV BLOOPERS & PRACTICAL JOKES. Google it, kids, it was the closest thing we had to PUNK'D in 1984.

MAX VON SYDOW

Okay, here's how Spice production works since you clearly didn't bother to learn the first thing about it before taking control of the planet. Look at me. Now look at the sand. Now look back at me. Those crawling GOBOTs in the sand are sucking Spice out of the sand. What's in my hand? It's that Spice you love. Now look at the sky. Those flying shoeboxes are looking out for worms. I can ride a worm. But you don't know that. Everything clear? I'm so glad you dragged me all the way out here to explain that to your lazy asses.

DUKE JÃœRGEN PROCHNOW

Iz dat a verm?

MAX VON SYDOW

Why are you the only person in the entire universe with an accent? At the very least, shouldn't your son have one too?

KYLE MACLACHLAN

If that's the biggest plot hole you're worried about, you really haven't been paying attention.

A GIANT SANDWORM rises from the desert and DEVOURS an enormous Spice harvester, and even if the special effect is a little dated, it's still FUCKING AWESOME, I don't care what you say.

INT. NEW CASTLE PROCHNOW ON DUNE

DUKE PROCHNOW discovers the dead body of LINDA HUNT, who has been MURDERED for no discernable reason. DEAN STOCKWELL sneaks up behind him and hits him with a tranquilizer dart.

DEAN STOCKWELL

Now it's my turn to bluntly explain things that happened before the start of the movie! Baron McMillan is holding my wife hostage. Therefore, I've agreed to sabotage our defenses and deliver you to them alive. Except this is all just a Rube Goldbergian assassination plot I've concocted so that you can kill Baron McMillan by breathing poison gas on him.

In a 30-second montage of bland and disjointed battle images, TEAM MCMILLAN takes over planet Dune from TEAM PROCHNOW.

KYLE MACLACHLAN

Wait, what? We lost already? But I didn't do anything yet! What kind of epic space opera is this!

DIRECTOR DAVID LYNCH

What did you expect? Heart-pounding battles? Visually stunning attack sequences? The tiniest bit of involvement by our main characters in the action? Bah! Any hack director can give you that crap. I'm David Lynch, damn it! Now let's get back to creepy people saying weird shit to each other.

BRAD DOURIF

Watch me move my hands like an autistic crack addict!

KENNETH MCMILLAN

I'm going to milk a hairless cat puppet!

DIRECTOR DAVID LYNCH

Awesome.

JÃœRGEN PROCHNOW

Das tooth.

BRAD DOURIF

(leaning over Jürgen)

What?

JÃœRGEN PROCHNOW releases his poison gas, killing BRAD DOURIF but missing BARON KENNETH MCMILLAN, who makes a DARING ESCAPE by backing away VERY SLOWLY.

FRANCESCA ANNIS

Quick! Use the Jedi Mind Trick on our guards so we can escape.

KYLE MACLACHLAN

(using his magic Jedi voice)

You want to rape my mother.

FRANCESCA ANNIS

Holy fuck! You can use "The Voice" to make him do anything you want, and that's what you came up with??

THE GUARD tries to rape FRANCESCA, but KYLE beats him to death first.

Then, KYLE and FRANCESCA steal a FLYING SHOEBOX and flee into the HEART OF A SANDSTORM.

FRANCESCA ANNIS

What are you doing? Nothing can survive a sandstorm!

KYLE MACLACHLAN

Nothing except the Kwisatz Haderach! For some reason!

EXT. DUNE

KYLE and FRANCESCA wake up in the WRECKAGE of their flying machine on the other side of the SANDSTORM.

KYLE MACLACHLAN

At last, the exposition is over! Now we can finally get this movie started for real.

KYLE leads the native FREMEN ARMIES to take over DUNE and the rest of the UNIVERSE.

KYLE MACLACHLAN

Wow, I thought that would be harder. And more interesting.

DIRECTOR DAVID LYNCH

How can this be? For I don't give a shit about the action scenes!

GEORGE LUCAS

Not as easy as it looks, is it, jackass?

THE END

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