Dennis Villeneuve’s Dune isn’t the only film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel getting a 4K release this year. That’s because the original adaptation, made in 1984 by a young David Lynch, is getting a limited edition 4K Blu-ray release on August 30th. The film was both a critical and box office bomb that Lynch later disowned, but it’s also a fascinating historical artifact and sci-fi cult-classic.
Arrow Films, the distributor handling the release, says the 4K restoration is sourced from the film’s original camera negative, scanned at 4K 2160p and mastered in Dolby Vision HDR. It also includes uncompressed stereo audio and a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround sound mix.
There are two versions of the 4K release available to pre-order: a standard edition containing the film along with a bonus disc of extra content, and a steelbook edition which adds a third non-4K Blu-ray disc containing the HD version of the film. Extra features include brand new audio commentaries (from film historian Paul M. Sammon and podcaster Mike White), a new feature-length documentary, and mix of new and old featurettes. It will be available to buy in the UK, US, and Canada when it releases next month.
It’d probably be an understatement to say the original Dune got a mixed reception upon its release. Critic Robert Ebert called it “an incomprehensible, ugly, unstructured, pointless excursion into the murkier realms of one of the most confusing screenplays of all time.” But the story of how it came to be is fascinating, with Ridley Scott being attached to direct at one point before he dropped out and directed Blade Runner instead. Vulture has a good timeline of the struggles various filmmakers have been through over the years trying to adapt the novel.