5:34pm PT by Michael O'Connell
David Lynch Makes Surprise TCA Appearance, Talks 'Twin Peaks' Revival
With Showtime finally rolling out its Twin Peaks revival, officially set to bow May 21, the network also was ready to put at least some of those involved in the hot seat on Monday — more than originally expected.
David Lynch made a surprise appearance at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour, as Showtime trotted out Twin Peaks' famously secretive director and co-creator for a quick Q&A. And, over the course of 15 very cryptic minutes, he offered a little bit of insight into what brought him to revisiting his cult TV drama, the creative process with scribe and fellow creator Mark Frost and what viewers might expect from it.
"I see it as a film," Lynch said of the 18-hour project. "And a film in parts is what people will experience. It was a joyful experience. This word 'expect' is a magical word. People expect things, and their expectations are hopefully met when they see the thing."
The 70-year-old filmmaker, who got both laughter and applause for his frequently blunt answers, resisted integration with the skill of a Navy SEAL. And when faced with spoiler-free questions, he often chose to wax poetic.
"I love this world of Twin Peaks," Lynch said when asked about how long he'd thought of bringing it back. "I often thought about what might be happening. It was Mark who contacted me, many years ago now, and asked if I wanted to go back into that world. We met at [Hollywood bar and grill] Musso & Frank and talked. And that's what got us going again for this one."
Lynch went on to say that he and Frost wrote the project together on Skype — Lynch from his Hollywood home and Frost in Ojai, Calif.
News of Twin Peaks' revival came in late 2014, and it did not arrive without drama in tow. Lynch briefly left the project in 2015, initially citing a money dispute, before reboarding prior to filming. He demurred when asked directly about the speed bump.
"I would rather not discuss that," he said. "All I can say is that [Showtime executives] David Nevins, Gary Levine and Robin Gurney, I love working with them. It's been super."
Reminiscing about the original two-season run on ABC in 1990-91, Lynch said that standards and practices was never an issue for the avant garde project, but creative interference from the network ultimately put it to an premature end after 30 episodes.
"What killed Twin Peaks originally ... "Who killed Laura Palmer?" was a question that we never really wanted to answer," he said. "That was the goose that laid these golden eggs. And at a certain point, we were told to wrap that up, and it never really got back going after that."
That was the bulk of the new information Lynch brought to the table. A sampling of some other answers include such single-sentence declarations as, "I love Laura Dern," "Mark is very smart" and "I hear heroin is a very popular drug these days."
Nevins began Showtime's day with critics by saying that the return of Twin Peaks is very much a one-off, but that might not be the case forever. Lynch was optimistically vague when asked about whether or not he would revisit the series again. "Before I said I wasn't going to revisit it, and I did," he noted. "You never say no. But right now there's no plan for anything more."