Twin Peaks revival: 8 things fans need to know
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"Twin Peaks is a mystery that holds other mysteries," says David Lynch when asked to sum up his legendary TV creation in a sentence. So it's fitting that he wants to keep Showtime's forthcoming revival of the cult classic as Laura Palmer as possible: wrapped in plastic and full of secrets. He's doing it for your own good, you know! "People want to know right up until they know, and then they don't care," the director tells EW. "It's really beautiful and you go into another world not knowing what you're going to find."
Still, we can tell you some stuff. The 18-hour limited event series is "a feature film in 18 parts," says Lynch, who wrote the script with Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost over a period of three years and shot for 142 days over seven months, but not on Saturdays and Sundays. (Lynch doesn't do weekends.) The script started in the area of 400-500 pages, but it grew during pre-production, and more so during production, as the cast kept expanding. Lynch used digital cameras for the shoot. "Film is organic, it's beautiful, no two ways about it, it has a quality that I don't think has been surpassed, but there's so many drawbacks to it," says Lynch, whose movies include lovingly crafted celluloid masterpieces like Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, and Blue Velvet. "Digital has gotten to a good point where you can get a pretty beautiful thing, and there's a million things you can do with it. And even if you shoot on film, you're going to end up transferring it onto a digital format eventually. So digital is pretty beautiful, and it assures you you're going to have a chance of everybody seeing the same thing."
Watch the cast discuss the show's odd universe and the upcoming revival in the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN) special EW Reunites: Twin Peaks here, or download the free app on your Smart TV, mobile and web devices.
Angelo Badalamenti, a frequent Lynch collaborator who did the music for the original Twin Peaks, is doing the music for the revival. Lynch is a musician himself, and he plays a mean, home-made guitar. When I asked him if he'll be playing on the soundtrack, he said no, but then his producing partner, Sabrina S. Sutherland, corrected him. "There are a couple things."
"There are?" he asked.
"Yes, there are," she said.
He shrugged. "Okay, then maybe I did."
Here are some other things that might be true about Twin Peaks:
1. Everyone in Hollywood is in it.
Okay, that's not true at all, but it sure feels like it. There are 217 people in the cast, including most of the original cast. Notable omissions include Lara Flynn Boyle (Donna), Moira Kelly (who played Donna in the Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me movie), Michael Ontkean (Sheriff Harry S. Truman), Joan Chen (Josie Packard), and Piper Laurie (Catherine Martell ). Jack Nance, a longtime Lynch player (Eraserhead) who played Pete Martell, and Frank Silva, the set dresser whom Lynch famously cast on the fly to play BOB, passed away before the project was conceived. Notable newcomers including Laura Dern, Naomi Watts, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Monica Bellucci, Michael Cera, James Belushi, Tim Roth, Robert Forster, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, and more. Lynch won't say who the newbies will be playing, and it's quite possible many will have blink-and-you'll-miss-them cameos. The way some actors tell it, it sounds like some people called up, asked if they could be in the show, and Lynch said, "You bet!" Says Kyle MacLachlan: "I would hear stories from them about how they were heavily influenced by Twin Peaks, and so they wanted to be part of the new series, even if it was just one day of shooting. For others, it was about working with David because he is so phenomenal. It just kept growing." Asked who Vedder plays, MacLachlan says: "You know, I didn't know Eddie was there. But I think he sings."
2. That fan theory you like might be true. Or not.
In the season 2 finale of Twin Peaks, which ended up being the series finale of the show, Agent Cooper enters The Black Lodge and encounters the specter of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). "I'll see you again 25 years," she says. Then, after adding, "Meanwhile…," she strikes a vogue pose and freezes. The popular theory among fans is that the revival — which arrives nearly 26 years after the last episode aired — will retroactively turn the line into a prophecy. Put another way: The new Twin Peaks will be set in the present. Frost said as much in the early press about the project, and if you look at EW's first look photos from the production, you'll see there's no attempt to make the actors look anything any younger than they are. (Although we think it's odd that many of them still dress as they did back in the day.) But the official word from Lynch — clearly the lead creative pilot on the revival — is that you shouldn't assume anything about what you'll see on screen. He won't even confirm that the original cast will actually be playing their original characters in any real way, except for one: Kyle MacLachlan will reprise his role as FBI Agent Dale Cooper. Lynch himself will be in it, playing Cooper's boss Gordon Cole, or some version of him. "Gordon is a fantastic person," is all Lynch will say about the character. What's it like directing himself? Lynch laughs. "Gordon doesn't need much direction," he says.