Mark Frost, the co-creator of the ’90s cult sensation Twin Peaks, told Sci Fi Now that fans of the series can look forward to 45 minutes of deleted scenes from Fire Walk With Me, the Twin Peaks feature film directed by David Lynch, becoming available soon.
“There’s a large chunk of the movie that’s never been seen because David [Lynch] had to cut it down to a more manageable length for release,” Frost said. “we’re hoping that sometime in the next couple of years we’re gonna be able to release those scenes. There’s about 45 minutes of material so that’s something people will be able to see pretty soon.”
While Frost didn’t work directly on the film, he remains friendly with both Lynch and his co-writer Bob Engels, which Welcome to Twin Peaks believes puts him in a position to know what Lynch has planned for the property.
The series originally ran from 1990-1991, and Fire Walk With Me was released in 1992. It was nominally meant to wrap up loose ends from the series but most viewers felt that all they did was deepen the mythology.
The movie’s only American home video release has been pretty bare-bones, and it’s not yet available on Blu-ray (neither is the show, although you can stream it on Netflix now).
A few years back, when a “Gold Box” special edition DVD box set was released of the original series, it was feature-rich but did not include the movie. In that box, it was actually planned at one point to include a Twin Peaks Season Three graphic novel that would have continued the story and tied up some of the plot threads left dangling by the series’s abrupt cancellation. Comic artist Matt Haley was the one who conceived the idea, which he was to draw from a script by Engels. In a 2007 interview, Haley described the experience:
Round about the time the first season DVD set came out, I rightly surmised they would be creating a boxed set of the entire show. I kept thinking, “Wouldn’t it be cool if somebody did a ’3rd season” graphic novel to coincide with the DVD set, which became “Well, why don’t I do it?”, so last September or so I started calling and e-mailing people I knew, asking idly if they knew what the rights situation was. I wasn’t really taking it seriously, it was just kind of a fun intellectual exercise that grew out of control. I finally got in touch with the right people at CBS/Paramount, specifically Paula Block, whom it turned out I had worked with on my very first comic project, “Star Trek” for DC Comics. She found out that they did indeed have the rights to do a Twin Peaks comic, but warned me up front that there was a ‘trail of broken hearts’ where Twin Peaks licensed products was concerned. Once I realized there was a chance of actually doing this, I understood I couldn’t do a Twin Peaks comic and just write it and put my name on it, as fans would want one written by somebody connected with the show, and Bob Engels (co-producer and executive story editor of the series) seemed a logical choice to write it, so I contacted him and he said if I could secure Lynch and Frost’s blessing, he would write the graphic novel.
Ultimately, Lynch scuttled the deal, whose representatives are reported as saying, ”While David respects the artwork and the effort put into this project, he just does not want to continue the story of Twin Peaks in any way.”
That, of course, throws into question just how open Lynch might be to releasing these deleted scenes…although if they truly were just cut for time, it could be a matter of Lynch, a notorious perfectionist, feeling that his vision was stifled by the studio. If that’s the case, the real question could be whether we see a feature-rich DVD with 45 minutes of extras…or a different cut of the movie altogether.
And then there’s the fact that Frost has often expressed somewhat more flexibility than has Lynch in terms of continuing the story. Even in the Sci Fi Now interview, he seems to imply that something more might come along down the line. Asked how long he and Lynch had hoped for the series to run, he said, “I know we were certainly geared up to do a third year. The number five always stuck in my head. I felt we had started something that – with our full attention – could have ran for five seasons. It was what it was then, and who knows what will happen in the future, so we’ll see.”