TV Guide, Sept. 29 - Oct 5
License to "Drive"

It's Been a Twisted Road to the Screen for Lynch's "Mulholland."

driv1.jpg The most hotly anticipated TV series of 1999 finally premieres October 12 - in movie theaters. Director David Lynch began shooting "Mulholland Drive" as a pilot for ABC, which had aired his cult classic Twin Peaks in 1990 and '91. But the new series died as mysteriously as Peak's Laura Palmer.

Network executives objected to a number of scenes in Lynch's two-hour pilot and demanded major cuts before ultimately bailing on their $7 million investment. "ABC saw it and hated it, said they didn't want it," says Lynch. "That turned out to be a blessing." Studio Canal Plus in France bought the rights and doubled the director's budget for a feature-length version. Lynch went ahead and finished "Mulholland Drive," about an amnesia-stricken women's (former Miss USA Laura Elena Harring, above) efforts to discover her own identity. But reviews have been mixed. One, in the Vancouver Sun, said that moviegoers will "walk away wondering what the heck the movie was about," Despite that, Lynch shared the best director award at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

Still, he says the experience has soured him on TV projects. "Oh, yeah, but I never wanted to do it anyway," Lynch insists. "I'm just a sucker for a continuing story."

- Eamon Lynch

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