In speaking with Fangoria this week about the release of his latest movie, veteran character actor Ray Wise revealed that he was indeed reprising his role as Leland Palmer for some kind of something Twin Peaks related, filmed by series co-creator David Lynch. “Yeah, we [shot the promo for the Blu-ray] two days ago. It’s been done. I don’t know if I was supposed to leak that to anybody, but yeah, we did it and I’m not at liberty to say what was done. I can say that it’s going to be a big surprise.”
This seemingly ends a year’s worth or rumors and denials that something new was brewing in the world of Twin Peaks from series creators David Lynch and Mark Frost. If Wise is involved, which other cast members were involved? And just what exactly finally convinced David Lynch to come back to the world of Twin Peaks? The owls are indeed NOT what they seem.
The rumors began in earnest around January of 2013, when an anonymous source on 4chan reported that Twin Peaks was coming back via NBC. It’s fair to say no one really bought that rumor as fact, but it got tongues wagging anyway. NBC denied it pretty quickly, but said it was something they wish they were doing. After their experience with ABC two decades ago, both Lynch and Frost swore off network television, so the NBC rumors never rang true. What really got people talking was when USC School of the Cinematic Arts hosted a several month long tribute to Twin Peaks, with one of the largest cast reunions of the show ever. Series co-creator Mark Frost, who was a guest on the first night of the event last January, raised everyone’s eyebrows when a fan asked him if any of the rumors of Peaks’ return were true. All he said (and in a very carefully calculated manner) was “All I can say is…Twin Peaks is an ongoing story…and that comes from both me and David.” After the audience oohed and ahhed, it started yet another “Twin Peaks is coming back” avalanche of internet rumors. When the president of Netflix was asked if they’d consider bringing back the show, the answer was “absolutely!”
All of these theories were then squashed when David Lynch’s daughter Jennifer Chambers Lynch (who wrote The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer back in the day) informed an audience in May that her father informed her that all this talk was 100% not true. And that, as they say, was that. Straight from the horse’s mouth. Except it wasn’t the end of the rumors. Word came down late last year that CBS Home Video was going to finally release the entire series on Blu-ray, but also including the theatrical prequel film Fire Walk With Me as part of the package for the first time. Most importantly, it was said that some forty-five minutes of footage from the movie, most including cast members from the television series that were cut from the final film, were to be finished and included in the set as well. For over twenty years these deleted scenes have been like the Holy Grail for Twin Peaks fans, but have been kept from view due to a variety of legal entanglements. It seems, if scuttlebutt is to be believed, these entanglements have been resolved.
And then last week came the most incriminating evidence that something new Twin Peaks-related was coming with regard to this Blu-ray release. Bleeding Cool reported that a casting call had gone out from Sande Alessi Casting through Facebook and Twitter for a Twin Peaks promo shoot directed by David Lynch himself, apparently for the upcoming Blu-ray set. Lynch was apparently looking for a “young and busty brunette or redhead with an amazing body” to play a waitress. Once again, this made the rounds from the UK’s Daily Mail to the Boston Globe to The Wrap reporting the same story. And then, series co-creator Mark Frost took to Twitter and seemingly debunked the whole thing, saying only “Another strange baseless rumor.” Didn’t look like there were many ways to interpret that comment. Cut to this week: Fangoria managed to get this nugget of info out of actor Ray Wise, best known for playing Laura Palmer’s grieving father Leland Palmer on the show. He confirmed that indeed… something had been shot by Lynch this week, and it was Twin Peaks related.
So just what is this “promo?” It’s hard to believe that CBS Home Video got David Lynch to film just a commercial for the Blu-ray set with actual actors from the series. They could have had anyone do that, and probably for a lot less money. If it is true, then it is more likely that Lynch has been convinced to shoot a new short film of some kind for the box set. An epilogue maybe? The series ended on something of a massive cliffhanger for the character of Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), a cliffhanger that the series’ final episode overtly hinted might be resolved a quarter century later, when the spirit of Laura Palmer tells Agent Cooper “I’ll see you again in 25 years.” (Although the series aired from 1990-1991, the events of the series took place from February 24th to March 27th, 1989.) Well, the rumored release date of the Blu-ray is set for March 25th, 2014. It’s as damn close to “25 years later” as it gets. There could be no greater way to get jaded fans to double-dip and upgrade their old DVD box sets for a Blu-ray set than having some sort of new conclusion to the series be a part of the deal.
If this is indeed going to happen, it’s got to be now or never. The twenty-five year mark is almost upon us, and most of the players are all still alive and kicking. And let’s be honest – who knows for how long. Let’s hope this marks and end to the rumors and Lynch and Frost finally give Peaks fans some kind of closure after all these years.