Denis Villeneuve Talks ‘Blade Runner 2,’ Says He’d Love to Remake ‘Dune’
Based on the overwhelmingly positive reviews out of TIFF (including this one from our own Matt Singer), Arrival is yet another stunning film from director Denis Villenueve, who has consistently impressed critics and audiences since crossing over into the mainstream with 2013’s Prisoners. Villeneuve is currently in production on Blade Runner 2, which hits theaters in 2017 and stars Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford. In a new interview, the director reveals an interesting piece of info about his sequel to Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic, and talks about the other major sci-fi project he’d like to tackle.
While Villeneuve has no new plot details to offer about the untitled Blade Runner sequel in his recent interview with Variety, he does reveal something rather interesting:
I agreed to do it because the producers behind Blade Runner [Broderick Johnson, Andrew A. Kosove] are two friends. I made Prisoners with them, and I knew the environment they would create around me would be very secure. I don’t really have final cut on it. The thing I realized about final cut, is it’s the power of the best cut. I didn’t have final cut on Prisoners, but what you saw is the best cut. Sicario is a directors’ cut, Arrival is a directors’ cut. I cannot talk about it, I will see. My relationship with the people I am working with is very strong. At the end of the day what will win is the best movie.
Not only is Ridley Scott producing the Blade Runner sequel, he also has final cut authority — depending on how you feel about Scott’s various cuts of the original, that could be good news or slightly worrisome. Ultimately, final cut is, as Villeneuve explains, “best cut,” which means his version could still win out; the final cut of Prisoners wasn’t entirely his, and it was still surprisingly great for a fairly direct dramatic thriller.
Elsewhere in the interview, Villeneuve reveals another major sci-fi project he’d love to make: A new adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune. But the director isn’t holding his breath, as securing the rights might prove quite difficult — after Peter Berg and Pierre Morel both failed to develop respective remakes, Paramount lost the rights and they reverted back to the author’s estate:
I had been wanting to do sci-fi for a very long time. 2001: A Space Odyssey is a movie that really impressed me as a teenager. And also Blade Runner. And Close Encounters of the Third Kind is also one of my favorites. I’m always looking for sci-fi material, and it’s difficult to find original and strong material that’s not just about weaponry. A longstanding dream of mine is to adapt “Dune,” but it’s a long process to get the rights, and I don’t think I will succeed. Also I would love to write something myself. I have two [sci-fi] projects right now that are in very [early] stages. It’s too early to talk about them.
I’d honestly love to see Villeneuve direct more original projects instead of rehashing classic stories, but I can’t help but be curious about his take on Dune, which was first adapted by David Lynch.
For now, we have Arrival to look forward to in a couple of months, as Villeneuve’s new sci-fi drama hits theaters on November 11. His Blade Runner sequel, which also stars Robin Wright, Jared Leto and Dave Bautista, arrives on October 6, 2017.