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Denis Villeneuve talks waking up at night thinking about Blade Runner 2049 and why he’ll never make a sequel to another director’s work again


As Denis Villeneuve prepares for the release of his Dune sequel, he talks about another filmmaker’s sequel and how it affected him.

Blade Runner 2049, Denis Villeneuve

Denis Villeneuve is currently the man of the moment. He has one of the most anticipated films of the year coming out this week to an overwhelmingly positive initial response. Dune: part two is already being praised for its breathtaking visuals (which are enhanced by wide-screen cinema formats) and Timothée Chalamet’s Grand Voyage of the Noble Heir. Our own Chris Bumbray was able to speak with the maestro at Montreal premiere. In addition, Dune: part two is already on track for a big opening weekend because it’s early overview of totals from Thursday will exceed the figures of the first previews of the first film by doubling sales.

Dune: part two is not Villeneuve’s first sequel. However, this is a sequel to a franchise he was responsible for. Villeneuve spoke with The Hollywood Reporter on his feelings about taking over a franchise created by another director when he directed the sequel to Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runnertitled Blade Runner 2049. When asked if he could overlook this shadow of the acclaimed first film when making its sequel, he replied: “No never. Blade Runner is one of my favorite films, and it’s absolutely a masterpiece. Ridley Scott is one of my favorite filmmakers, and even though he gave his blessing, it was very important for me to hear him and see in his eyes that he agreed with me to do the film at the time. But I was constantly thinking about the original film while I was filming Blade Runner 2049. It was impossible not to do it.

The French-Canadian director admits that he is sometimes still haunted by the film, “SO 2049 It was truly a love letter to the first film, but it was by far one of the hardest projects I’ve ever done, and I don’t think I’ll ever tackle the universe again from someone else. I still wake up at night and think, “Why did I do that? I had declined a few other projects of this scale, but at the time I said to myself: “This is a crazy project, but it’s worth the risk of losing everything.”

Villeneuve’s films are often praised, and he is a director who has never been accused of phoning in his work. Filmmaking peers like Christopher Nolan have shown support for Villeneuve’s projects, especially since they are both directors committed to the IMAX format. Villeneuve and Nolan moderated the Q&A for each other, and having Nolan’s respect is something Villeneuve doesn’t take for granted. “It means the world. I also have enormous respect for Chris Nolan, and what he has accomplished over the years is very impressive. He’s one of my favorite filmmakers, so having his respect means a lot.

About the Author

EJ is JoBlo’s Senior News Editor, as well as video editor, screenwriter, and narrator for some of the film retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited, and some of the Top 10 lists. He graduated from Missouri Western State University’s film program with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.


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