Directing a big screen sci-fi spectacular can be both physically draining and mentally taxing, and directing two in a row can test the limits of even the most dedicated and talented individual — just ask Joss Whedon how “a little bit” of him “broke” after following The Avengers with Age of Ultron — but when a dream opportunity comes along, how can one refuse? That’s the situation Denis Villeneuve found himself in while still feeling the effects of his long shoot for Blade Runner 2049. As the acclaimed French-Canadian director told Variety, he was already in need of a long vacation when the opportunity arose for him to adapt his favorite childhood novel.
I was able to do ‘Blade Runner’ thinking I would do nothing after, because there was a rhythm in the past few years that was very exciting and I learned a lot as a filmmaker. But I got slowly a bit more and more tired physically. And as I was doing ‘Blade Runner,’ which was a very long shoot, I remember thinking, ‘That might be my last movie. I’m going to bed for like three years.’ Now that I’m editing, I’m finding back my energy. And since I was 12 years old there was a book I read, which is ‘Dune,’ which is my favorite book, with ‘1984.’ After ‘Prisoners,’ the producer of Alcon asked me what I would like to do next. I said, ‘Dune,’ spontaneously, that if anyone could get me the rights for ‘Dune’ — and I knew it was very difficult to get those rights. For me it was just a dream, and I guess I’m lucky that Mary Parent from Legendary got the rights and offered it to me. I can’t say no to that. I have images that I am haunted by for 35 years. I will not say no to that. That’s going to be the project of my life.
Blade Runner 2049 was written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green and is a direct sequel to the 1982 original movie. Harrison Ford reprises his role as Rick Deckard, with Ryan Gosling taking the reins as the new lead character, LAPD Officer K. Robin Wright, Ana de Armas, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri, Lennie James, Dave Bautista and Jared Leto also star.
The movie is slated for release on October 6, 2017.