With four acclaimed films in the span of three years, Denis Villeneuve is on a streak like few other directors, and his biggest challenge yet will come next year with the release of Blade Runner 2 — but, first, he has Arrival. We were fans of it at Venice, saying in our review that it’s “a high-stakes, hard sci-fi action film.” According to a new interview, the two aforementioned titles certainly won’t be the last.
“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,” he tells Variety. “I’m always looking for sci-fi material, and it’s difficult to find original and strong material that’s not just about weaponry.”
He also revealed one of his passion projects, saying, “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.” However, he did note that we could see more sci-fi after he completes the Blade Runner sequel, adding, “Also I would love to write something myself. I have two [sci-fi] projects right now that are in very stages. It’s too early to talk about them.”
As for what got him to take on a follow-up to such an iconic film in the first place, he says, “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.”
It will be curious to see if anything in Blade Runner doesn’t feel like a Villeneuve film, but we imagine that’s the reason he was hired in the first place, so hopefully the final cut will be the director’s cut.
As we await the release of Arrival and hopefully a glimpse at Blade Runner 2 soon, check out a video essay on a brilliant moment of tension in Sicario below, as well as new images from his latest film:
Arrival opens on November 11, 2016 and Blade Runner 2 will land on October 6, 2017.