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Denis Villeneuve talks in-depth about Dune & Blade Runner 2049

02.10.2017by: Mike Sprague
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Director Denis Villeneuve has been one busy dude over the last few years. Not only has he been at the helm of THREE new classics in the last four years, but he's got two more epic projects coming our way throughout the next few years.

One, of course, is his take on BLADE RUNNER with BLADE RUNNER 2049, and the other is the recently announced adaptation of Frank Herbert's epic sci-fi series DUNE.

Denis tells Variety he’s been in two “parallel universes” the last several months, promoting ARRIVAL's Oscar-love and shooting/editing BLADE RUNNER 2049, which he calls the riskiest project of his career.

“I feel [the pressure] every day. At the same time, I’ve never been that inspired and excited. I love risk. All of my projects have come with a certain amount of artistic risk, or sometimes a risk of how you portray reality. I did a movie once about a school massacre and I had a huge responsibility to the victims of those events. I did a movie about a conflict in Lebanon, so there again, you have a strong responsibility to reality. When I did ‘Sicario,’ I felt responsible to how I would portray the Mexican society there. So I’m used to pressure. For ‘Blade Runner,’ it’s artistic pressure, and by far the biggest ever.”

“I think the movie we are doing, we will need to find our own identity and territory, and at the same time be faithful and linked to the first project. It’s that equilibrium we are trying to find.”

“I’m very old school. I wish I had the chance to do my ‘Aliens’ as animatronics. That was my dream at the beginning [of ‘Arrival’]. We were dreaming to put them in a gigantic aquarium with gigantic beasts that would be moved by puppeteers. But sadly, it would have been too expensive. I hate green screens. It sucks out all my energy. I get depressed. I have an admiration for directors who can work with that on a daily basis. For ‘Blade Runner,’ we tried our best to do as much as possible in-camera, building everything.”

And some choice bits regarding BLADE RUNNER 2049 cinematographer Roger Deakins.

“Roger was insanely impressive in how he was able to create landscape with tricks. For me it was beautiful. I think I can count on one hand how many times I saw a green screen in all of those months of shooting. There will be CG enhancements, of course, but as much as possible it was in-camera. Having witnessed what he’s done for months, I think it will be Roger Deakins’ best work. He was deeply inspired by the project.”

Villeneuve next film will be an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s DUNE and, thankfully, he shared some info on that upcoming project as well:

“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.”

After the checking out the BLADE RUNNER 2049 trailer earlier this month, I was 100% sold on Villeneuve's vision of the Ridley Scott classic. Now all I can do is count down the days until it release on October 6.

If his DUNE adaptation is anywhere near the quality of his previous work, I'll be standing in line for that one too. Right after I get out my screening of BLADE RUNNER 2049 that is.

Extra Tidbit: Which are you more excited for DUNE or BLADE RUNNER 2049?
Source: Variety

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11:15AM on 02/19/2017

RE: grelber37

True. DUNE if done right (or, you know, accepted by the masses as "done right" - I love Lynch's vision) could be the start of an epic film franchise. The DUNE story is filled with amazing characters, details, and elements that will transfer into gorgeous images upon the screen. And Denis is just the man to kick it off. That said, BLADE RUNNER 2049 is still what excites me the most. I. Cannot. Wait.
True. DUNE if done right (or, you know, accepted by the masses as "done right" - I love Lynch's vision) could be the start of an epic film franchise. The DUNE story is filled with amazing characters, details, and elements that will transfer into gorgeous images upon the screen. And Denis is just the man to kick it off. That said, BLADE RUNNER 2049 is still what excites me the most. I. Cannot. Wait.
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4:54PM on 02/10/2017
Dune excites me even more than the Blade Runner sequel. Like Villeneuve, I read Herbert's spectacular, philosophical sci-fi series at an early age, and it hooked me for life. A grand adaptation of Dune is welcome.
Dune excites me even more than the Blade Runner sequel. Like Villeneuve, I read Herbert's spectacular, philosophical sci-fi series at an early age, and it hooked me for life. A grand adaptation of Dune is welcome.
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