Denis Villeneuve is one of those filmmakers that came seemingly out of nowhere to become one of Hollywood's top directors. And yet he didn't come out of nowhere. At all. The man has been directing for over 20 years, but it wasn't until 2013's Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, that he finally crossed over onto everyone's radars. Since then, it's been nothing but critical gems. Sicario was a sleeper hit that had everyone buzzing in 2015, and this year's Arrival is one of the most loved films of 2016. Already, people are looking at his next film with sky-high expectations.
And, if the buzz created by the announcement trailer for Blade Runner 2049 is any indication, it looks like those expectations are going to be met.
Villeneuve is stepping into some legendary shoes here, with Blade Runner 2049 being a direct sequel to Ridley Scott's seminal 1982 sci-fi epic, Blade Runner. Something he thinks makes him uniquely qualified to direct the sequel is how deeply embedded the original film is in his DNA. During a recent chat with Empire, Villeneuve explained how he- and his team- feel like they're getting to work on a project that helped create their love of film to begin with.
Here's what Villeneuve said about getting to direct Blade Runner 2049:
"I’m having the time of my life on this, but it’s insane for sure. Because it is so insane, it gives you freedom. A lot of people on this [film] are children of Blade Runner, raised with the imagination and energy of the original, and have been inspired by those images all our lives.”
He's in a uniquely remarkable position, for sure. Many directors have made the leap he's about to make, from smaller more high-minded films, to big budget blockbusters, but few have necessarily gotten to have that first "big" movie be a dream project. Just look at Justin Kurzel, who just made that jump with Assassin's Creed. Does anyone think that Kurzel, the director of Snowtown and Macbeth, ever dreamt of making a Ubisoft video game movie? Probably not. But the marriage of Villeneuve to Blade Runner 2049 looks like a match made in heaven, with a visionary filmmaker being given access to a property he's loved since he was a child.
To be perfectly honest, I've only ever seen Blade Runner once, and it was 20 years ago. I recall digging it, but there was a lot going on in the living room that afternoon and a lot of it is sort of hazy in my memory. Because of that, I didn't necessarily care about Blade Runner 2049, even when it was just "Rumored Blade Runner Sequel" for the last several years. But as soon as I found out that Villeneuve was involved, everything changed. Now, not only do I want to go back and re-watch the original to give it a second chance to Wow me, but I simply cannot wait for the sequel.
Blade Runner 2049 comes out on October 6, 2017.