Filmmaker Denis Villeneuve may have had his feet planted firmly on the ground for most of this films up until this point, but with his upcoming flicks, Arrival and Blade Runner 2, the man clearly has his eyes set towards the world of science fiction. Arrival tells a language-based story about how we’d communicate with an extra-terrestrial race, and Blade Runner 2 will return us to a grimy dystopian future.
But from the sound of it, Villeneuve’s venture into the speculative realm may not end with Blade Runner 2 — at least that’s what he hopes. Speaking with Variety, Villeneuve expressed his love for the genre and gave a nod to a particular franchise he’d love to make.
“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. I’m always looking for sci-fi material, and it’s difficult to find original and strong material that’s not just about weaponry. 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. 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.”
Dune is the beloved science fiction novel from writer Frank Herbert. The book was first published in 1965 and was set in a distant future on the desert planet of Arrakis. The book was hailed as “a stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics,” and went on to win the Hugo and get adapted into feature film in 1984 from indie director David Lynch — though one that flick was largely called a mess by critics.
Given Villeneuve’s storytelling talents, he’s a filmmaker I’d love to see tackle the project. Based on what we’ve seen thus far in his work, he’s one to put character and motivations above all else. The ideas, of course, are important, but unless they are rooted in some fundamental truth in humanity, they can come across as hollow and forced. Given the speculative nature of the source material, he seems like a good fit to adapt this project to film and make it mean something to audiences.
What do you think? Do you think Villeneuve is a good fit for the franchise? What other science fiction properties do you want to see him take on? Let us know in the comments down below!
Arrival hits theaters on November 11, 2016