Villeneuve On “Blade Runner 2” Cut, “Dune”

Filmmaker Dennis Villeneuve (“Sicario,” “Prisoners”) has been busy at work shooting the “Blade Runner” sequel recently, a project he jumped right into after finishing post-production on “Arrival” which has been playing the Fall film festivals this past month to great success.

Both are science fiction projects with big ideas, but ‘Blade’ comes with the added pressure of being a follow-up to one of the most iconic movies ever made. Speaking with Variety this week, Villeneuve says it was ‘painful’ to be finishing up “Arrival” and doing pre-production on “Blade Runner 2” because of the demands on his time and that he hasn’t had time to distance himself from “Arrival” as yet.

The big question that has to be asked though, with a project on the scale of “Blade Runner 2” – does he have final cut on the project:

“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.”

Villeneuve adds he’s always looking for sci-fi material to adapt to the screen, having been inspired in his youth by films like Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” and Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. He has two more in ‘various stages’ but it’s too early to talk about them.

He will admit to one famed property he would love to take a shot at adapting: “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.”