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Bringing iconic science fiction worlds to life on the big screen is becoming a bit of a habit for Denis Villeneuve. Later this year, the director will take audiences to Arrakis in his adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune, and in 2017 he brought us back to a cyberpunk Los Angeles in Blade Runner 2049. But just because he’s moved on to spice and sandworms doesn’t mean he’s ready to leave the neon-soaked, technological dystopia behind. Denis Villeneuve wants to do another Blade Runner movie, but not how you’d think. He explained:
The problem is have is the word ‘sequel’. I think cinema needs original stories. But if you ask me if I’d like to revisit this universe in a different way, I can say yes. It would need to be a project on its own. Something disconnected from both other movies. A detective noir story set in the future… I wake up sometimes in the night dreaming about it.
If you’re hoping to see Harrison Ford’s Deckard or Ryan Gosling’s K back onscreen pondering what it means to be human, Denis Villeneuve will probably not be the one behind the camera. The director wants to return to the world of Blade Runner, but he’s not particularly interested in any sort of direct sequel or spinoff of the existing films.
That’s because Denis Villeneuve wants to bring new, original stories to the screen instead of just playing the hits with sequel after sequel. So he wouldn’t want to just do extensions of what’s been done before with a continuation of Blade Runner 2049. However, as the director told Empire, he would still be interested in revisiting the universe of the film to tell an entirely new story.
Under this hypothetical scenario, Denis Villeneuve would like to do a movie that was set within the world of Blade Runner, but it would have to stand on its own and be unconnected and unreliant on the mythology of the other two movies. He would like to do a future-set noir detective story that could take place in the Blade Runner universe.
It seems like an idea that keeps coming back to the director too if it’s plaguing his dreams. It’s those kind of ideas that grab hold and don’t let go that find a way of happening eventually, so maybe Blade Runner 2049 won’t be the last time Denis Villeneuve sheds tears in the rain.
By the sound of it, it’s not necessarily even the Blade Runner universe that Denis Villeneuve would want to return to. I get the impression that he just wants to tell a futuristic, noir detective story in a world akin to the one found in Blade Runner, so that universe is just a natural fit.
Maybe he could use that basic setup to tell an entirely new story set in a new world. We’ve seen future detective stories similar to Blade Runner in things like Altered Carbon and the first season of The Expanse.
I would say making such a film would be easier with the Blade Runner brand name attached, but after the very expensive Blade Runner 2049 disappointed at the box office, that may not be an option.
We’ll have to see what the future holds, but in the meantime, I think many sci-fi fans are hoping to see Denis Villeneuve spend at least a few more years in Arrakis, making at least one more, if not an entire trilogy of Dune movies.
Denis Villeneuve’s Dune opens in theaters on December 18. That's at the end of the year though, and there are plenty of exciting movies to look forward to from now to then. Check them out in our 2020 Release Schedule.