Denis Villeneuve has made no secret of his love for science fiction. His intimate sci-fi thriller Arrival is currently bringing home rave reviews out of the festival circuit (you can read Brian’s Telluride review here and Adam’s breakdown of its awards prospects here), and he’s currently hard at work on the hugely anticipated Blade Runner 2. As it turns out, the director is also eager to get his hands on another high-profile genre project — Frank Herbert‘s legendary sci-fi epic, Dune.
While doing the press rounds for Arrival at TIFF, Villeneuve spoke with Variety about his love for the genre (which he attributes partially to Blade Runner, along with Close Encounters of the Third Kind and 2001: A Space Odyssey), and revealed he’s always wanted to get his hands on the rights to the famously difficult-to-adapt property.
Here’s what he said:
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.
The director also revealed he’s been working on two original sci-fi projects, though he wasn’t ready to share any details.
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.
Turning his attention to Blade Runner 2, which sees the return of Harrison Ford alongside Ryan Gosling and Jared Leto, Villeneuve was adamant that despite the shared genre, it shares no creative DNA with Arrival. “They are like a giraffe and an elephant,” he said. He also revealed that, while he was granted the elusive “final cut” for Arrival, Blade Runner 2 is, again, a rather different beast.
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.
Arrival lands in theaters November 11, 2016 while Blade Runner 2 is scheduled for October 6th, 2017. Let’s all wish on our lucky stars that Dune becomes a reality.