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October 5, 2015

Blade Runner sequel director Denis Villeneuve: ‘I feel in my soul that I can do it’


NICOLE SPERLING / Entertainment Weekly

Sicario director Denis Villeneuve is a very busy man. In addition to promoting his drug cartel thriller starring Emily Blunt, he is in post-production on his next film — the sci-fi drama Story of Your Lifestarring Amy Adams as a linguist charged with translating the language of an alien population that’s landed on Earth. The script from Eric Heisserer “was one of the most moving stories I’ve read in my life,” Villeneuve says. “It’s a very strong and beautiful story about how language effects your perception of reality.”

Villeneuve has been falling in love a lot lately. In addition to the two films he’s already shot, he is currently in pre-production on the Blade Runner sequel, which will star Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, the latter reprising his role as Rick Deckard from the 1982 original. Also returning is screenwriter Hampton Fancher, who wrote the new film with help of Blade Runner director Ridley Scott and writer Michael Green.

“We are dreaming about it, drawing it, dreaming, drawing,” Villeneuve says. “The movie should be ready in 2017.”

Blade Runner holds a special place in education of Villeneuve as a filmmaker. “This movie is linked to the birth of my passion for cinema. [When it came out] I was a young teenager starting to understand the job of a director. Blade Runner had a huge impact on me,” he said. “It’s one of my favorite movies of all time. I know this movie by heart. I know every single shot of it. I have a very intimate relationship with this movie.”

With such reverence for the original, is he worried about jumping into the sequel?

“I never thought that this could happen. I’ve been dreaming to do a movie like this since I was very young,” he says. “I feel in my soul that I can do it. But I must say, it’s a big challenge.”