Dune’s Denis Villeneuve Explains Blade Runner 2049 Pressure

Josh Brolin's Gurney Halleck grabs Timotee Chalamet's Paul Atreides to steady him on the runway in a scene from Dune.

The road from Villeneuve to Dune was an unsteady one.
Image: Warner Bros.

in a few weeks, Dune will finally hit theaters (and also HBO Max) in North America. director-writer Denis Villeneuve knows how lucky he is to adapt Frank Herbert’s sci-fi epic, mostly because he didn’t think he’d be directing after that Blade Runner 2049.

During an episode of MTV’s “Happy Sad ConfusedPodcast earlier this week, Villeneuve spoke about how the 2017 film impacted his outlook on his career. “When I made this film, I knew I was flirting with disaster,” he admitted. While it was critically acclaimed, it was a financial one. non-starter, made $259.3 million worldwide, and was basically a dud in the U.S. For him, making the movie starring Ryan Gosling put him in “artistic danger,” and he feared he would “At least I wasn’t banned from the filmmaking community,” he joked. “I’m still making movies, and you’re still talking to me.”

Still, regardless of the lack of financial success Blade Runner 2049 did not seem to have mattered in the long run. In the four years since its release, the Blade Runner franchise has seen multiple strip releases who have expanded his world, not to mention Adult Swim and Crunchyroll’s Black Lotus anime arrives next month. The franchise seems to be doing well now, as most franchises do after a few years on the ice, and it’s likely we’ll see another movie eventually… just maybe not with another 40 years gap.

Seen what beloved traits look like Dune and Blade Runner Being in pop culture, it’s understandable how much pressure that would put on the Canadian director. While it helps to provide some context to his apparent desire to make that second Dune movie and join his spin-off series, it doesn’t let him go completely because he insisted so much on seeing the movie in theaters. Even if the movie bombs and he abandons filmmaking altogether, all of his work will eventually hit the boob tube.

Dune will be released on HBO Max and in theaters October 22.


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