Denis Villeneuve Says Another Art-House Studio Epic “Not A Good Idea”

Could DUNE be more straightforward than BLADE RUNNER 2049?

Denis Villeneuve’s Dune adaptation has been in the works for some time now, but a new interview with the Arrival director suggests it might not be quite as avant-garde as his last film (Blade Runner 2049).

Speaking to The Telegraph, Villeneuve recounted a producer’s initial reaction after a first screening: “The lights came up, and he turned around and said, ‘We’ve just made the most expensive art house movie in cinema history.’”

After the $185 million movie failed to ignite the box office (although Villeneuve notes that “Europe saved [his] ass” on that front), the director seems hesitant to mix huge budgets and art-house sensibilities in the same way again. “Let’s just say it would not be a good idea for me to make a movie like that twice," he said. "It was only when I came out that I realised we had made a monster.”

That’s an interesting standpoint to take, given that Villeneuve will be heading into production for Legendary Pictures on Dune - a huge-scale sci-fi epic with highly abstract source material - in the nearish future. It could suggest that Villeneuve is planning a more straightforward movie than 2049 - entirely plausible given the scale of the project, if somewhat disappointing to both his fans and Dune’s. Villeneuve turned down Bond 25 (“One day I would love to do one”) to direct Dune, a dream project of his for decades, so it’ll be interesting to see what he does with it. All we’ve really heard about its creative direction is that it’ll be “Star Wars for adults,” which doesn’t say a heck of a lot.

There’s more in the full Telegraph piece, including Villeneuve’s gripes about Blade Runner 2049’s secretive marketing campaign, and the fact that it could at one point have been titled Android’s Dream. Check it out (free registration required).