It’s been several years since Denis Villeneuve released “Blade Runner 2049.” At the time, the film was going to be Villeneuve’s big blockbuster franchise breakout, coming off acclaimed, but decidedly more mid-budget fare. Well, ‘2049’ hit with some critical raves but the box office was far from a success, seemingly sending the ‘Blade Runner’ franchise back to the shelf to gather dust. And according to Villeneuve, he was well aware of the “danger” taking on such a huge, complicated franchise project, and he’s just happy people still want him to make films now.
Speaking on the Happy. Sad. Confused. podcast, Villeneuve talked quite openly about his experience with the “Blade Runner 2049” franchise, particularly when it comes to what happened after, with the disappointing box office. He is still trying to process everything, but admitted that he “hasn’t watched the movie since the premiere.”
“I’m looking forward to seeing the movie again one day when I have the distance,” he added.
But even though he can’t really speak about the content of the film, in hindsight, the filmmaker joked about how he is just happy that “Blade Runner 2049” didn’t send him to director jail since it’s an expensive blockbuster that didn’t come close to turning a profit in theaters.
“The miracle of ‘Blade Runner 2049’ is that I am still making movies and you are still talking to me,” Villeneuve said. “I knew when I was [making] this movie, I was flirting with disaster.”
“I put myself into massive artistic danger,” he added. “That was like walking, as Christopher Nolan put it to me once, you’re walking in sacred territory. It’s true, it was like sacrilegious, what I did. You don’t do that, you know? Just the fact that I am still here making movies, for me, is like, I don’t know if the [movie worked], but i know that I was at least not banned from the filmmaker community. It could have been…. it was a dangerous game to play.”
However, as was mentioned above, “Blade Runner 2049” didn’t make a ton of money but is still highly regarded by fans and critics alike. So, even though financially it doesn’t seem likely, folks are still interested in knowing if Villeneuve has another ‘Blade Runner’ story in his head?
“Frankly, it was such a privilege to do it once, and, I will say that I deeply loved going into that ‘Blade Runner’ bubble,” the filmmaker explained. “I feel that when I did it, I was like, learning things and I feel like if I had to go back [to make it now], I’d be much more in control of the tools and I’d be much more able of bringing something meaningful to life.”
Villeneuve added, “I’m not saying I will never go back to [‘Blade Runner’] again, [and] it’s really a space that I deeply love. But at the same time, I have to be careful because it’s a Ridley Scott world, you know? It’s not mine, I was invited once. [Can] I knock on the door and say, ‘Can I come back?’ I’m not sure if I have the right to do that. [To be invited] once, was like a once-in-a-lifetime chance. But definitely, I would love to play in that zone again. It’s so inspiring.”
So, basically, the door isn’t quite closed on Villeneuve returning for another ‘Blade Runner’ entry, but there is barely any light peeking through. Ultimately, as we’ve seen with how Ridley Scott has handled the ‘Alien’ film franchise, he’s not afraid to keep returning, even after financial disappointment. That said, that’s typically when Scott himself is behind the camera. We’ll just have to wait and see if he’s that generous with Villeneuve and the ‘Blade Runner’ franchise.