Let’s all raise our glasses to Denis Villeneuve.
The director of the currently in-production Blade Runner sequel has taken a stand against the typical marketing hype that drives the Hollywood movie machine. He’s not going to sit back, smile, and tell journalists that his upcoming movie is going to be the greatest story ever told.
In a move of unprecedented honesty among moviemakers, Villeneuve has explained in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that there’s no way his dinky little sequel could ever live up the glory of Ridley Scott’s original movie:
“First of all, it’s not possible to live up to the original. It’s Ridley Scott. It’s a masterpiece. It’s one of the best sci-fi films, one of the best films in the past 50 years.
For me, what terrorizes me right now is what I’m doing is taking Blade Runner and making it my own, and that is horrific. To realize that when I look at the dailies, it’s not Ridley Scott, it’s me, and that it’s different. It’s still the same universe, we are still in the same dream, but it’s mine, so it’s like I have no idea how you people will react, I don’t know. It has its own life.”
Villeneuve’s attitude is utterly and wonderfully refreshing—rather than trying to claim that, in reinventing the wheel, he’s improved upon the story of the original Blade Runner, he’s expressed his own feelings of inadequacy, and suggested that this new movie might not live up to the legacy of the first film.
If anything, this unusually humble attitude makes Villeneuve’s take on the Blade Runner universe all the more appealing from an outsider perspective. To know that the director is fretting over the specific aesthetic of the film, and is publicly horrified by what he sees, suggests that Villeneuve is a creator who’s going to do everything in his power to get the movie right.
After all, this isn’t even the first time Villeneuve has spoken out like this. Speaking with Collider last year, the director spoke of his terror at walking in Ridley Scott’s shadow:
“It’s more than nervous, it’s a deep fear. I mean when I heard that Ridley Scott wanted to do another movie in the Blade Runner universe, at first my reaction was that it’s a fantastic idea, but it may be a very bad idea. I’m among the hardcore fans of Blade Runner. Blade Runner is one of my favorite movies of all time.”
Do you know what, Denis Villeneuve? You’re an okay guy.
Anybody who worries this much about getting the Blade Runner sequel right, is the perfect choice to direct the movie.
Here’s hoping that when the movie comes out and we all get to see it, the vast majority of the audience don’t agree with the director about how “horrific” the final product looks.