Denis Villeneuve Talks ‘Blade Runner’ Sequel, Production Begins Next Year

The highly anticipated sequel to Ridley Scott’s acclaimed Blade Runner heads into production next year, and director Denis Villeneuve recently opened up regarding the film he will helm.

The Blade Runner sequel has long been rumored, with development moving forward in the years since the release of Prometheus, Scott’s sequel (of sorts) to Alien. Recently, it was announced that Denis Villeneuve would be helming the project, instead of Scott. As Deadline points out, Scott is tied to the upcoming Prometheus sequel, which is also heading into production next year, and in his own words, he “can’t direct them all, and I have to do Prometheus.”

Star Harrison Ford will return in Blade Runner 2, and according to Villeneuve, his role in the sequel had been planned long before the director came aboard.

“To be very honest with you, Harrison was part of the project before I arrived. He was attached to the project right from the start with Ridley. I met him and he’s honestly one of the nicest human beings I’ve met and is one of my favorite actors of all time, so for me it’s a lot of pleasure.”

Villeneuve admitted that he was hesitant to take on such an iconic property, and that he feels a “deep fear” regarding the follow-up to one of his favorite films of all time.

“For me it’s like a monument. So when I realized one day that they put in front of me the Blade Runner project screenplay, for me I was very moved to have this honor to read the screenplay, but I accepted to do it because I felt that Hampton Fancher, Ridely Scott and Michael Green did a fantastic job on the screenplay. It’s a very powerful screenplay.”

With several different edits of Blade Runner making their way to audiences over the years, fans could be forgiven for wondering which one Villeneuve will regard as canon. Speaking with Collider, he noted that his favorite versions are the first and final cuts, and it is from these that he will draw his inspiration. While acknowledging that there will be a connection to the original Blade Runner, he also noted that the sequel will be “autonomous.”

Ultimately, Villeneuve admitted that his love of the original left him little choice when he was presented with the Blade Runner sequel.

“I’ve been dreaming to do sci-fi since I was 10 years old, and I said ‘no’ to a lot of sequels—I couldn’t say ‘no’ to Blade Runner. I love it too much, so I said, ‘Alright f*** it, I will do it and give everything I have to make it great.'”

Though locations are still being selected, Villeneuve admitted that the new Blade Runner heads into production next summer.

[Photo by Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images]