We knew Blade Runner 2 was happening. We knew Harrison Ford would be back as Deckard. We also knew that Ridley Scott would not be returning to the director’s chair – and speculation promptly turned to thoughts of just who would step into the gap to direct the sci-fi sequel.
Now we have an answer. And it’s about as exciting a choice as we could have hoped for.
It’s just been announced that Oscar-nominated Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve will be helming the movie. If that name doesn’t instantly ring a bell don’t worry, and be assured – the guy is one of the most exciting directors currently working today.
His 2010 mystery-drama Incendies was nominated for Best Foreign-Language Film at the Academy Awards. His thriller Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman as the desperate father of a missing girl and Jake Gyllenhaal as the cop on the hunt for her kidnapper, was once of the most acclaimed films of 2013. And for good reason.
Only this week, I finally saw Villeneuve’s celebrated surreal drama Enemy – a baffling but brilliant tale in which Gyllenhaal stars again, this time as a man who becomes obsessed with tracking down his apparent doppelganger.
It’s a moody, compelling masterpiece; almost certain to be a cult-classic that will be discussed for decades to come.
Villeneuve is an exciting choice not just because the studio is going for a talented arthouse auteur rather than a dull, blockbuster director. Villeneuve is an exciting choice because his style should be perfect for the subject matter.
He’s adept at conjuring a sense of intense atmospheric and rampant paranoia in his films, something that the Blade Runner universe is all about.
Just look at the meaty themes and moody dream sequences in Enemy – those fog-soaked cityscapes wandered by giant, looming spiders – and it’s easy to see how his cynical, audacious approach will fit snugly with a second helping of replicants, suspense and dystopia.
Blade Runner 2 was always going to be a risky proposition. But with this man at the reins, Deckard’s return looks all the more promising.
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