Blade Runner 2049 Director Says He Knew He Was Flirting With Disaster

Blade Runner 2049

Denis Villenueve knows a thing or two about crafting a critically acclaimed sci-fi blockbuster based on beloved source material that deftly balances intricate world-building with a complex narrative and a stacked ensemble cast. Let’s just hope that Dune doesn’t bomb at the box office like Blade Runner 2049 did.

The good news is that Dune isn’t coming to domestic theaters until the 22nd of this month, by which point it’ll have already made at least half as much money at the box office as 2049 did during its entire theatrical run, with the latest adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal novel crossing $100 million internationally at the weekend.

That’s an encouraging sign when Villenueve admits that he needs the movie to make money so he can get the sequel green lit, but he’s been in this exact same situation before. In a new interview with the Happy Sad Confused podcast, the filmmaker admitted he was fully aware he was toeing a dangerous line when he agreed to helm a Blade Runner sequel in the first place.

“I knew that when I did this movie I flirted with disaster. I put myself into massive artistic danger. That was walking, as Christopher Nolan said to me once, ‘walking on sacred territory’. It’s true. It was sacrilegious what I did. I was told, ‘You don’t do that’. Just the fact that I’m still here making movies, for me, at least I wasn’t banned from the filmmaker community. It was a dangerous game.”

Blade Runner 2049 only ended up bringing in $259 million at the box office against a budget of $185 million plus marketing and promotional costs, so it left Warner Bros. firmly in the red. Dune is already looking a safe bet to perform very well by the standards of the pandemic era, which was be a relief for Villenueve.