There are no shortage of similarities between Christopher Nolan and Denis Villenueve, so it’s no surprise the duo have been lavishing praise on each other over the last few weeks as the latter’s Dune hit theaters and swiftly saw a sequel given the official green light.
The two Academy Award-nominated directors and lifelong James Bond fans make expensive, ambitious and thought-provoking genre films, while their visual and thematic stylings are very much cut from the same cloth in many respects. Villenueve recently called Nolan one of the best filmmakers working today, labeling last year’s Tenet a masterpiece.
The architect of the Dark Knight Trilogy responded in kind by calling Dune a gift for film fans everywhere, and now Villenueve has upped the ante once again. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival steward said his talents aren’t even on the same level as his contemporary, at least not yet.
“Frankly, I don’t pay a lot of attention to those kinds of statements because they are statements that can change. I mean, I will say that I’m a massive fan of Nolan’s work. He’s a master, but I don’t consider myself at the same level. No, but it’s not false humility, and I must be careful with what I’m saying here. It’s just that I like to think that I’m still learning my craft and that every movie is a learning experience.
If one day I feel that I’m in control and that I’ve totally mastered the tools, then maybe I could be called a master, but it’s not the case right now. I’m learning too much. I think that Chris is a contemporary master, and each time he raises the bar so high. So to answer your original question, it’s a beautiful compliment to be associated with a filmmaker of that caliber, but I don’t listen to that, frankly.”
You could easily imagine them sitting down and discussing the intricacies of cinema for hours, no doubt drinking very expensive coffee out of the tiniest little cups just to enhance the aesthetic. By all accounts they’ll be the first in line for each other’s next movies, even if they currently have very different working relationships with Warner Bros.