Denis Villeneuve has expressed his interest in returning to the Blade Runner universe for another movie, though he says it would have to be “unconnected” from the original Blade Runner, released in 1982, and his 2017 sequel, Blade Runner 2049.
In an interview with Empire, Villeneuve reflected on his ambitious sci-fi sequel, set thirty years after the events of the Ridley Scott’s groundbreaking film, as he admitted that the movie’s neon-soaked world stimulated more than one story in his mind.
“It’s such an inspiring place, the Blade Runner world,” he told the publication. “The problem I have is the word ‘sequel.’ I think cinema needs original stories. But if you ask me if I’d like to revisit this universe in a different way, I can say yes. It would need to be a project on its own. Something disconnected from both other movies. A detective noir story set in the future… I wake up sometimes in the night dreaming about it.”
Despite its popularity with critics, Blade Runner 2049 underperformed at the box office, opening to a less-than-expected $32m against a reported $150m production budget. The primary reasons cited for its shortcomings surrounded expense, length (limiting how many times a day theaters can show it), its “R” rating, and that it skewed too old (meaning it didn’t appeal enough to younger viewers who were detached from the original).
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Even though it was considered a box office flop, Villeneuve’s sequel generally earned critical acclaim and high grades from fans. In our own review, we praised 2049 for playing off the “themes, plot, and characters of the 1982 movie” in a way that “organically expands and grows what came before.”
In addition to Blade Runner 2049, Villeneuve has helmed such Oscar-nominated films as Sicario and Arrival, earning a Best Director Academy nomination for the latter. He is currently working on his adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel Dune while at the same time developing a biopic of Cleopatra.