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‘Sicario’ to ‘Blade Runner’ and Beyond: Discussion With Denis Villeneuve

Director Denis Villeneuve’s a busy man: He completed his drug-themed thriller Sicario with Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro and he’s about to embark on a sequel to the classic 1982 Ridley Scott classic Blade Runner. He sat down with IndieWire ‘s Rodrigo Perez to discuss a number of subjects.

On having Sicario’s story center around a female lead (Blunt):

The director says that screenwriter Taylor Sheridan, “had been asked a few times to change the main character, but he said, ‘No,’ because the story is the way he had figured it out. The story was inspired by a real female cop that Taylor met. She was his muse and he wanted to keep that in line as a source of inspiration. For obvious reasons, the way the story evolved, the character needed to be a woman.When I came on board, Lionsgate didn’t ask me to change it. The only thing I knew is that I would have less money to do the project because I would not be able to hire Brad Pitt or a big male star.”

On working with cinematographer Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC (who also shot the director’s Prisoners):

“I feel that working with Roger is always a privilege,” he declares. “When I read the screenplay, the first thing I said after realizing I had fallen in love with it is, “It’s a very Roger Deakins project.” Because it was dealing with that kind of thematic darkness and we would need to approach it with dark nights of the desert. I just felt it would be a project that would be a good challenge for Roger. He got on board right away.”

And on reteaming with Deakins for his Blade Runner sequel:

“Roger wanted to do a sci-fi film. He had done a sci-fi film, a fantastic movie [the adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984 with John Hurt]. But we were dreaming to do a sci-fi film. That was one our first conversations I ever had with him, I remember was about sci-fi. Both of us wanted to try and do one, one day. So, I remember I went to his home and I didn’t have to convince him.”