Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve took the stage at Deadline’s The Contenders award-season event to discuss the anticipated follow-up to Ridley Scott’s classic inspired by Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? During the discussion, the Oscar-nominated director talked about translating the 1982 sci-fi visual spectacle for 2017 and working with Harrison Ford, who reprised his role as Rick Deckard. The film has grossed $256.6 million worldwide since its October bow via Warner Bros.
Blade Runner was groundbreaking in terms of creating a futuristic dystopian world and with 2049, Villeneuve talked about how he wanted to pay homage to the original visuals and add his own take on this world. “I felt such a huge responsibility to respect the spirit and the poetry of the first Blade Runner,” Villeneuve told the DGA Theater audience of Academy and guild voters last month. “That was a big task, and it took a long visual research.”
Another challenge for Villeneuve, he told Deadline’s moderator Mike Fleming Jr., was bringing back the character of Deckard. Like the visuals, he wanted to respect where the character came from, but at the same time, explore how he has evolved. “When I met Harrison for the first time, I told him I need you to inspire me,” he said. “He was on board very generously how has this character evolved over 20 years and where he would be exactly…it was a long process.”
Working with Ford brought Villeneuve back to film school as he said he “learned so much working with him about how to approach a scene and a character.” He added, “He’s a very, very thoughtful and profound human being and it was a privilege.”
Check out the conversation above.