Did you love Blade Runner 2049? How about Rogue One? Excited about the recent studio deals that have assured the world it’ll be getting tons more Star Wars content, more of the time, for years and years to come?
If you aren’t detecting a common thread yet, get ready: Dennis Villeneuve, the Blade Runner 2049 director who’s put his recognizable auteur’s mark on films like Prisoners, Siccario and Arrival, has expressed interest in helming his own Star Wars movie — particularly a film that, like Rogue One, takes the franchise outside the Skywalker saga.
Talking with Josh Horowitz for a recent episode of Horowitz’s “Happy Sad Confused” podcast, Villeneuve said he’s really into the idea of having free rein over a Star Wars movie that isn’t hamstrung by the plot constrictions of the mainline Skywalker films.
“I would be intrigued,” he admitted. “What is dangerous about Star Wars right now is, it becomes its own vocabulary, you know? …I think Rogue One was a….very, very interesting attempt to get out of the mold, you know?”
Saying his passion for Star Wars “died with Return of the Jedi,” Villeneuve revealed he’s an ardent believer that A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back were the Skywalker saga’s high points — and that it’s high time to take the franchise into new territory.
Asked whether he’s excited about Disney’s recent deal giving Rian Johnson carte blanche permission to create an entirely new trilogy; one that relies on no current backstory, Villeneuve lit up.
“I think it will be time to do that,” he said emphatically, “because it’s like there’s a limit…I think it would be a great idea to get out of there and…to go in a new part of the galaxy. That, I would be open to.”
With Blade Runner 2049, we’ve seen how Villeneuve is able to both respect and enrich a revered franchise whose lore is all but sacrosanct to longtime fans. A clean-slate approach to the Star Wars universe definitely seems like a good fit for a director whose style is both recognizable and, as he admits, uncompromising.
Of course it’s all just talk, for now. But there are few rising directors with the singular vision and — in the wake of Blade Runner 2049 — the track record to tread on such sacred cinematic ground.
Does the idea of a Villeneuve-helmed Star Wars project get you excited? Let us know in the comments why Disney should — or shouldn’t — be giving him a call.