Denis Villenueve’s latest film, Blade Runner 2049 was a mixed success; critically praised, the film failed to do much at all at the U.S. box office. (European audiences were more kind.) Just in case you needed a reminder that, in Hollywood, you’re only as good as your last picture, though, Villeneuve—whose previous elegiac sci-fi film, Arrival, was an Oscar-winning box-office hit—has pledged that his next picture won’t be “an art house film” like his last effort.
“Let’s just say it would not be a good idea for me to make a movie like that twice,” Villeneuve told The Telegraph this week, dubbing the 164-minute movie “a monster.” (Ridley Scott, the director of the original Blade Runner, was supposedly even more blunt, calling it “way too fucking long.”) 2049 was nominated for five Oscars this year, but it also ended up putting production company Alcon Entertainment a reported $80 million in the hole.
Villeneuve’s next project is an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune, a project that feels—what with all its spice dreams, noble, piss-drinking desert warriors, and giant Freudian mouth-worms—almost inherently art-house from the jump, so it’ll be interesting to see how well that pledge goes. Villeneuve is still working for the script for the project; all that he’s said so far is that he intends for it to be like “Star Wars for adults.”