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Denis Villeneuve turns down new James Bond film to direct Dune

on January 01, 2018, 11:45pm

After delivering a trio of cinematic masterpieces in Sicario, Arrival, and Blade Runner 2049Denis Villeneuve is at the point of his career where he can pick and choose his projects. So it’s not surprising to hear that after Villeneuve expressed an interest in helming a James Bond film, the franchise’s producer, Barbara Broccoli, got in touch. As Villeneuve revealed in a new interview with Screen Daily, he and Broccoli had discussions about him helming the next Bond film. However, Villeneuve ultimately opted to move forward with his adaptation of Dune.

“I said to Barbara, I would love to work with you and with Daniel [Craig], but I’m engaged,” explained Villeneuve. “I will love to do it, honestly. I’m a spoiled filmmaker right now… I think Daniel Craig is a fantastic actor and I would like to, but several months ago I came into do Dune and I engaged myself. I committed myself and I’m someone that doesn’t step back. I remember I committed to do Enemy, they came with Prisoners I said, I need to do Enemy first, and I had to break to bend the schedule. I did the same with Arrival and Blade Runner. I did Blade Runner, one of my conditions was that I would have time to do Arrival first. Once I commit, I commit.”

(Read: Filmmaker of the Year Denis Villeneuve on Crafting the Essential Sequel)

“When Legendary offered me to do Dune, on a silver plate? Which was like my dream project that I’m dreaming to do for 30 years? I said yes right away,” Villeneuve added. “I want to honor that. It doesn’t mean the movie will happen, maybe in six months the movie will – and Bond is an old fantasy of mine, but I can’t be in two places at the same time. It’s a strange year because I would love to do a James Bond. I need to focus.”

As the next James Bond film has already been announced for November 8th, 2019, it’s doubtful MGM is willing to postpone its release in order to secure Villeneuve’s talents. But as Flickering Myth points out, it’s always possible that a delay in Dune’s production could open up Villeneuve’s schedule, allowing him to do both films. We shall see (and pray).