Denis Villeneuve and Jóhann Jóhannsson have collaborated three times in the last few years, with the Icelandic composer scoring “Prisoners,” “Sicario,” and “Arrival.” That partnership was meant to continue with “Blade Runner 2049,” but Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch eventually took over for Jóhannsson on the long-awaited sequel to Ridley Scott’s sci-fi landmark. After much speculation, Villeneuve has commented on the reason why he chose to go in a different musical direction.
“The thing I will say is that making movies is a laboratory. It’s an artistic process. You cannot plan things. Jóhann Jóhannsson is one of my favorite composers alive today. He’s a very strong artist,” Villeneuve told Al Arabiya English. “But the movie needed something different, and I needed to go back to something closer to Vangelis. Jóhan and I decided that I will need to go in another direction — that’s what I will say. I hope I have the chance to work with him again because I think he’s really a fantastic composer.”
Iceland Review reported last month that Jóhannsson is contractually forbidden from commenting, meaning we may not hear his side of the story anytime soon. In any case, we’ll all have the chance to hear the final soundtrack when “Blade Runner 2049” arrives in theaters next Friday, October 6.