Denis Villeneuve revealed in June that he is “definitely dreaming” of directing a smaller movie after helming two massive tentpoles with “Blade Runner 2049” and his upcoming “Dune” adaptation. The director said at the time, “It will be good to go back to the size of something like ‘Sicario’… I can just embrace the scale for what it is. It will be nice to go there.” Will Villeneuve’s return to smaller-scale productions reunite him with his “Enemy” and “Prisoners” star Jake Gyllenhaal? The actor confirms on this week’s “Team Deakins” podcast that he’s currently working on a new project with Villeneuve.
As the star of Villeneuve’s back to back 2013 films — science-fiction puzzler “Enemy” and kidnapping drama “Prisoners” — Gyllenhaal played a big role in the director’s breakthrough in the U.S. “Prisoners” opened in domestic theaters ahead of “Enemy,” but the latter actually went into production almost a year before the former. Gyllenhaal said that ahead of working with Villeneuve for the first time on “Enemy,” the two artists had a dinner meeting that sealed the deal on their creative partnership.
“At the dinner this weird thing happened,” Gyllenhaal said. “We were sitting next to this woman, and he must have planted her something, and she was like, ‘Can I tell you something?. Look at this, my son looks exactly like you! He is your double. Isn’t that crazy? He’s actually your double!” I was like, ‘What! And Denis looked at me and was like, ‘You have to do this movie.'”
“Enemy” stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Adam Bell, a college history professor whose monotonous life is rattled after discovering the actor Anthony Claire (also played by Gyllenhaal) looks exactly like him. That the first Gyllenhaal-Villeneuve meeting would be disrupted by a woman talking about doppelgängers rattled the actor, but that was nothing compared to Villeneuve’s actual pitch.
“Denis told me he had to make this movie and he didn’t know why. I just remember Denis saying, ‘I have to make this movie and I have to make it with you. I can find someone else to do it but I can’t get you out of my mind to do it,'” Gyllenhaal said. “That’s very rare…Denis, to this day, there is something we are working on now and he just writes me, ‘I can’t wait to work with you again.’ And I feel the same way. There are these people you find in your life where you just have these connections. That began that connection.”
Villeneuve’s “Dune” lands in theaters December 18. No official follow-up projects have been announced.