Dune Part Two could gross 90 million upon release

Denis Villeneuve, the Quebec filmmaker who makes Hollywood dream

Who would have thought that a director from Quebec would one day become one of the most famous filmmakers in the world? At 56, Denis Villeneuve is now one of the world's cinema elite alongside big names such as Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg and James Cameron. “He's in a class of his own,” emphasize several film industry observers interviewed by The newspaper.

• Also read: Release of “Dune: second part”: Denis Villeneuve and Timothée Chalamet are expected in Montreal on Wednesday evening

• Also read: Karine Vanasse praises Denis Villeneuve: “He shapes people’s imagination”

His rise to the highest echelons of world cinema was both exemplary and spectacular. Since the release of the thriller “Prisoners,” his first American feature, which opened in 2013, Denis Villeneuve has continued to gain traction as a filmmaker, eventually helming major Hollywood productions like Dune: Part II, his new film, which opens Thursday Evening.

“At this moment, Denis [Villeneuve] is on the Formula 1 racing circuit of world cinema and the cars next to him are driven by filmmakers such as Christopher Nolan and Steven Spielberg. It's great to see where he's come!” says producer Roger Frappier, who produced Villeneuve's first feature films (including “Cosmos” and “Maelström”) in the late 1990s.

Without excessive chauvinism, Roger Frappier describes the place that Villeneuve has conquered in the world of cinema – which is reminiscent of the place that Céline Dion occupied in the world music scene.

Last summer, Denis Villeneuve was named the second best director of the last 25 years – behind Christopher Nolan (Oppenheimer) – at the end of a competition organized online by the team at the review collection site Rotten Tomatoes.

Recently, an expert from the American advertising analysis agency ComScore told Variety magazine that, in his opinion, Villeneuve belongs to the Mount Rushmore of the most talented filmmakers for producing Hollywood blockbusters.

“With specialists in American cinema who don’t know where Gentilly is [la ville où est né Villeneuve] Saying it like that shows the extent to which he is in a class of his own,” notes author and critic Michel Coulombe, a film industry expert.

A master of science fiction

According to Mr. Coulombe, the Incendies and Polytechnique director is among the shortlist of filmmakers who manage to turn major Hollywood productions into popular and critical successes: “There are only a very small number of people who do that, and him it is.” one of them. . And in this group he became the modern master of science fiction. The last person who could claim this was George Lucas with the first films in the Star Wars saga. In some ways, Villeneuve is the modern Lucas. This is not trivial!”

With Denis Villeneuve's career already reaching unimaginable heights, what can we expect next? If we trust the specialized Hollywood press, the Quebec filmmaker currently has several feature film projects on the table, including a third “Dune” and a film about the life of Cleopatra.

“It will be interesting to see what he does next because he is in a situation where he has access to the best scripts in Hollywood,” emphasizes distributor Patrick Roy (Immina Films), who is already involved in the release of the films Villeneuve collaborated with Maelström and Polytechnique.

“All the big names, actors and actresses, want to work with him now. As the English expression goes: “Sky is the limit,” he concludes.

Denis Villeneuve and actor Timothée Chalamet will be in Montreal on Wednesday evening to celebrate the premiere of the film “Dune: Part Two.” The feature film will be shown across Quebec on Thursday evenings.

– In collaboration with Cédric Bélanger

Celebrity praise

Denis Villeneuve, the Quebec filmmaker who makes Hollywood dream

Photo AFP

Denis Villeneuve has been praised by several Hollywood stars over the years. Here are a few:

Amy Adams: “He’s so much fun and he has so much passion and love for what he does. You feel that every day when you arrive on set. I always felt very supported. He is the best.”

– 2016, press conference for the film Arrival at the Toronto International Film Festival

Ryan Gosling: “If you made a list of all the qualities you look for in a director and sent them to Santa Claus, there would be a Denis Villeneuve under the tree on the morning of December 25th.”

– 2016, City News

Christopher Nolan: “If Dune: Part 1 is Star Wars, then Dune: Part 2 is, in my opinion, the equivalent of The Empire Strikes Back, my favorite Star Wars.”

– 2024, Raiders of the Lost Podcast

Jake Gyllenhaal: “I was immediately attracted to his personality and artistic approach. I didn't know how it would translate on screen, but I had a feeling something inspiring would come from the experience.

– 2014, Journal de Montréal

Emily Blunt: “He’s a director who works so well together! He involves you in the process by making you think he doesn't know what's going on and makes you voice your opinion and you say, “Wow, this movie would fail without me.” If When you watch the film, you realize that he knew where he was going the whole time.”

– 2015, promotion of Sicario

Hugh Jackman: “I had been offered the role before but only signed on when Denis was appointed director of the film. It's a thriller that will keep you thinking for days after you watch it. There are only a few films like this and only a few directors can make them.”

– 2013, prisoner support

Harrison Ford: “He is fantastic. I loved working with him. You knew you had done your job when he came to you and said, 'I deeply love what you've done.'”

– 2017, commercial for Blade Runner 2049