Blade Runner: 2049 director Dennis Villeneuve has revealed how he wanted to cast David Bowie in the sci-fi sequel before his death, admitting that the music icon was a sci-fi character in his own right.
Dennis Villeneuve had originally intended to cast Bowie in the role of villainous replicant creator Niander Wallace, before the role eventually went to Jared Leto after his death in January 2016.
Now, he’s opened up on the original plan to secure Bowie for the film, and described how his otherworldly spirit made him perfect for the role.
“There was a lot of people that came to mind when I read the screenplay, an idea that came to the table very early on when we started casting was that Wallace could be played by someone like David Bowie”, he told Consequence of Sound.
“It made so much sense to me. I said, ‘That’s a genius idea! That’s a genius idea!’ David Bowie, for me, was Blade Runner before its time. Probably, the original Blade Runner was inspired by David Bowie. He was so ahead of his time. He’s a sci-fi character in itself. He embodied the Blade Runner spirit.”
He also described how he mourned Bowie’s passing before considering the possibility of casting Leto in the role of Niander Wallace.
“I was super sad for such a loss, and at the same time, and from a selfish point of view, I was like, ‘Oh boy…”, Villeneuve explained.
“Jared Leto asked me a question, he said, ‘How come you came to me that late?’ I never told him the answer is because I had to mourn him …. a long time. I needed to find another good idea, and it was a very long process for me to let the passion for Bowie fade away.
“So, I started to shoot the movie not knowing, and the producers were fantastic, they said, ‘Take your time, we understand. You will find an idea.’ And when the idea of Jared came, then I knew that I’m so grateful Jared accepted because I needed the quality I was looking for, and honestly, I was blown away by his performance.”
Blade Runner: 2049 was released in October, and is believed to one of this year’s biggest under performers at the Box Office, despite scooping up critical acclaim.