Denis Villeneuve spoke in June that he is ‘definitely dreaming’ of directing a smaller movie after helming two of the biggest tentpole films of the last few years Blade Runner 2049 and Dune. The director admitted “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.” Jake Gyllenhaal then confirmed on the ‘Team Deakins’ podcast that the two are indeed working on an upcoming project together.
As the star of Villeneuve’s back to back 2013 films – Enemy and Prisoners – Gyllenhaal played a big role in the director’s breakthrough in the U.S. Prisoners, which opened in theatres ahead of Enemy, but the latter actually went into production almost a year before the former. Gyllenhaal said that working with Villeneuve for the first time on Enemy, the two had a dinner meeting that sealed the creative partnership.
“At this dinner this weird thing happened” said Gyllenhaal. “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 gain’. And I feel the same way. There are these people you find in your life where you just have these connections. That began the connection.
Villeneuve’s latest, Dune, will be coming to Palace Cinemas from December 17.