In fact, directing "Arrival" helped Villeneuve prepare for his work on the sequel to the 1982 sci-fi classic film "Blade Runner."
"'Arrival' was by far my most effects-oriented movie," Villeneuve told Deadline on Monday. "It was so different it helped me to feel ready to go on the scope of "Blade Runner.'"
Specifically, he cited "pre-visualization" techniques that essentially let filmmakers watch a film unfold in pre-production. "You create in the computer the sequences according to storyboards, like a kind of animated short film.," he said. "You see the evolution, each shot, the camerawork, the background, everything kind of goes together as you are working."
But even though pre-visualization aided Villeneuve in understanding the complexity of directing a special-effects-saturated film, he still found the idea of taking on a well-known film from another director -- in this case Ridley Scott -- rather daunting.
"It's the first time that I had to take the universe of someone else and to make it my own," Villeneuve said. "It's very challenging, the biggest artistic challenge I've had in my life probably."
"Blade Runner 2049" will hit theaters in October 2017.