With less a week to go before the premiere of Blade Runner 2049, Quebec director Denis Villeneuve is confident this is his best and most challenging film yet.

"There are things in the movie that I did that I had not done before," he said.

The highly anticipated sequel to Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi film will hit the screens next week with a first screening in Los Angeles, followed by one in Montreal. 

The preliminary reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, with many saying that Villeneuve lives up to the artistic vision of the original Blade Runner.

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Actor Ryan Gosling, left, and Director Denis Villeneuve pose for the media during a photo call to promote Blade Runner 2049. (Manu Fernandez/The Canadian Press)

As a director, Villeneuve is known for not shying away from difficult subjects and for boldly conquering the technical difficulties that come with the sci-fi genre.

Without wanting to divulge too much about the sequel, he admitted Blade Runner 2049 is one of the most challenging films he's taken on throughout his career.

"I don't like to do the same thing twice," he told CBC. "I'm trying to find new challenges and have a bigger playground, you know?"

"This one was pretty big."

'Marathon of challenges'

Whether it was difficult acting scenes or working with new technology to create the film, Villeneuve was taxed every day.

"We had to build massive sets in order to create that world," he said. "So it was a long marathon of challenges."

Blade Runner

Harrison Ford, star of Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner, will reprise his role as Rick Deckard in Denis Villeneuve's sequel, Blade Runner 2049. (Warner Bros.)

He relied heavily on the support of his cast, crew and his wife Tanya Lapointe, a former journalist with Radio-Canada.

"My wife Tanya ... was working with me every day, was helping me stay mentally sane," he said. "Seriously, it was a strong help for me."

Inspiration and freedom when it came to Ridley Scott

While working on a follow-up to the highly praised Blade Runner in the presence of its original director, Villeneuve said he didn't feel pressure from Ridley, who is also an executive producer on the film.

"I had a chance to have total freedom," he said. "That was part of the deal when he met me the first time, he said to me — to great pleasure and relief — he would let me be free."

Denis Villeneuve on Ridley Scott's hands-off approach to Blade Runner 20490:53

His work is usually inspired by other art forms outside of cinema, but Villeneuve said this is the first time he drew inspiration from a movie, the original Blade Runner.

"I was living with this movie every day as a reference, so that was enough for me."

With files from CBC's Nantali Indongo