What We Know: Blade Runner 2049
By: Jaclyn Cascio (@jaclynator)
“Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” Philip K. Dick asked in the title of his sci-fi novel. In 1982, Ridley Scott explored the novel in movie form with Blade Runner. Now, in 2017, we will journey to Blade Runner 2049.
Whether you’re excited about a sequel to the 1982 sci-fi flick, or maybe even dreading it, Blade Runner 2049 is coming. Original director Ridley Scott has been trying to expand the universe of blade runners and replicants for several years now, believing there is more of the story to tell. (Who are we to argue with Ridley Scott?) Back in 2009, Ridley and his brother Tony were working on a prequel project, called Purefold. It was planned to be a series of 5-10 minute long shorts. However, by 2010 the project was nixed due to lack of funding. But Scott didn’t let go of the Blade Runner dream, and in 2011 he was set to direct a sequel. He stepped down from the director’s chair in 2014, but he still wasn’t finished. Blade Runner 2049 was officially announced in 2016 with Scott as a producer and a writer (along with Michael Green and Hampton Fancher, a writer from the original Blade Runner).
Directed by Denis Villeneuve (the French-Canadian director known for his work on films like Prisoners, Sicario, and Arrival) Blade Runner 2049 began principal photography shooting in July 2016 in Budapest, Hungary, and ended in November of the same year. Working with cinematographer Roger Deakins (Sicario, Prisoners), the sequel will use lots of practical effects and tricks (with some CG enhancements) to maintain the look and feel of the Blade Runner universe we remember, and Jóhann Jóhannson, (Arrival, Sicario) the Icelandic composer will be creating the sound of Blade Runner 2049, hopefully paying homage to the original soundtrack.
What can we expect in Blade Runner 2049? The R-rated sequel is set 30 years after the events of the original film, starring Harrison Ford as Deckard. L.A. looks much the same, as a visually stimulating environment with heavy Eastern influence and a hint of noir. The opening scene description, revealed by Scott, shows us the agricultural side of the world, similar to the wasteland outside major cities described in Philip K. Dick’s novel after World War Terminus. Officer K (Ryan Gosling), a blade runner in L.A., has uncovered a dark secret with the potential to throw humanity into chaos. Whatever that secret may be, it starts him on a search for Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former blade runner who disappeared 30 years before.
Now, the Deckard questions are already coming. Where was Deckard? Why did he disappear? And most importantly, is he a replicant? Scott has sworn for years that Deckard is a replicant, but Villeneuve is a fan of the mystery surrounding Deckard and said, “We will take care of that mystery.” Very vague, Villeneuve. Does that mean the mystery will be maintained, or will we finally have a definitive answer? It looks like we’ll just have to go to the theater to get our answers.
Gosling will play the new lead, Officer K. Meanwhile, Ford will reprise his role as Deckard and will be joined by Edward James Olmos as the origami-folding Detective Goff. Ana de Armas (War Dogs) will play a character named Joi. Then, the mystery continues with the rest of the cast in undisclosed roles. Supporting actors will include Jared Leto (Suicide Squad), Robin Wright (House of Cards), Lennie James (The Walking Dead), David Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) and others, such as Barkhad Abdi, Hiam Abbass, Carla Juri, Mackenzie Davis, and Sylvia Hoeks.
That’s the scoop on Blade Runner 2049! The film will be released October 6, 2017 in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D. For more news as the release approaches, you can check out the Blade Runner Facebook page or follow the official movie account on Twitter. Watch the official trailer below!