When Blade Runner hit theatres back in 1982, it arrived to mixed reviews. Audiences and critics weren’t quite ready for director Ridley Scott’s dystopian sci-fi noir but over time, the film has become a cult classic, often appearing on lists featuring the most important films of the last thirty plus years. There have been whisperings of a second film for along time now, with development of a sequel beginning as far back as 1999, but after 35 years since the original, Blade Runner 2049 will finally arrive.
When is it released?
The planned release date is October 6th 2017. The film will appear in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D – a treat for older fans who only had the option of a 2D original. The movie had been slated for a January 12 2018 release, but thankfully it’s been brought forward.
How long is it?
Blade Runner 2049 clocks in at a whopping 163 minutes. That’s almost three hours long!
Have we seen a trailer?
In fact, we’ve now seen three pretty epic trailers for Blade Runner 2049 and a TV spot. The newest clip was released today (August 22) and gives us a sneak peek inside Officer K’s (Ryan Gosling) sky-city flat, where he listens to jazzy Christmas standards and says scary, foreboding things to maybe-girlfriend Joi (Ana DeArmas). It also features creepy, slimy replicants and Jared Leto looking like a baddie. Watch below.
Blade Runner 2049 is only 44 days away
Posted by NME on Tuesday, August 22, 2017
The third teaser was released last month (July 17) and reveals a little more about each of the new characters. Officer K (Ryan Gosling) is quietly hunting ex-cop Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) while Robin Wright’s mysterious official worries about the fallout. Jared Leto plays sinister villain Neander Wallace, who seems to spend most of the time threatening people – “You do not know what pain is yet. You will learn.” Watch the full trailer below.
This second snippet (released May 8) gives viewers their first peek at Jared Leto and Robin Wright in full costume. It also features new female character Joi, played by Ana de Armas (War Dogs). We don’t know much about her yet but it seems she’s in pretty deep with Ryan Gosling’s Officer K. “You’re story isn’t over yet,” she mysteriously reveals to him. “There’s still a page left.”
The first trailer (released late last year) caused quite a stir online and only featured the two lead actors Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford.
The beautifully-shot scenes seen in the trailer and their weighty atmosphere mirror its predecessor enough without feeling plagiaristic. The city scenes still have that noir hue and the Eastern influence remains as seen in Ridley’s original.
Officer K (Gosling) is searching for Deckard (Ford), finding him in a remote, abandoned hideout in the middle of a wasteland. As K taps on a piano key, this feels reminiscent of the scene from Blade Runner, where Deckard hits a piano key and flashes to his unicorn dream. Could Villeneuve be trying to tell us something about K here?
The wasteland itself could be a reference to the original novel, where the land outside the world’s major cities has become barren due to the World War Terminus but we see both the wasteland and the city suggesting the movie will expand beyond the cityscape of the original.
Could David Bowie have been in Blade Runner 2049?
You betcha. In a recent interview with Empire, director Denis Villeneuve discussed his casting process for new villain Neander Wallace. “Our first thought had been David Bowie, who had influenced Blade Runner in many ways,” he revealed. Unfortunately, tragedy struck. “When we learned the sad news, we looked around for someone with qualities like that.” Villeneuve and his team eventually landed on Jared Leto for the part, who was “highly dedicated” to the role. But just imagine, The Thin White Duke facing off Harrison Ford atop a futuristic high-rise. What could have been…
New Blade Runner 2049 posters featuring Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford
It’s been a while since we had any new titbits of information on the sequel. But here we are, with two brand-spanking new movie posters for fans to feast their non-replicant eyes on. They’re pretty special. Take a look below.
— #BladeRunner 2049 (@bladerunner) May 4, 2017
— #BladeRunner 2049 (@bladerunner) May 4, 2017
Recent CinemaCon footage
CinemaCon is the annual blockbuster fest, usually held in Vegas, where the world’s biggest production companies come together to hype up that year’s mega releases. 2017 was no different, with Sony debuting brand new footage from Blade Runner 2049 at the event yesterday (March 27). It hasn’t been publicly released but here’s a rough outline of what was included.
The extended preview featured “an apocalyptic Los Angeles and Las Vegas filled with snow, dust storms, and dazed looking androids” according to Variety. Who also reported “shots of a bloodied, haunted-looking Gosling” and a “creepy-looking” Jared Leto. There was even a thrilling action sequence showing a grizzled Harrison Ford running for his life.
New franchise lead Ryan Gosling was there himself to present the footage, as well as answering some questions from fans.
“Every location was real,” he said. “Every set was there…It was a fully functioning, living, breathing world.”
The Drive star also confirmed the team tried hard to keep CGI use to a minimum – instead opting to shoot on location in Budapest.
Latest on-set pictures
Last month, we finally got a bit more of a peek inside the upcoming movie. Warner Bros. released a bunch of stills, accompanied by some on set production shots. Take a look:
Oh yeah, that’s Ana De Armas. She was in War Dogs last year. She’s good
Excellent coat game
Is Deckard a replicant?
Give up Ridley, there’s no teaching some people…
Director Denis Villeneuve takes a break
What is Blade Runner 2049 about?
Blade Runner 2049 continues thirty years where the original left us, director Denis Villeneuve recently revealed some plot details:
“Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.”
Villeneuve’s brief explanation has only left us with more questions though – where has Deckard been hiding? What became of the replicants? Why is society in turmoil? Hopefully all will be revealed in the forthcoming movie or perhaps it could be the start of a franchise.
Are any of the old cast involved?
The only old cast member returning is Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard. There was some debate at the end of Blade Runner as to whether Deckard was a human or a replicant; officer Gaff (Edward James Olmos) left an origami unicorn outside Deckard’s apartment at the end of the original film suggesting he had seen Deckard’s dreams and therefore he was a replicant. If this is true then perhaps Deckard is a different model of Replicant, able to age, because the Nexus-6 replicants originally only had a lifespan of 4 years.
Who else is in the cast?
They’ve brought in the big guns
They’re keeping a lid on the casting details, all we know right now is that Ryan Gosling plays LAPD Officer K – the rest of the cast has been announced but who they are playing remains a mystery. Jared Leto (Suicide Squad), Robin Wright (House of Cards), Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Lennie James (The Walking Dead) are among the confirmed cast playing supporting roles.
Another returning name is Edward James Olmos, who played veteran replicant hunter Eduardo Gaff in the original. He confirmed his appearance this week in a new interview about Blade Runner 2049.
Speaking about what his performance might entail, Olmos said, “Well, it’s not about Gaff.” He continued, “but it’s about someone who is going to try to find out certain things about us back then. My role is like it was in the original – that time, I had only four scenes, in this I only have one. But again, it’s a poignant little scene.”
Who is directing?
The producers have chosen to go with an experienced pair of hands for Blade Runner 2049. Veteran of 16 films and recently Oscar nominated for sci-fi smash Arrival (2016), French Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve is no newbie when it comes to big budget projects. Indeed, he’s worked with some of Hollywood’s most celebrated actors in Hugh Jackman (Prisoners) and Emily Blunt (Sicario). So dealing with Harrison Ford’s famously moody temperament shouldn’t be a problem.
“It’s by far the biggest artistic challenge I have ever done,” said Villeneuve at San Diego Comic Con recently. To take someone else’s universe and to try to digest and make it my own is a strange process. I did that once, I would not do it again.”
“I have to find a way to make that universe mine,” the Canadian director added. “I have to find a way to not feel like a vandal going in a church, making graffiti on the walls.”
Who has written the script?
The old guard are back
As predicted, original dream team Hampton Fancher (wrote the original) and Ridley Scott (directed the original) have worked together on the script for Blade Runner 2049 — Scott has also executive produced the film.
Blade Runner co-writer David Webb-Peoples hasn’t returned for the sequel. Stepping into his sizeable shoes is Michael Green, who wrote the infamously terrible superhero flop The Green Lantern. Should we be worried?
What about the soundtrack?
A new direction
Icelandic composter Jóhann Jóhannsson has been charged with the mammoth task of creating a soundtrack just as strong as Vangelis’ original. Jóhannsson has worked with Villeneuve on several films before including Sicario and Arrival; he described tackling the soundtrack as “an enormous challenge of mythical proportion”.
Speaking about the decision not to bring back Vangelis, Jóhannsson said, “[Vangelis’ score] was a huge part of why that film is so strong, so yes, it’s something that I’m very aware of, but as I said, this is a sequel, not a remake, so we’re doing something that exists in the world but is new as well. From what is heard in the trailer though, it sounds as though the soundtrack will be a good homage to Vangelis’ iconic original.
In August 2017, it was confirmed that Hans Zimmer was to write additional music for the Blade Runner 2049 score. It’s not unusual for new directors to step in and add parts to existing scores, so listed composer Jóhannsson won’t be worried about being usurped. Most likely, it is a result of scheduling conflicts that have arisen.
Is Rick Deckard a replicant?
“Of course he’s a bloody replicant!” — Ridley Scott, September 2015.
What else do we know about Blade Runner 2049?
The first scene, in detail
As limited as overall plot details have been, Scott has found it quite hard to keep his trap shut about the forthcoming sequel. Speaking at the AFI Festival in Los Angeles back in 2015, he outlined the opening scene of the film in some detail.
“We decided to start the film off with the original starting block of the original film,” Scott explained.
“I always loved the idea of a dystopian universe, and we start off at what I describe as a ‘factory farm’ – what would be a flat land with farming. Wyoming. Flat, not rolling – you can see for 20 miles. No fences, just ploughed, dry dirt.
“Turn around and you see a massive tree, just dead, but the tree is being supported and kept alive by wires that are holding the tree up. It’s a bit like The Grapes of Wrath; there’s dust, and the tree is still standing. By that tree is a traditional, Grapes of Wrath-type white cottage with a porch. Behind it at a distance of two miles, in the twilight, is this massive combine harvester that’s fertilising this ground. You’ve got 16 Klieg lights on the front, and this combine is four times the size of this cottage. And now a spinner [a flying car] comes flying in, creating dust. Of course, traditionally chased by a dog that barks.
“The doors open, a guy gets out and there you’ve got Rick Deckard. He walks in to the cottage, opens the door, smells stew, sits down and waits for the guy to pull up to the house to arrive. The guy’s seen him, so the guy pulls the combine behind the cottage and it towers three stories above it, and the man climbs down from a ladder – a big man. He steps onto the balcony and he goes to Harrison [Ford]’s side. The cottage actually [creaks]; this guy’s got to be 350 pounds. I’m not going to say anything else – you’ll have to go see the movie.”
Not sure we’ll need anything else actually Ridley…
They’re ditching the hammy voiceover
Director Villeneuve has confirmed that Blade Runner 2049 will not feature the controversial narrated voiceover from the original. As fans will know, a rather bored-sounding Harrison Ford narration was tacked on to the 1982 theatrical release, but later removed from later versions of the film. It seems the team behind 2017’s sequel decided to go with their audience on this one and cut it out altogether.