A Blade Runner sequel is slated to hit theaters on Jan. 12, 2018. Harrison Ford is to return as Deckard and Ryan Gosling will play a lead role in the movie. Also on board are co-writers of the original script Michael Green and Hampton Fancher with Ridley Scott producing. The film is to be directed by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Sicaro, Incendies). The story takes place several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original.
With Blade Runner being such an iconic and critically acclaimed film, the bar is set high for Blade Runner 2 and understandably Blade Runner fans may have a sense of trepidation. At least its not a remake attempt otherwise hardcore fans of the original might be committing mass harakiri at something so potentially sacrilegious.
In an interview with MTV, executive producer Ridley Scott said “I sent him (Harrison Ford), this (script) and he said it’s the best thing he’s ever read. It’s very relevant to what happened in the first one.”
Fans of the film will wonder if Blade Runner 2 will end a long standing debate on whether Deckard was a replicant, one of the artificial intelligent nexus robots that he was tasked with hunting down and eliminating. What a big pay off that would be.
In the original film Ridley Scott created such beautiful and dark futuristic cityscapes which paved the way for so many other science fiction films and games. It will be interesting to see what director Villeneuve brings to the sequel, how much he attempts to recreate the dream like, atmospheric dystopia, and what new vision he will add. Its always a difficult line to walk for a film maker when paying respect to a previous film without creating a “copy and paste” feel.
In his previous films Villeneuve relies heavily on creating mystery, leaving his characters and audience struggling in their search for answers. He also isn’t afraid of realism in depicting violence with films such as Polytechnique (2014), which sparked controversy over its depiction of a tragic school shooting.
Villeneuve is well aware of the expectations placed on his directorship:
“…I’m totally aware of the huge challenge… It’s a risk I know that every single fan who walks into the theater will walk in with a baseball bat. I’m aware of that and I respect that, and it’s okay with me because… it’s art. Art is risk, and I have to take risks. It’s gonna be the biggest risk of my life but I’m okay with that...” (Collider 2015)
Principal photography on the film will begin in July 2016.