Barkhad Abdi has shed some light on his character from the upcoming sequel, Blade Runner 2049. The film is set decades after Ridley Scott’s original Blade Runner, picking up the story after we left the fate of Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard open to interpretation. Blade Runner 2049 follows Ryan Gosling’s Officer K, who is tasked with tracking down Deckard for a mysterious purpose.
As we head into the future with Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner sequel, it looks like the followup to Scott’s 1982 classic isn’t skimping on its sci-fi madness. Oscar-nominee Abdi joins a cast that also includes Robin Wright, Dave Bautista and Jared Leto, in addition to Ford and Gosling – but just who will the Captain Phillips actor be portraying in the film?
Speaking to THR, 32-year-old Abdi revealed that his Blade Runner 2049 character is a scientist who is, as he put it, “totally deformed” person. As to whether the Blade Runner sequel can surpass its predecessor in quality, Abdi said:
“It’s not pressure, it’s a blessing. But for me, I do everything that I do to the full extent like it’s the last one. I feel an obligation to [surpass] Captain Phillips — that’s my goal. So every time I have an opportunity, I like to do what I can, because I’m all about this [career].”
For those skeptical that creating a sequel so long after the first Blade Runner is a good idea, last month’s Blade Runner 2049 CinemaCon trailer has partly helped to lay those fears to rest. Depicting a larger and more desolate world, Blade Runner 2049 will delve deeper into the universe first created by author Philip K. Dick. Dick wrote the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? in 1968 and K. W. Jeter wrote three sequels thereafter.
The road to the Blade Runner‘s feature film sequel has been a long one, and development started as long ago as 1999. Since then, there have been several script drafts, but legal issues and unsure involvement from the likes of Scott and Ford has delayed the project. Pre-production finally began with Gosling’s casting back in 2015 and filming commenced in mid-2016.
News on characters is still pretty sparse – but with Abdi playing a scientist, will he be helping or hindering the search for Deckard? While little else is known as of yet, it has been confirmed that Blade Runner 2049 will be bringing back Gaff, the origami-obsessed Blade Runner vet. Battlestar Galactica‘s Edward James Olmos will return for a single, poignant, scene to ramp up the nostalgia factor. Elsewhere, Bautista has teased his “very cool” role, which given the look and feel of the film, promises to live up to its hype.