35 years will have passed between films set in the Blade Runner universe by the time that the second chapter, Blade Runner 2049, arrives in theaters in 2017, under the direction of acclaimed filmmaker Denis Villeneuve of Sicario and Arrival fame. Blade Runner star Harrison Ford is nevertheless reprising his iconic role as blade runner/replicant hunter Rick Deckard in the sequel, opposite Ryan Gosling as a younger Los Angeles-based blade runner known as Officer K. Original Blade Runner director Ridley Scott was also heavily involved with the sequel’s development, both serving as a producer and helping to craft the story for the long-awaited followup.
The recently-revealed Blade Runner 2049 plot synopsis confirms that the sequel follows Officer K as he sets out to find Deckard, after having uncovered a secret that could have terrible repercussions on the film’s (already dystopian) futuristic setting. Not much else about the movie can be gleaned by watching the newly-unveiled Blade Runner 2049 teaser trailer, though a fresh collection of images from the film at least highlight one additional player in the sci-fi/Noir sequel.
EW has the exclusive on several fresh screenshots from Blade Runner 2049, including one that introduces costar Ana de Armas (War Dogs) as Joi – a character who could just as easily be a replicant as she could be a human, based on what we know of the Blade Runner universe. The other images are either unrevealing shots of Gosling and/or Ford in the film, or behind the scenes photos that show Scott and Villeneuve on the movie’s set. Seeing as Blade Runner 2049 is still a ways off at the time of writing this (it doesn’t arrive until October 2017), the lack of spoilery material is arguably welcome at this stage.
Blade Runner 2049 appears to have successfully carried over the grungy aesthetic and feel of its predecessor’s Noir-influenced backdrop (while at the same time giving it a modern polish), if the initial teaser trailer and images from the film are any indication. Villeneuve has now confirmed that the Blade Runner sequel will also be Rated R like the first installment was, further establishing that the followup aims to strike a mature tone similar to Scott’s original touchstone work. At the same time, Villeneuve has indicated that he’s striving to leave his mark on the Blade Runner universe with the sequel, so hopefully the movie can manage to be faithful yet innovative in near-equal measure.
The script for Blade Runner 2049, as mentioned earlier, was crafted by Scott in collaboration with Blade Runner‘s screenwriter Hampton Fancher and was then further developed by Michael Green. This will hopefully help the Blade Runner sequel to expand upon the themes and ideas of its predecessor (and the Philip K. Dick novel that inspired it) while again, also bringing some new to the table – thematically, as well as visually. Expanding upon a landmark sci-fi property is no easy task and it’s one that Scott himself has (arguably) struggled with before, on his Alien quasi-prequel Prometheus. So far though, the people who are working on Blade Runner 2049 seem to be making all the right moves in this regard.