Director Denis Villeneuve’s highly anticipated sequel to Sir Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic Blade Runner is beginning to gather pace, in what’s been a particularly long and drawn-out development process.

Blade Runner 2 (as the film is unofficially titled) has enlisted the services of original Blade Runner lead Harrison Ford (returning as Rick Deckard), as well as franchise newcomers Robin Wright, Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, and Dave Bautista in key roles that have yet to be revealed. Now, another one of the movie’s female leads has been officially unveiled.

Alcon Entertainment, the production company behind the Blade Runner follow-up (which is set decades after the 1982 original), have announced that Dutch actress Sylvia Hoeks will play the female lead. The news was shared by Andrew Cosove and Broderick Johnson, Alcon’s co-founders and co-CEOs. Specific details concerning Hoeks’ role are currently unknown, but she will reportedly be featured as a prominent character fronting the film. Here is the official statement from Kosove and Johnson on the matter:

“Sylvia is a radiant talent, a tremendous actress with great appeal in a wide variety of roles. Her addition to this vastly accomplished international cast is a perfect fit.”

Blade Runner Poster Blade Runner 2 Casts Sylvia Hoeks in a Leading Role

The 32-year-old Hoeks is best know for her stage and television work in the Netherlands and around Europe, with roles in award-winning Tirza, a Dutch box office hit in 2010. She’s also been nominated and won awards for parts in Het Meisje en de DoodDuska and The Storm. Her highest-profile role to date was in the 2013 film The Best Offer, where she appeared alongside Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush. However, with the buzz surrounding Blade Runner 2, this will no doubt propel Hoeks firmly into the limelight of Hollywood, especially if the film is a box office success.

Naturally, the jury’s verdict on Blade Runner 2 won’t be released for some time now, seeing as the film doesn’t start production until July (and won’t hit theaters until fall of 2017). Villeneuve certainly boasts a stunning and well-received filmography to his name – one that includes Incendies, Prisoners, Enemy, and last year’s gripping thriller Sicario starring Emily Blunt. For that reason alone, hopes are certainly high to see what the outcome of this, Villeneuve’s most scrutinized project to date, will be.

Whether Blade Runner 2 will be, by critics’ standards at least, a worthy companion to Scott’s original won’t necessarily have an impact on whether it’s a commercial hit or not. Word of mouth and having a 20th Century classic behind it will ensure, regardless of how it’s initially received, it does good business at the box office when released next year.

NEXT: Ridley Scott Reveals Blade Runner 2 Opening Scene Details

Blade Runner 2 is currently scheduled to open in U.S. theaters on October 6th, 2017.

Source: Alcon Entertainment

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