After nearly 35 years, few suspected Ridley Scott’s classic sci-fi noir classic, Blade Runner, would ever see its long-awaited sequel. Despite the trepidation, the sweaty palms, and the mutterings of “oh please don’t screw this up,” confirmation of the film actually happening still doesn’t feel quite real. Even after news that Harrison Ford would reprise his role as Richard Deckard and Ryan Gosling would play the lead, it still felt as though something would come up and this sequel would fall by the wayside.

After teasers from former wrestler turned actor Dave Bautista and speculation about House of Cards star Robin Wright were about to sign on, things began to feel more grounded in certainty. Now, it looks like those rumors have become fact.

Today, Alcon Films, the production company behind Blade Runner 2, officially announced that Bautista and Wright have roles in the film. The sequel will officially begin filming in July of this year. Bautista most recently appeared in the James Bond film Spectre, and will once again play Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Wright, of course, portrays the equally power-hungry Claire Underwood, wife of Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) on the Netflix original series, House of Cards.

Blade Runner Roy and Pris Blade Runner 2 Cast Announced; Bautista & Wright Confirmed

One of the original film’s writers, Hampton Fancher, is drafting the script alongside Michael Green and Denis Villeneuve will direct the sequel, while Sir Ridley oversees the production from an executive producer’s chair. At this point, though, little is known about the sequel to the adaptation of beloved Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, aside that it takes place roughly 30 years after its predecessor. Scott has teased Deckard’s status as an advanced replicant and suggested a possible Grapes of Wrath-reminiscent opening shot, but beyond that details of the plot are mere speculation.

Bautista’s size (and his Twitter tease alongside an origami unicorn similar to the one held by Deckard at the end of the original film) could also indicate his presence as a replicant or as a replicant-hunting blade runner. Either way, it would be foolish not to take advantage of his physical prowess in the upcoming film. Robin Wright’s role, on the other hand, is even more uncertain. As an actress with a great deal of range, she could easily wind up playing a blade runner or a core member of the LAPD, who employ the blade runners. She could also portray a femme fatale replicant, similar to Sean Young’s iconic role, who aids Deckard (or Gosling) in their quest.

No matter whom Wright and Bautista’s characters are in the upcoming sequel, the cast and crew of Blade Runner 2 have a mammoth task on their hands. As a moody, innovative cyberpunk masterpiece, Blade Runner used strong characterization, haunting settings and startling violence to bring to LA in 2019 (yikes, that’s close) to life. Wright, Ford, and Gosling, are all impressive talents, and Bautista is gaining serious cred as well. And if the script is half as remarkable as Scott claims Ford found it, we could have a striking follow up on our hands.

Blade Runner 2 will begin production in July of 2016. It is currently slated for release on January 12, 2018.

Source: Alcon Entertainment

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