Harrison Ford has revealed why he decided to return for Blade Runner: 2049 after so many years. Ford played Rick Deckard in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner in 1982, and he will be reprising his iconic role in Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming sequel later this year – after 35 years – which also stars Ryan Gosling as Officer K, Jared Leto as Wallace, Ana de Armis as Joi, and Edward James Olmos as Gaff.
It’s rare for actors to return to a character after so many years, yet Ford has done it three times now. He reprised his role as Dr. Henry Jones, Jr. in Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2008, and then he returned to a galaxy far, far away as Han Solo in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens in 2015. Later this year, he will return to the big screen as Deckard in Blade Runner: 2049. The question is, why?
In a recent IMAX Q&A on Facebook, Harrison Ford revealed to moderator Scott Mantz why he decided to reprise his role after all these years:
“The character [Rick Deckard] is woven into the story in a way that intrigued me. There’s a very strong emotional context. The relationship between the character Deckard – that I play – and other characters is fascinating. I think it’s interesting to develop a character after a period of time – to revisit a character.”
Blade Runner: 2049 is the latest in a recent trend of sequels to release after long periods of time. For instance, within the past few years alone, TRON: Legacy, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, and Zoolander 2 have all released well over a decade after the originals. Such a long gap between installments allows for the story to catch up in real-time, while also providing a sense of nostalgia for the audience. Those are also things that intrigued Ford.
“I think it’s fascinating that the original film postulated a technology, which, in many ways, we’ve surpassed, and, in other ways, we’re not quite there. And this film takes into account the 30 years that have passed; it references technologies that actually are in place now, and also – to me, which is a little bit more interesting – acknowledges and deals with some of the ethical considerations that technology presents us with.”
Elsewhere in the Q&A, Ford praised working with director Villeneuve and co-star Gosling, which he said was a “very interesting” and a “very gratifying experience.” Based on what we’ve seen thus far, Blade Runner: 2049 certainly looks like it will be another hit for Villeneuve, whose latest science fiction movie, Arrival, is widely considered one of the best genre films to release in years. But whether or not the Blade Runner sequel will truly be better than the original is something that will be determined when Blade Runner 2049 hits theaters this fall.