If fans of Blade Runner had been asked about Hollywood making a sequel to director Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi classic just a couple of years ago, their reactions likely would have been negative, staunch in the belief that the film and its unanswered questions should be left alone. Then it was announced that not only would Harrison Ford be reprising his role in next year’s Blade Runner 2049, but that it would also be directed by Arrival and Sicario filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, and it seemed like the attitude towards the sequel has been surprisingly positive so far, with most fans either holding a cautiously optimistic view of it, and others being openly excited for the film.
Indeed, the film’s first trailer seemed to tease an epic and visually gorgeous follow-up to the classic film as well, offering just a brief tease at the film’s look and tone, and the relationship between Ryan Gosling’s new lead, and Ford’s Deckard. Apparently, the sequel’s awe-inspiring look wasn’t just a byproduct of the trailer either.
While speaking with EW about the film, Ryan Gosling talked about what it was like working with Villeneuve and legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins on the film, joking that they’re like an actor’s dream come true:
“If you made a list of all the characteristics you hoped for in a director and sent it to Santa Claus, there’d be a Denis Villeneuve under your tree Christmas morning. Maybe a little drunk on eggnog, but he’d be there!
Roger is a master. If there’s a Mount Rushmore of DPs, he’d be right there in the middle. He goes about his work very modestly and quietly, but you learn so much from just looking. You realize that once you are in one of his shots, half your job is already done.”
The actor also briefly talked about the scope of the sequel, saying he was often overwhelmed by the film’s practical effects and sets:
“It’s really incredible. I was so overwhelmed by the scale of them and how specific and, although, beautiful they are.”
Indeed, Villeneuve’s name has been one of the most comforting aspects of this sequel from the moment it was announced. After a string of non-stop, critically-acclaimed projects over the past four years with 2013’s Prisoners, 2014’s Enemy, 2015’s Sicario, and this year’s Arrival, Villeneuve has become one of the most sought after and in-demand filmmakers in the industry right now, and after consistently creating those kinds of high-calibre, awards-worthy films, it’s not hard to see why. The director already has his next project after Blade Runner 2049 lined up possibly, and if any director was going to take Ridley Scott’s place making a Blade Runner sequel, it’s hard to think of someone more fitting or deserving than Villeneuve.
Set thirty years after the events of the first film, 2049 follows Gosling’s LAPD Detective K, a new blade runner, as he embarks on a search for Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard, who’s been missing ever since the conclusion of the original film. After unearthing a long-buried secret, K believes Deckard may be the missing key to stopping all of society from being plunged into total chaos. It’s an ambitious premise, for an inherently ambitious sequel to one of the most beloved and revered films of all time, and no matter how Blade Runner 2049 ends up turning out, there’s no denying the incredible talent that has been brought on to make sure the sequel has the absolute best shot at living up to fan expectations.