It’s been 34 years since the original Blade Runner was released – and over half that time, there has been an ongoing effort to get a sequel off the ground. In 2017, just two years before when the original movie was set, it’s finally going to arrive in the form of Blade Runner 2049, directed by Arrival‘s Denis Villeneuve and starring Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista, Ana de Armas and Jared Leto.
Beyond the title, director and cast, however, very little is known about the movie. It’s been subject to a level of secrecy similar Ford’s other much-anticipated sci-fi sequel. It’s not even known how big the returning star’s appearance will be, or how his presence impacts the long-standing mystery of whether Rick Deckard, his character in the original, was really a replicant or human (although it’s widely accepted he was indeed a robot).
In an interview with GQ, Gosling gave a very small, but incredibly intriguing tease for the sequel, revealing that the scale of the project feels bigger than just a single film, before commenting on the hype:
“It’s like three movies that I usually make in one. Just in terms of the length and just the whole scope and experience. I’ve never done something so shrouded in secrecy or where there’s so much anticipation.”
Blade Runner 2049 does have a lot of ground to cover. It needs to tell a story that stands on its own, justifies the 35 year wait and address (or circumvent) the lingering questions about Deckard’s humanity in a satisfactory way. It has to do all that while providing something that is simultaneously reverent to the original film, yet doesn’t feel like a lazy rehash. With all that in mind, the scope of the film almost has to be massive (especially compared to Gosling’s previous work). What that narrative will be, however, is a closely guarded secret, one that only gets more mysterious with Gosling’s vague comments.
Gosling also talked about the experience of working with Ford on Blade Runner 2049, of which he was incredibly complimentary – stating “You know, they say don’t meet your heroes, but I would say the addendum to that is ‘unless they’re Harrison Ford.’ ‘Cause he’s a cool motherf*cker.'” He exemplified this by elaborating on a story from the set about Ford punching him in the face:
“It was kind of, you know, a rite of passage. We were just doing a fight scene and, you know, it just happened. But what was funny was, when it was over, they brought ice for my face, and Harrison pushed me out of the way and stuck his fist in the ice.”
Aside from being cool, dryly funny and oh-so very Ford, the behind-the-scenes anecdote does suggest that the pair will likely not be working on the same side (although, not knowing anything about either’s part in the film, that’s not too explanatory). With Gosling hot on the awards trail for La La Land, he’s going to have a lot of interview time coming up – so hopefully some more nuggets about Blade Runner 2049 will be dropped, along the way.