After years of rumor and speculation, it's finally happening: Blade Runner 2 is going into production. Harrison Ford is confirmed to return, and the film is being directed by Sicario's Denis Villeneuve. Filming on the long-awaited sequel is set to begin soon, which is good news considering Warner Bros. recently announced the film's release date had been pushed up several months to October 2017.
In addition to Harrison Ford reprising his role as Rick Deckard, several other high-profile cast members have been added to the film, such as Ryan Gosling, Robin Wright, and Dave Bautista. But the film is not done casting major roles, apparently, as it was announced today that actress Ana de Armas, who is perhaps best known for starring opposite Keanu Reeves in Knock Knock, will also be joining the picture.
According to Variety, de Armas will join Ford and Ryan Gosling as one of the leads in the sci-fi film. The casting was announced by Alcon Entertainment co-founders Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson, who commended de Armas' talent:
"We think Ana is one of the most exciting, up-and-coming international actors in the world today, and we are thrilled she will be playing such an important part in this sequel."
There is no word as yet as to what role she will play, or whether her character will be human or replicant. There have been a few rumors about the film having a female protagonist, but this may have been several script revisions ago. Most details of the script are being kept under wraps, though it is known that the film is a direct sequel to the original Blade Runner and takes place several decades after that film's 2019 setting. The screenplay was written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, with Fancher being a co-writer of the original film alongside David Peoples.
It will be interesting to see where the film picks up in the world of Blade Runner, especially given how much time has passed. The matter of whether Deckard is really a replicant may be officially addressed, though it has largely been settled in interviews and in new cuts of the original film. The story may feature some of the same plot points as the original in regard to replicants trying to escape to Earth, or it could possibly introduce a new threat for Deckard and the cast to face.
Ana de Armas will next appear in War Dogs with Jonah Hill and Miles Teller on August 19. After that, you can catch her again a week later on August 26 in Hands of Stone with Robert de Niro and Edgar Ramirez. Filming for Blade Runner 2 is slated to begin in July, so more details on her character may be revealed once the cameras start rolling.
Blade Runner 2 is scheduled to hit theaters on October 6, 2017.