Filming begins on the untitled Blade Runner sequel this month. The yet-to-be-titled film will be arriving in theaters 35 years after the original Ridley Scott science fiction classic was released and that certainly seems like a daunting task for director Dennis Villenueve (Sicario, Enemy). Still, with Scott producing and Harrison Ford returning as the Replicant hunter Deckard, the next film branching off of this Philip K. Dick-inspired story at least has plenty of strong talent behind it.
While little is known about the upcoming film, it has been building a strong cast. Ryan Gosling and Sylvia Hoeks will play leading roles, while Robin Wright, Dave Bautista, Mackenzie Davis, and Barkhad Abdi serve as support.
Now, Variety is reporting Alcon Entertainment has added The Dark Knight's David Dastmalchian and Munich's Hiam Abbass, which continues to add plenty of diversity to the cast. Dastmalchian can be seen as one of the Joker's thugs in The Dark Knight, but many may recognize him as Kurt, a key member of Scott Lang's heist group in Ant-Man. The actor also appeared in Prisoners, which was directed by Villenueve. Abbass' other credits include The Visitor and Exodus: Gods and Kings, the latter having been directed by Scott. The actress also appeared in the acclaimed Israeli film Lemon Tree.
It is interesting to see this cast being assembled, as it is all many have to go on as far as getting excited for this sequel so far. With only hints surrounding aspects of the film's story brought up by Scott and some details concerning the talent behind the camera, a lot seems to be riding on these announcements about character actors joining the film that seem to be doing the best job of generating some buzz for the film.
Given that we do know the screenplay is written by Blade Runner co-writer Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, based on a concept by Fancher and Scott, it does seem like a good time to learn at least a little bit more about the film (even a title would be nice). With San Diego Comic-Con right around the corner, perhaps fans are due for a surprise.
Regardless of the filmmaking team and any new cast members coming aboard, however, there is the obvious worry about a sequel like this. Many were disappointed by Prometheus, the return of Scott to the Alien universe, despite there being a sequel currently in production. Then again, something like Creed (not that the films are related) recently came along and did the best in bringing fresh blood to a franchise, not to mention another recent sci-fi film that brought back Ford. Hopefully these casting developments are not the only promising things to come out of Villenueve's film.
Blade Runner 2 is currently scheduled to open in U.S. theaters on October 6th, 2017.