Directing a follow-up to one of the most beloved sci-fi films of all time is a Herculean task unto itself, but Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner sequel seems to be off to a pretty great start. Having kick-started production back in July, the cast for Blade Runner 2 (official title TBA) includes Ryan Gosling and Dutch actress Sylvia Hoeks in leading roles, as well as The Martian's Mackenzie Davis in a supporting role. Pair that with Harrison Ford returning as Rick Deckard and beautiful concept art and you've got yourself about as promising a sequel as a Blade Runner fan could ask for.
Of course, a crucial and oft overlooked aspect of any film is that of its score. Having been nominated for both a BAFTA award and an Academy Award at the time of its release, the soundtrack to the original Blade Runner managed to achieve nearly the same notoriety as the film itself - making it all the more important that the score of the sequel to stand up to even the most dismissive of critics. Lucily, it appears that Blade Runner 2 director Denis Villeneuve has once again knocked it out of the park in that regard.
According to the Icelandic Monitor, two-time Academy Award nominee and one-time Golden Globe winner, Jóhann Jóhannsson will be composing the score to the Blade Runner sequel. According to the man himself, the decision was made a long time ago by Villeneuve, who Jóhannsson previously worked alongside on the films Sicario and Prisoners (released in 2015 and 2013, respectively). Jóhannsson also collaborated on the score for Villeneuve's sci-fi film Arrival (which opens in theaters this fall) with The Leftovers composer Max Richter.
An Icelandic native who has drawn comparisons to the likes of Erik Satie and Morton Feldman, Jóhannsson's film scoring career began to pick up speed in 2011, when he collaborated with experimental filmmaker Bill Morrison on The Miners' Hymns. After composing scores for Villeneuve's aforementioned films and Chinese director Lou Ye's Golden Horse-winning drama Blind Massage, Jóhannsson hit it big with his composition of James Marsh's The Theory of Everything, for which he received an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe win.
Although the majority of Jóhannsson's previous work has revolved around classical instrumentation, his 2004 album Virðulegu Forsetar displayed his proficiency in creating ambient, electronic soundscapes; a feature that he will undoubtedly want to explore further in order to recapture (or at least draw from) Vangelis' highly-celebrated score for the original Blade Runner. The fact that he's worked with Villeneuve in the past is just an added bonus, in that he will likely have a clearer picture of what the Sicario director is going for in terms of soundtrack - when it's time to actually sit down and write the thing.
Blade Runner 2 is currently scheduled for an October 6, 2017 theatrical release.
Source: Icelandic Monitor