Blade Runner 2049 costar Dave Bautista was originally told that he was too young for the role of replicant Sapper Morton in the film. The Guardians of the Galaxy star ultimately signed on for the Blade Runner sequel in spite of this, joining a cast that includes Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright and Jared Leto, among others, in the process.
Hollywood is no stranger to whitewashing and ageism controversies, but it is a rarity in the industry that someone is classed as being "too young" for a role. Most people still don't know how larger of a role Morton has in the sequel to Ridley Scott's 1982 film Blade Runner, but with Bautista appearing as a more advanced version of the classic replicant, it looks like it will be even harder to tell who's human and who's not in Blade Runner 2049.
Bautista certainly looks at home in the role of Mr. Morton, but speaking to Cinema Blend at the at the Blade Runner 2049 domestic press day in Los Angeles, the actor revealed how he nearly lost out on being part of the sci-fi spectacle:
"The funny thing is that when I first met with Denis [Villeneuve]... because I wasn't originally asked to audition, I was actually asked to fly out and meet with Denis. And so I did; I was filming Guardians 2 and I went out to meet with him. And we weren't very far in the conversation, like really not far in the conversation, when he said, 'I hate to tell you this, my friend, but you are too young for this part!' And I was heartbroken! Not only heartbroken, but I'm used to being told I'm too old for parts. And now I'm just frustrated. I just can't win! I can't win in this town!"
It should also be noted that Bautista's costume in the film makes him look significantly older than he actually is. Opting to go with talent before age, Villeneuve added grey hair and thick spectacles to complete the illusion that Bautista is old beyond his years. Even after his first trip to the makeup chair, Villeneuve was apparently still unconvinced by Bautista and pushed for a screen test:
"The producers were really supportive of me getting this part, but they were never going to go against Denis' wishes, and he just thought I was too young for the part. I didn't work. And then I did the screen test, and he said, 'It works!' And I said, [fist pumps], 'Yes!' When I got there he was also very supportive; he was saying, 'I'm so glad I chose you for this.'"
Most definitely a rocky road for Bautista to Blade Runner 2049, at least everyone can now agree he is right for the part. The actor is certainly hot property at the moment, while his roles in the likes of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies and 2015's Spectre certainly make the former wrestler one to watch. With such hype behind Blade Runner 2049, expect it to be just another step on the ladder for the hulking wrestler-cum-actor. Find out more about Morton, Deckard, and the replicants when Blade Runner 2049 hits theaters this Friday.
Source Cinema Blend
- Blade Runner 2049 (2017) release date: Oct 06, 2017