It turns out, Denis Villeneuve and the Blade Runner: 2049 crew didn’t rely on green screens while making the film, according to one star. Ridley Scott created an entire world with his original Blade Runner film, and its setting has since gone on to inspire and influence countless science fiction works, both on and off-screen. It’s something that Villeneuve has felt pressure trying to recreate, even once referring to the making of the movie as his greatest artistic challenge.
Although the upcoming sequel comes 35 years after Scott’s original film hit theaters, the story actually takes place 30 years after the events of the first movie. In addition to featuring new cast members — namely Ryan Gosling, who plays Officer K, and Jared Leto, who plays Neander Wallace, among others — Blade Runner: 2049 also features the return of Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard. Although actors and actresses are trained to perform scenes without having all the information, sometimes it can be difficult to imagine something when working only with green screens and tennis balls. While that’s certainly the route that many blockbuster movies will go for, especially superhero tentpoles, that wasn’t the route that Villeneuve and the rest of the crew wanted to take with their sequel.
Ana de Armas joined the rest of Blade Runner: 2049‘s main cast and crew to promote the movie during Warner Bros.’ Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend, and in an interview with IGN after the panel, the actress revealed how detailed the movie was, saying that they didn’t use green screens while filming; any scene filmed with actors and actresses in them had sets built from the ground up, so it wasn’t hard for the cast to imagine what the world would look like.
“We had no green screens; everything was real. They built everything for real. The sets were alive. It was very organic; everything was happening in real time. Whatever was flying was flying for real. Whatever was moving — the rain… everything was real. We actually had nothing to imagine. It was a gift. Whoever decided to do this for real, thank you.”
The actress’ comments fall in line with previous comments from Gosling, who said last December that he had felt overwhelmed by the sheer scope of the film, especially by the scale and detail that had gone into building the practical sets. But just because the cast and crew didn’t use green screens, that doesn’t mean there isn’t CGI in the movie. After all, it’s virtually impossible to create such a world in this day-and-age without using some form of computer-generated imagery.
The Blade Runner: 2049 trailers showcase those beautiful sets that de Armas and Gosling mentioned, and the studio brought similar sets to San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend, where people were able to walk the streets of a futuristic Los Angeles and experience the world of Blade Runner first-hand. We’ll just have to wait and see how those sets translate onto the big screen when the movie hits theaters this fall.
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