Spoilers for Blade Runner 2049.
Blade Runner 2049's writer has talked about one of the film's shocking cameos: the return of Sean Young as Rachael. 2049 may not have had as big a box office return as originally projected, but for those who have seen the film, they've loved it. Standouts include the cinematography, the score, and Denis Villeneuve's deft touch at layering plot, but there's also the nearly 3-hour runtime which made some movie-goers uncomfortable.
Regardless, this sequel was always meant as an homage to its predecessor, and fans of the 1982 classic got most of their questions answered. The film wasn't without some moments of fan service, most notably the return of Edward James Olmos as Gaff and Sean Young as Rachael. The latter makes her CGI de-aged return at the film's climax, used by Jared Leto's Niander Wallace as an attempt to coax information out of Harrison Ford's Rick Deckard.
In an interview with EW, co-screenwriter Michael Green (Logan, Murder on the Orient Express), reveals a scene with a Rachael replicant was something he'd always had in mind. Green describes his pitch to producer and the original film's director Ridley Scott, saying:
"The idea of that scene — of Deckard being offered a reward beyond imagination for complicity and that the end of pain would be handed to him and she would come out as he remembered — was from my first outline to Ridley. What went back and forth and what I’m so... grateful for is how on earth do you make that scene work? It kept evolving and evolving until we had the final perfected version onscreen. It’s a devastating moment."
Rachael was Deckard's love interest in the first film, and we come to learn they had a child together at some point in the 30 years between films. Old footage and sound clips are used throughout 2049 to give the audience an omnipresent feeling that Rachael is vital to how things got to where they are now - and this scene is the payoff.
De-aging characters has become increasingly common in recent years. Rachael is just the latest in a long line of icons made young again, although what makes Young's return stand out most is how carefully it's slotted into the new story.Green added that Deckard's response to Rachael 2.0 was actually Ridley Scott's idea. He said:
Green added that Deckard's response to Rachael 2.0 was actually Ridley Scott's idea. He said:
"Ridley Scott pitched the line “her eyes were green.” It was one of those moments when I wrote it down immediately and couldn’t wait to take credit for it."
Fans who remember Rachael undergoing the Voight-Kampff test (replaced by the baseline test in the new film) may have also noticed that something was not quite right about the new version, something that came from the original creator. Some mysteries remain unanswered, but the nuance in Blade Runner 2049 was well planned from the film's very early stages.
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