One of the biggest trends in Hollywood right now is bringing actors back to reprise their classic roles in late-in-the-day sequels. It turns what could be basic reboots or remakes into legacy-quels, continuing the story in an organic and, more importantly, fan-pleasing way. Star Wars: The Force Awakens might not have been as massive a success if it had only included original characters, and the same is true of Harrison Ford's other soon-to-be-resurrected franchise, Blade Runner. Ford will return as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner 2049 later this year, something that has gotten many who would have been skeptical of Denis Villeneuve's film onboard.
Since that announcement, it was presumed nobody else from the original Blade Runner would be returning in the sequel. Most of the characters are dead by the time that movie wraps up and neither of the actors for the only other two major survivors - former blade runner Gaff (played by Edward James Olmos) and special replicant Rachael (played by Sean Young) - have been linked to the production. However, a new rumors suggests at least one character will indeed be back in Blade Runner 2049, with a little help from a CGI facelift.
According to The Terminator Fans (who are stepping into anther robotic series here), the film will bring back a replicant character using some CGI de-aging for around ten shots in Blade Runner 2049. There's no word on who it might be, but that length of the effects suggest it'll be as the focus of a single scene.
De-aging actors using CGI has improved dramatically in recent years. The effect used to be widely mocked (Patrick Stewart in X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine jumps to mind), with other cases being at-best-passable (Jeff Bridges in TRON: Legacy), but things have really moved ahead since then. Marvel's made some great use of the tech by taking Michael Douglas and Robert Downey, Jr. back to their eighties selves in Ant-Man and Captain America: Civil War respectively, and 1984 Arnold Schwarzenegger is widely regarded as a rare highlight from Terminator Genisys. Most recently, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story "resurrected" Peter Cushing's Grand Moff Tarkin (he was CGI'd onto the body of Guy Henry) in a move that prompted a mixed response, but which has severed as a major step forward all the same.
With all that considered, it certainly seems likely that Blade Runner 2049 will be able to pull off the role - ten shots is much less than Tarkin in Rogue One. The big question now becomes "who?" The obvious candidate would be Rachael, given that she survived the first film - it could easily be explained that her type of replicant has an anti-aging function, or we could instead be getting a flashback to her and Deckard's escape. Although, if we're going into flashbacks, it could be any of the original movie's rogue gang. In terms of iconography, then, the best candidate would be Roy Batty - who wouldn't want to see Rutger Hauer again? Whoever it is, presuming they've provided mo-cap the cameo's being kept tightly under wraps.
We'll no doubt hear more to this rumor as the film gets closer, but for now let's just hope that the effect looks as good as everything in the Blade Runner 2049 teaser trailer does.
Source: The Terminator Fans
- Blade Runner 2049 (2017) release date: Oct 06, 2017