Blade Runner 2049
Published Date: 21/09/2017
I had your job once…
The wait is nearly over! Three decades after the events of the first film a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K is on a quest to find Rick Deckard, a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.
Like us at Showcase, director Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Arrival) is a huge fan of the original Blade Runner. “I vividly remember seeing Blade Runner for the first time and being stunned by what I think is amongst the most powerful openings in the history of cinema—flying over the Los Angeles of 2019, and seeing that landscape of oil factories. Ridley Scott presented such a strong image of what could be our future that was at the same time so seductive and so frightening.
“Aesthetically, Blade Runner was a revolution,” he continues, “blending two genres that, at first glance, don’t go together—science fiction and film noir. It was something never seen before, and it deeply influenced me. It was part of my film education even before I knew I would become a filmmaker.”
Villeneuve reveals he had one caveat before agreeing to helm the film. “I needed Ridley Scott’s blessing. That was my only condition.” He needn’t have worried; Blade Runner director Scott did more than give his blessing. “He said to me exactly what I needed to hear,” notes the director, “which was that I had total freedom, but if I ever needed him, I could call; he would be available any time. And, in fact, every time I needed him, he was there. I will always be grateful to him.”
Reprising his role as Rick Deckard, one of film’s indelible onscreen portraits is Harrison Ford and joining him as the new blade runner is Ryan Gosling, who is also an admirer of the 1982 film saying, “The original film is haunting; it’s hard to shake. It asks you to look at your idea of what it means to be human, and it makes you weigh your ability to recognise the hero from the villain. It’s a nightmarish vision of the future that’s somehow grounded and feels possible, and yet it’s presented in this romantic, dreamlike way that sticks with you. Time has proven its specialness.”
Both Gosling and Ford have equal praise for their director. “I had seen Denis’ films; I’d admired his films,” Ford offers. “There were interesting meetings...I didn’t know what his take on Blade Runner was, and it was a while before I began to really understand the depth of his ambition for the film. He’s a very quiet and thoughtful and extremely intelligent guy who takes the time necessary to come up with answers for himself. And I found him a great intellectual partner to stumble through the hard questions on the film with.”
“From my first conversation with Denis, I immediately felt confident,” says Gosling. “All of his instincts were about grounding the film…making it feel truthful. He had a great respect for the original, but he never seemed to allow it to intimidate him. He used his admiration and turned it into inspiration, and I think, in turn, he inspired all of us to do the same.”
The original film was set in 2019 and in conceiving the overall look of the film, Villeneuve wanted to remain faithful to the spirit of the original. He remarks, “My goal was to honour the film noir aesthetic of the first movie while giving the new film its own identity.”
Following Sicario and Prisoners, Blade Runner 2049 marks the third collaboration between Villeneuve and cinematographer Roger A. Deakins, and no surprise the footage we have seen thus far is simply breathtaking. We are so excited for the continuation and expansion into future once again!
Blade Runner 2049 opens at Showcase on October 5, and you can book tickets here