Back in the '80s, sci-fi movies imagined that the 21st century would be a time of constant night, where dystopian cities lit up in neon were populated by androids and flying cars. If #BladeRunner's vision of the future underestimated how long it would take to get there, perhaps #BladeRunner2049 will get it right.
Revisiting a sci-fi classic decades later is never the easiest thing (confession, though — I actually like Tron: Legacy more than I probably should), but next year Warner Bros. will release the Blade Runner sequel nobody asked for. The surprise is not that it's happening at all — it's that 2049 could actually be pretty fucking great.
Sitting in the director's chair is Denis Villeneuve, the Canadian who followed up last year's high-tension drug cartel drama Sicario with the alien contact drama Arrival, which, as it stands, is the best movie of 2016 so far. Villeneuve seems to take twisted pleasure in tying your stomach into knots, which bodes pretty well for the sequel to a film which was as much a dark noir as sci-fi.
Literally all we know about the story is the year in which it's set, and the fact that the Los Angeles climate "has gone berserk," in Villeneuve's own words — "the rain, the snow, it's all toxic." It's not exactly a stretch to imagine that this vision of the future could come to be long before 2049.
It wouldn't be Blade Runner without Rick Deckard, and Harrison Ford returns. Will he "do a Han Solo" in this one? It wouldn't be the biggest shock. Ryan Gosling leads the new additions to the cast, with Robin Wright, Dave Bautista, Mackenzie Davis and Jared Leto also on board for what's basically a wet dream of Hollywood talent.
Check out 2049's early concept art, which finds LA trapped under the blizzard to silence all climate change deniers:
The dreamy, synth-heavy soundtrack the electronic music legend Vangelis created for the original film truly had the feel of something from a dystopian future. This time, frequent Villeneuve collaborator Jóhann Jóhannsson (Sicario, Arrival) is at the keys, describing his mission as "a huge challenge, a big responsibility." He continued:
"It has to be music that exists in the world of Blade Runner, but it’s Blade Runner thirty years later. It’s not a remake, it’s a sequel, so a lot of time has passed and things have changed. I think that will be reflected in all elements of the score and the film."
Gosling began filming in Budapest in July, and Blade Runner 2049 has a release date of October 6, 2017. We'll keep this page updated with set pics, trailers and whatever teases we may receive in the months ahead.
Could Blade Runner 2049 be the best sci-fi sequel since Aliens, or is LA's bleak future better left in the past?