There's a whole generation who might not be aware of Blade Runner (two whole generations, if we're being real), but 34 years later, Warner Bros. are pressing ahead with a sequel — and in a break with tradition, there's every reason to think Blade Runner 2 (starring Ryan Gosling) could actually do major justice to the original, while bringing fresh eyes to one of the greatest sci-fi movies ever made.
Why so confident? One name: Denis Villeneuve. The director of Prisoners and Sicario (both great movies) is the man behind the camera on Blade Runner 2, but it's his current movie, sci-fi thriller Arrival, which suggests Villeneuve is not just one of the most shit-hot directors out there, but also the perfect choice to bring Rick Deckard out of retirement.
If you haven't seen the trailer for Arrival yet, check it out above. One of the really exciting things about this movie is how it seems to ask questions sci-fi movies haven't really explored yet. Themes like alien invasion, the rise of A.I. and the search for new planets to inhabit have been done to death, but Arrival takes a different approach.
The premise: When twelve identical alien pods land simultaneously across Earth, an elite team is assembled to work out whether they come with good or bad intentions. Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams), a linguistics expert, gradually begins to decode their mysterious language, in turn helping solve that mystery.
Most movies would take a more predictable approach to the premise of an alien arrival threatening civilization on Earth, but Arrival is not most movies (it currently has 100 on Rotten Tomatoes) and Villeneuve is not most directors.
His ability to find a more unusual avenue into a story, along with his talent for a good plot twist (Sicario packed a brilliant one), makes the prospect of Villeneuve helming Blade Runner 2 a seriously exciting one. Nobody wants this sequel to turn into an Independence Day: Resurgence scenario. Brainless blockbusters have their place, but a properly classic sci-fi property like this deserves some respect.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter at Venice Film Fest, Villeneuve had this to say about the challenges of making a sequel to a stone cold classic:
"First of all, it’s not possible to live up to the original. It’s Ridley Scott. It’s a masterpiece ... one of the best films in the past 50 years. For me, what terrorizes me right now is what I’m doing is taking Blade Runner and making it my own, and that is horrific.It’s still the same universe, we are still in the same dream, but it’s mine, so it’s like I have no idea how you people will react, I don’t know. It has its own life."
The Canadian goes on to say that Ryan Gosling is "insanely good" in the mystery lead role. Joining Gosling are Robin Wright (House of Cards), Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), and Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard. Check out a classic clip from the originarl movie below.
Blade Runner 2 is still an unknown quantity right now, with a release date set for October 6, 2017 — but sci-fi fans getting hyped for the sequel should already be well aware of what a massive talent Villeneuve is. For another superior serving of sci-fi, check out Arrival when it hits theaters on November 11.
Will Gosling and Villeneuve deliver the Blade Runner sequel we deserve?
(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)