The original Blade Runner, set in a dystopian 2019 Los Angeles, centered around Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a “blade runner” tasked with hunting and “retiring” (i.e. killing) four rogue “replicants” (human-seeming androids). But in the years since Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi classic was released — and, in total, there are seven different versions of the film in existence — there’s been an ongoing debate as to whether or not Rick Deckard himself might be a replicant.
As it turns out, it’s not just the fans who fight about it, it’s the filmmakers, too. Ridley Scott has long insisted that Deckard is a replicant. Ford and Blade Runner co-screenwriter Hampton Fancher have just as firmly been in the “No” camp. Earlier this year, while in the middle of production of Blade Runner 2049, director Denis Villeneuve went out to dinner in Budapest with Scott (who conceived of 2049′s story with Fancher and serves as executive producer) and Ford, and found himself with a ringside seat for the same argument they’ve been having for the last 34 years.
“It was very funny, I must say, to find myself in the literal crossfire of Harrison and Ridley, arguing as to why Deckard should be a replicant and why he should be human,” says Villeneuve. “As a fan, that’s a dinner I will remember for all my life.”
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As for whether or not 2049 will settle this debate once and for all, the cast and filmmakers aren’t saying. “I’m happy to censor myself on this one,” Ford says. “I can tell you that it was a question that was of interest to me when we made the first film, and I’m not sure I ever got a straight answer from the people I was working with at that point. I think the answer to your question is worth the price of admission.”