In 1982, in a small Quebec town, Canada, Denis Villeneuve (Sicario) went to see Blade Runner, starring Harrison Ford and directed by Ridley Scott. Little did he know that the dystopian sci-fi classic — about one man (Ford) tracking down rogue replicants — was going to change his destiny.
“I remember the opening sequence perfectly,” Villeneuve says, adding that he’s seen the movie “thousands of times” and knows it by heart. “That note of music; seeing Los Angeles in 2019; that smog; that darkness. It’s really the movie that gave birth to my desire to become a director.” So the personal stakes were high when he was asked to direct the sequel, which he was apprehensive about even after accepting the job (a moment of pre-production he calls his “terror period”).
But then he had coffee with Hampton Fancher, responsible for turning Philip K. Dick’s 1968’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? into the Blade Runner screenplay. “He told me that Blade Runner was a dream. We just have to dream again and not worry too much about logic. That removed so much pressure and gave me the key to move forward.”
Plot details, written by Fancher and Michael Green, are being closely guarded, but the director confirms to EW that events take place several decades after the original. The setting is once again a future Los Angeles, albeit one that spreads over much of the West Coast. “The climate has gone berserk — the ocean, the rain, the snow is all toxic,” Villeneuve says. The vehicle pictured in this exclusive concept art from the sequel, Villeneuve says, is a kind of snow blower that hovers over the streets and destroys snow. He laughs. “It’s a Canadian wet dream!”
Ryan Gosling costars with Ford, who is back as runner Rick Deckard — ”he’s full of wisdom and good advice,” according to the filmmaker. Ridley Scott serves as an executive producer, while Roger Deakins, who last teamed with Villeneuve on last year’s Sicario, serves as DP. “It’s a great team and spirits are very high,” Villenevue says. “Failure is not an option.”
The Blade Runner sequel, from Alcon Entertainment, is slated to arrive in theaters on Oct. 6, 2017. See another piece of exclusive concept art below.
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