Warner Bros. has just released the first teaser for Blade Runner 2049. The majority of images lensed by 13-time Academy Award nominee Roger Deakins conjure up recent memories of John Seale’s work for George Miller’s 2015 Mad Max: Fury Road. That film was another long in development project from Warner Bros. that turned up expenses, cash, Oscars and was ultimately deemed worth the wait. The risk is that such an approach might be misguided for the material as the original classic was far from an action blockbuster though was actually mis-marketed as one. One wrong step and this could go from being a Jurassic World style success to an Independence Day: Resurgence level misstep. Evidence that the studio is wary of this is evident in the fact that they scheduled it for the newly founded Fall Hollywood tentpole release date of the first week of October. The slot has previously been host to a flip flop of Adult novel thriller adaptations like Gone Girl (2014) & The Girl on the Train (2016) with event style smart Sci-fi; Gravity (2013) & The Martian (2015). By virtue of being a Philip K. Dick adaptation, the property seemingly checks all the boxes. But does it have the talent behind the camera to back it up where the less than critically adored projects faltered?
The answer seemingly is yes. In addition to having the above mentioned cinematographer the original film’s director: Ridley Scott is on board as an executive producer. Scott, who also helmed The Martian, a movie I thought was great but would’ve been better had its screenwriter also served as its director, is thought to some as being passed his prime. I don’t completely agree but I’m more than excited by his successor, the Canadian born french filmmaker who directed a favourite of mine: Prisoners– Denis Villeneuve.
Villeneuve’s career has sped up faster than a replicant, as 2049 will be his seventh film in eight years. Starting with the tragic retelling of the Polytechnique school shooting, then the Oscar nominated Incendies, the aforementioned Prisoners, Enemy which I wasn’t crazy about, the tensely-thrilling Sicario which I should’ve reviewed but didn’t, and most recently Arrival, again which I should’ve reviewed seeing as it was the last movie I saw in theatres [and is now playing], and didn’t know he was involved in until 3 months ago but hey I’m a student. Here’s hoping his cold calculating visual style is a match to replicate early era Scott. If his last movie is anything to go by, he’s got it down a little too well.
2049 takes place: Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.
- A 30 year gap for a missing blade runner is a little convenient for character development purposes isn’t it? But makes sense given Deckard’s status at the end of the first film. Also isn’t he a replicant? If the dueling opinions of star Harrison Ford and Ridley Scott have anything to say about it, we might finally get an answer to one of life’s dark sci-fi mysteries on Friday, October 6th, 2017 (it could have been the spookier 13th but earlier may more money make)
#BladeRunner 2049 stars Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri, Lennie James, with Dave Bautista and Jared Leto.
Screenplay by Hampton Fischer (the original) and Michael Green. Recalling the estranged legend, dormant writing tactics of Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ Lawrence Kasdan.