Blade Runner 2049 easily must be the most anticipated movie of the year - if nothing else because of the absolute cult status of its forerunner: Ridley Scott’s 1982 seminal Blade Runner. That film infused a science fiction story (based on a Philip K Dick novella) about artificial intelligence and the fundamental question of human identity with a film noir sensibility lifted from hard boiled detective movies of classic Hollywood. Ahead of its time it was greeted with mixed critical reaction at the time and has since grown into a cornerstone of modern science fiction
The new film stars Ryan Gosling as a “blade runner” (detectives charged with running down rogue androids called “replicants”) as he tries to track down Decker, the original protagonist reprised by Harrison Ford.
The HFPA met with Denis Villeneuve at Comic Con, a director who has proven his storytelling prowess in films like Incendies, Sicario, Prisoners and most recently in the Golden Globe nominates Arrival. The French Canadian was chosen by Ridley Scott to helm the sequel. Following in the footsteps of a beloved classic, however, posed some unique challenges. The concept of a sequel to Blade Runner, Villeneuve told the HFPA, “sounded exciting, fantastic and just really, really bad, because it was a universe we really really loved.”
“The first movie was very important for me and linked with the birth of my passion for cinema. I saw it when was 13 and starting to dream about directing. At the time we were starved for good sci-fi. Blade Runner with the questions about humanity and the strong aesthetics was a new way of approaching sci-fi. The blending of the noir genre with sci-fi was very new for us. I felt it was like a time capsule that created a version of our possible future. We could also see all the layers of the past…the past was still alive”
“This movie is definitely faithful to the first in that regard and in the noir aesthetic. It’s an existential detective story evolving in that world with a strong atmosphere. I loved that in the script there was the freedom to be faithful but also evolve in a broader spectrum.”