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Concept art by Victor MartinezCourtesy Victor Martinez / Sony Pictures

Blade Runner 2 will be set in a man-made apocalypse

New images of the long-awaited sequel have finally surfaced

It’s been over 30 years since the original Blade Runner first hit cinemas. In that time, the Ridley Scott-directed film has become a sci-fi masterpiece; inspiring hoards of contemporary filmmakers with its neon-lit vision of dystopian LA. And with production now officially underway on its long-awaited sequel, the hype is stronger than ever. Where will the story pick up? Did Rick and Rachael ever get their happy ending? And who, exactly, will Ryan Gosling be playing

The answer to at least one of these questions is now (sort of) with us. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, director Denis Villeneuve revealed more details on the currently-untitled sequel. According to him, the story will take place “decades after” the original’s 2019 setting – in a world that’s been wrecked by a man-made apocalypse.

“The climate has gone berserk – the ocean, the rain, the snow is all toxic,” he explained. “Things seem to have generally become more horrible since the first movie, as humanity has continually trashed the planet and ignored the consequences. It might not be particularly subtle, but it does seem appropriately Blade Runner-y; after all most animals had been eradicated and replaced by synthetics by the time of the first film. Nature is obviously next to go.”

New concept art from the film has also been dropped; showing signs of a dark, doomy LA and a large yellow ‘snow-destroyer’. See below:

“I’ve always been attracted to science-fiction films with strong visual signatures that lead us into unique parallel worlds and the original ‘Blade Runner’ is by far the best of all time,” added Villeneuve. “Ridley Scott had the genius to blend science-fiction and film noir to create this unique exploration of human condition. The new ‘Blade Runner’ is an extension of the first movie a few decades later.”  

The Blade Runner sequel is currently slated for an October 2017 release.