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Concept art from the Blade Runner sequel
Concept art from the Blade Runner sequelvia slashfilm.com

Everything we know so far about the Blade Runner sequel

The follow up to the tech-noir classic has a killer cast, a climate change warning and may still be under a curse

Rick Deckard is back. Thirty-five years after we were first introduced to the replicant bounty hunter in Ridley Scott’s tech-noir adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, we’ll be reacquainted in a dystopian future. Many initially speculated that this film would be another unwanted remake. They were ecstatic to hear news that – Nope! Wrong! – the Denis Villeneuve-directed film would be a sequel to the 1982 cult hit. Villeneuve is in the director chair hot off his Oscar nom for Mexican cartel thriller Sicario, but Scott will be right beside him as a producer.

Here’s everything we know so far.

COULD THE SEQUEL HAVE A CLIMATE CHANGE BENT?

The original story took place in 2019 neo-Los Angeles. Its sequel is set in an unfamiliar, post-apocalyptic Mad Max-type world. Villeneuve revealed that it may have a veiled warning message about climate change in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, as the landscape in this new setting is desolate and lifeless.

“Things seem to have generally become more horrible since the first movie,” he explained, “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.”

July 2016 was the hottest month on record, and climate disasters such as the devastating earthquake in Italy and the worst floods that Louisiana has ever seen make this message all the more pertinent. Here’s hoping climate change deniers are into sci-fi.

THE FILM’S FIRST SCENE WILL REINTRODUCE US TO DECKARD

Harrison Ford, who played bounty hunter Rick Deckard in the original, will return as Deckard for the sequel. Still to be confirmed is whether or not he’ll get killed off early on so he can collect his paycheck and GTFO. The cast, however, is packed to the gunwales with talent. Fresh off his performance as the Joker in Suicide Squad, hardcore method actor Jared Leto will play (at least according to speculation) a “super-powered biorobotic android Replicant”.

The roles of the rest of the cast haven’t yet been disclosed, but the cast includes Ryan Gosling, Robin Wright, and living meme Barkhad Abdi, the “I’m the captain now” dude from Captain Phillips.

The opening scene will reintroduce us to Deckard, as it has been revealed in gob-smacking detail:

“…The doors open, a guy gets out and there you’ve got Rick Deckard. He walks in the cottage, opens the door, smells stew, sits down and waits for the guy to pull up to the house to arrive.

“The guy’s seen him, so the guy pulls the combine behind the cottage and it towers three stories above it, and the man climbs down from a ladder – a big man. He steps onto the balcony and he goes to Harrison’s side. The cottage actually creaks; this guy’s got to be 350 pounds. I’m not going to say anything else – you’ll have to go see the movie.”

ICELANDIC COMPOSER JÓHANN JÓHANNSSON WILL SCORE THE FILM

It was reported last week that Jóhann Jóhannsson is the composer who will take over music duties from Vangelis – who created the iconic soundtrack for the original production.

“I saw the original when I was 13, the year it came out, and it had a huge effect on me,” Jóhannsson recently told The Fader. “Vangelis is a composer that has been a huge influence on my own work – not only the Blade Runner score, many of his solo albums have been a rich part of my life for a long time,” he adds.

Jóhannsson went on to explain how Vangelis has a distinct sense of space in his music, and how that mirrors his own work. The composer is also no stranger to the SF genre, having soundtracked upcoming Amy Adams-starrer Arrival, which is due out in theatres this November. Still, he’s very cognizant of the legacy Vangelis laid down.

“Vangelis is a huge influence on me as a composer, certainly in the early part of my career, so I have the deepest respect for him as a composer.”

IT MIGHT STILL BE CURSED

For suckers who are prone to falling down internet black holes, there is an interesting sub-section of Blade Runner’s Wikipedia, which explains the Blade Runner curse. Following the release of the original, almost all of the brands that had a cameo in the film fell victim to financial troubles. Atari, PanAm, RCA, Bell and Cuisinart all took a hit after their logos appeared in the film. Coca-Cola, one of the few companies featured that hasn’t completely folded, suffered a loss when its product New Coke, introduced in 1985, failed.

The curse seemingly continues. Just last week, a construction worker who was disassembling a set used for the sequel died. Although not a part of the film’s official crew, the 28-year-old was contracted to take down the set in Budapest’s Origo Studios when a platform he was working under collapsed on him. While this is a much more serious tragedy than the financial destruction of the companies following the original film’s release, it doesn’t bode well for the highly-anticipated sequel.

The as yet untitled Blade Runner sequel will be out in cinemas October 6, 2017