In an era where studios relentlessly plunder the tombs of movies past in looking for the next successful remake or reboot, few revivals have caused as much trepidation and/or excitement as the upcoming Blade Runner sequel. The 1982 film, which followed ex-cop Rick Deckard as he hunted runaway replicants (machines that look and act human), is considered by many to be the pinnacle of sci-fi/neo-noir filmmaking. Though some might consider it sacrilege to make a sequel to such a singular film, some big names behind the project — including the star and director of the original film, Harrison Ford and Ridley Scott (who will serve as producer and story developer) — have made this one of the most anticipated sequels in the genre.
An official title for the film, Blade Runner 2049, was announced by Warner Bros. and Alcon Entertainment in a press release on October 6, 2016. The film is set 30 years after the original, and here’s what we know so far about it.
Familiar (and synthetic) faces
Although Ford was once the only cast member from original Blade Runner set to return for Blade Runner 2049, other familiar faces are now set to make an appearance.
One of the original film’s more enigmatic characters will be present in 2049. On an episode of The TRENDTalk Show in March, Edward James Olmos revealed that he will be reprising his role as Gaff, a mysterious cop who appears throughout Blade Runner, giving cryptic messages to Deckard. He also has a habit of making origami sculptures, including the unicorn Deckard finds at the end of the film.
Citing an anonymous source close to the film, movie news site The Terminator Fans suggests that a replicant — one of the androids pretending to be human — from the first film will also return for the sequel. The film will reportedly use digital effects to bring the character back as he or she appeared in the 1982 film, but the rumor doesn’t hint at which character will make a return.
The most likely candidates to return are said to be Rutger Hauer’s Roy Batty, Daryl Hannah’s Pris, Sean Young’s Rachael, or possibly Ford himself as the young Rick Deckard, since Scott has long insisted that the character was also a replicant. Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve has insisted that the sequel will definitively confirm the longstanding question regarding Rick Deckard’s humanity, so including the eternally young version of Ford’s character could indeed serve that purpose.