Blade Runner 2049 is a big deal. It’s a belated sequel to a film that is considered a sci-fi masterpiece. We got to attend a press conference with many of the key players behind this new movie, and they made it clear how important the legacy of Blade Runner was to them.
Ryan Gosling on His First Time Seeing Blade Runner
“I saw it when I was twelve,” Ryan Gosling said with his patented boyish smile. “I wasn’t thinking about what it means to be human at twelve,” he said and the audience laughed. But, Gosling went on to elaborate how the film stuck with him and he continued to come back to it.
Gosling has avoided starring in a big franchise feature up until now. It’s only because of his love of Blade Runner as a piece of art that compelled him to be part of this new production.
The Dangers of a Sequel
It was clear that a Blade Runner sequel was going to be dangerous territory. It’s a precious property to so many people, but co-writer Michael Green knew this and embraced it.
“It’s like playing with fire, but everyone [involved with the film] is a pyromaniac,” he said with a reassuring confidence. The entire cast and crew agreed on the film’s importance and stressed that they would not have committed to the project if they didn’t feel it was worthy.
And one of the key factors in feeling confident about the project was the involvement of director Denis Villeneuve.
A Director With Vision
Everyone at the press conference had nothing but praise for Villeneuve. The director of Arrival and Sicario brought his laser focus to the production, but not before getting approval from Blade Runner director Ridley Scott.
“I told him, ‘If you don’t want me to do it, I won’t do it.'” Luckily, Scott gave Villeneuve his approval and it led to a production that left the cast and crew adoring Villeneuve’s artistic decisions.
“Denis brings heart to the darkness,” said Robin Wright, who plays Lt. Joshi in the film. The same adoration came from Sylvia Hoeks, the actress who brings the antagonistic Luv to life. “This was the most fun character I’ve ever played,” Hoeks said with a proud smile.
And above all, Villeneuve got lots of love for his decisions when it came to special effects.
Practical, Practical, Practical
Villeneuve was adamant about building the biggest sets possible for scenes and shooting on location at every opportunity. The producers made a point that there were no full green screen sets used in the film. And it meant a lot to the actors.
“You feel a support from it,” said legendary actor Harrison Ford. Ford is returning as Rick Deckard and it’s clear that having real sets with real props made the entire process much more engaging for him.
Sylvia Hoeks laughed when asked what she thought when she first walked onto the sets. “You try to imagine what it’ll be like… your imagination is so clichéd.” That only goes to prove how impacting the visual style of the film is going to be.
Blade Runner 2049 is going to be something special. It hits theaters on October 6. Don’t miss it.