Do you think Blade Runner needs a sequel?
Director Ridley Scott’s 1982 brooding, dark and beautiful adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) is widely regarded as one of the finest, maybe the finest, science fiction movies ever made. Hailed for its artistic vision of a post-apocalyptic Earth, its deftly written and acted characters, and its evocative and (depending on which of its many cuts you’re watching) enigmatic imagery, Blade Runner is a benchmark of futuristic film.
So revisiting the world of Replicant-hunter Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford, reprising another of his iconic genre roles) is risky business. Will it pay off?
The first footage from Blade Runner 2049, released this morning (December 19), will spark a lot of speculation:
Here’s the official synposis:
Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K, unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.
A quote from the original film sets the tone: “Replicants are like any other machine,” says Deckard, off-screen. “They’re either a benefit or a hazard. If they’re a benefit, it’s not my problem.” We then follow “Officer K,” played by Ryan Gosling, through the blighted cityscape of the 1982 film and across a bleak desert (intriguingly, a scenario described in the original movie’s Voight-Kampff empathy test) to a massive abandoned building (is it the Tyrell Corporation’s old HQ? the hotel where William Sanderson’s J.F. Sebastian lived?).
There, Officer K plunks a piano key, just as Deckard did in the original movie, before meeting Deckard himself. I couldn’t stop myself from expecting to hear Deckard growl, as he stepped out of the shadows, “Chewie, we’re home.” But what he actually says, his gun drawn, “I did your job once. I was good at it. Things were simpler then.”
Hard cut to black, then back to K walking a crowded, dreary city street, and a promised debut date, “10.6.17.”
So, not much to go on. The footage certainly evokes the original movie’s indelible atmosphere. But will Blade Runner 2049 make its own exciting and original contributions, expanding this story and world in worthwhile ways?
Will we learn, as many fans have suspected since Scott’s revised versions appeared, that Deckard is himself a replicant? Is Officer K, as well? Maybe (a la humans and Cylons in the rebooted Battlestar Galactica) there’s no real difference between humans and Replicants anymore—is that the secret Officer K has uncovered? And how will real-world events and trends since 1982 shape the filmmakers’ vision of this garish and grim future?
Whether you think Blade Runner needed a sequel or not, it’s got one! Here’s hoping we’ll be able to say, once the credits roll, “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.”
Are you excited for Blade Runner 2049? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!