Blade Runner 2049: News, cast, trailer and all the details on the sci-fi sequel

The eagerly-awaited sequel is finally happening.

Blade Runner 2049 concept art
Concept art An early look at sequel Blade Runner 2049. Image Alcon Entertainment/Warner Bros Pictures

Blade Runner 2049 – it’s finally happening.

More than 30 years after the original’s release – and with three separate edits presented including a ‘Director’s and ‘Final’ cut – Blade Runner is getting a sequel.

Though a box office flop on its original release in 1982, Ridley Scott’s science fiction film has gradually ascended to classic status. It’s easy to see why: dripping in atmosphere, incredible pre-CGI production design and with mystery surrounding its central character, it’s a film that stands up to repeat viewings.

But what do you know about the much-hyped sequel? Here are all the facts on the forthcoming movie.


Who’s directing?

Shockingly, it’s not Ridley Scott. Too busy working on Alien: Covenant, he’s handed directing duties over to the very capable hands of Sicario’s Denis Villeneuve. The Canadian director is also behind the excellent Arrival, so he’s a man well-versed in science fiction.

Plus, he’s a major Blade Runner nerd, telling Screen Daily of he film: “I’m ready to do it because the original Blade Runner is by far one of my favourite movies of all time. Blade Runner is almost a religion for me.”

Scott is still involved in a producer capacity, though.

Blade Runner 2049
Cast and crew Denis Villeneuve, Ridley Scott, Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling talk Blade Runner 2049. Image Alcon Entertainment/Warner Bros Pictures

Who’s in the cast?

The new lead is Ryan Gosling, while Robin Wright, Dave Bautista, Jared Leto, Barked Abdi, Lennie James, Mackenzie Davis and Ana de Armas are also among the star-packed ensemble. Harrison Ford, returning as Rick Deckard, is the only member of the original cast to return.

Is Deckard a replicant? Will this big question be answered?

One of the big mysteries around the original movie surrounds Ford’s Blade Runner Deckard, and whether on not he’s a replicant. Scott has been pretty firm in his verdict: Deckard’s vision of a unicorn is an implanted memory, meaning he isn’t human. The below interview is fairly conclusive…

Villeneuve was slightly more enigmatic in his response to the question, saying: “The thing I must say is that I love mystery. I love shadows. I love doubts. I would just want to say to the fans that we will take care of that mystery. I will take care of it.”

Are there any Blade Runner 2049 plot spoilers?

Surprisingly, there are a few bits and pieces floating around, like the striking piece of concept art you can see as the lead image on this very article.

The film’s title points towards a setting 30 years after the events of the original film, which was set in the year 2019. “The climate has gone berserk — the ocean, the rain, the snow is all toxic,” Villeneuve said of the Los Angeles future-scape.

Scott also described the opening scene of Blade Runner 2049 in great detail at the AFI Festival last year. To read the entire thing head here.

Earlier comments from Scott also suggest Ford’s Deckard will only become a major presence in the final act of the film. Could we be looking at a storyline similar to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with Deckard in place of Luke Skywalker as the man the protagonists are searching for?

Is there a Blade Runner 2049 trailer?

Not yet. Don’t fall for the fakes going around YouTube (like the one below). With the film out in 2017 expect to see some kind of genuine teaser trailer by the end of 2016.

Is Vangelis returning to compose the music?

No. The music this time will come from Villeneuve’s regular collaborator Jóhann Jóhannsson. The Icelandic composer said scoring the Blade Runner sequel will be “an enormous challenge of mythical proportions”.

“Vangelis is a composer that has been a huge influence on my own work, and not only the Blade Runner score – many of his solo albums have been a rich part of my life for a long time,” he told FactMag.

“What I love about his work, which I think is also present in my own work, is his sense of space – the way he uses space, the way he uses silences and this sense of monumentalism in a way.”

Harrison Ford in Blade Runner
Replicant? Harrison Ford in Blade Runner. Image Warner Bros Pictures

What’s the Blade Runner 2049 release date?

Mark your calendars for October 6, 2017, because that’s when you’ll be heading back to dystopian Los Angeles.

Blade Runner 2049 in… virtual reality?!

In what might be a sign of things to come – and, let’s be honest, Blade Runner is all about futuristic tech – the film will get a landmark release ‘virtual reality experience’ release. Producers of the film have partnered with Oculus VR to distribute the film exclusively in the new format. Best get investing in a headset.

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn