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Wesley Reyes
Wesley Reyes

Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049 is a 2017 American epic neo-noir science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green.[10] A sequel to the 1982 film Blade Runner, the film stars Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, with Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Dave Bautista, and Jared Leto in supporting roles. Ford and Edward James Olmos reprise their roles from the original film. Gosling plays K, a Nexus-9 replicant "blade runner" who uncovers a secret that threatens to destabilize society and the course of civilization.

Blade Runner 2049


Ideas for a Blade Runner sequel were first proposed in the 1990s, but licensing issues stalled their development. Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson obtained the film rights from Bud Yorkin. Ridley Scott stepped down as the film's initial director and worked as an executive producer, while Villeneuve was later appointed to direct. Blade Runner 2049 was financed through a partnership between Alcon Entertainment and Sony Pictures, as well as a Hungarian government-funded tax rebate. Warner Bros., on behalf of Alcon, distributed the film in North America, while Sony handled distribution in international markets. Principal photography took place mostly at two soundstages in Budapest over four months from July to November 2016.

In 2049, 30 years following the events of Blade Runner, bioengineered humans known as replicants are slaves. K (short for his serial number, KD6-3.7), a Nexus-9 replicant, works for the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) as a "blade runner", an officer who hunts and "retires" (kills) rogue replicants. He retires Nexus-8 replicant Sapper Morton and finds a box buried under a tree at Morton's protein farm. The box contains the remains of a female replicant who died during a caesarean section, demonstrating that replicants can reproduce biologically, previously thought impossible. K's superior, Lt. Joshi, fears that this could lead to a war between humans and replicants. She orders K to find and retire the replicant child to hide the truth.

K visits the headquarters of the Wallace Corporation, the successor to the defunct Tyrell Corporation in the manufacture of replicants. Wallace staff members identify the deceased female from DNA archives as Rachael, an experimental replicant designed by Dr. Eldon Tyrell. K learns of Rachael's romantic ties with former blade runner Rick Deckard. Wallace Corporation CEO Niander Wallace wants to discover the secret to replicant reproduction to expand interstellar colonization. He sends his replicant enforcer Luv to steal Rachael's remains and follow K to Rachael's child.

Blade Runner 2049 was Alcon's second collaboration with director Denis Villeneuve, who they called for a meeting at a cafe in rural New Mexico to negotiate an offer. They had an existing professional relationship from Prisoners (2013).[34] Villeneuve credits Blade Runner for inspiring his passion for filmmaking,[24] but hesitated to accept the assignment at first as he feared tarnishing the franchise's legacy.[34] Nevertheless, he liked the screenplay and was assured by Fancher's investment in the project.[34][35] Villeneuve preserved elements of the original film by modernizing Blade Runner's retrofuturistic onscreen world, which he saw as imperative for an authentic story.[24]

A scene from Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One (2018) set in the Blade Runner universe was excluded from the film's finished cut. Spielberg had sought copyright approval during the filming of Blade Runner 2049, which Alcon producers refused as they feared the explicit reference would affect their commercial prospects, even though Ready Player One was released months later.[36]

Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling were Blade Runner 2049's first significant casting choices.[37][38] Gossip about Ford's participation had been circulating in the media since the project's conception, claims which the producers initially denied,[30][31] having only approached the actor for a part in 2014.[39] Alcon did not publicly announce their signing until the following year.[37] Ford had expressed interest in reprising his role in past interviews and was enthusiastic about the Blade Runner 2049 script.[39][40] The working conditions on set was another aspect of the production Ford was pleased with,[41] in contrast to the stressful shooting environment endured on Blade Runner.[24][42] Ford stated the thirty five-year passage of time, plus the synthesis of a new story with Deckard's already-established backstory, lent context necessary to playing his aged character.[42] The only other returning Blade Runner actor, Edward James Olmos, appears in a supporting part which pivots the main story.[43]

The screenwriters tailored K specifically for Gosling,[44] but it was the opportunity to work with Villeneuve and experienced cinematographer Roger Deakins, paired with his faith in the script, that convinced the actor to join Blade Runner 2049 in his first leading role in a blockbuster production.[45][46] Gosling developed a reputation for his discriminating film choices; the prospect of working on big-budget franchise sets never enticed him,[46] yet he trusted the filmmakers' instincts, and the thematic complexity of the script furthermore reassured his decision.[47] A longtime Blade Runner fan, the actor said his first viewing experience of the film as a young teenager was profound, remarking, "It was one of the first films I had seen where it wasn't clear how I was supposed to feel when it was over. It really makes you question your idea of the hero and the villain, the idea of what it means to be human."[24] Blade Runner 2049 proved challenging for Gosling because of the production's scope.[48]

Ana de Armas auditioned several times before landing the film's female lead. De Armas was an actress of national renown in Spain, aspiring to break into English-speaking roles.[49] After working in her first Hollywood film in Hands of Stone (2016), she settled in Los Angeles in pursuit of a role that did not typecast her ethnicity. De Armas underwent four months of rigorous speech training to master her English before auditioning. Once the studio commenced production of Blade Runner 2049, the actress said her fitness training provided the necessary mental space to prepare for the intense shooting schedule.[49]

A raft of mostly young actors comprise Blade Runner 2049's supporting cast; David Dastmalchian, Sylvia Hoeks, Carla Juri, Mackenzie Davis and Barkhad Abdi were lesser-known stars with years of expertise in indie cinema.[53] Among the few exceptions are Dave Bautista, Hiam Abbass and Lennie James, whose castings were revealed between April and July 2016,[54][55][56] and Robin Wright, assigned to one of three major female roles in Blade Runner 2049.[57] Wright's participation had been rumored for weeks, but was not immediately confirmed by the filmmakers because her existing duties to Netflix's political TV thriller House of Cards momentarily stalled the negotiations.[57]

The filmmakers embarked on location scouting in April 2016,[58] and principal photography of Blade Runner 2049 commenced that July, lasting four months until November.[59][60] They first toured London but found no soundstage available for the needs of the production. As a result, Deakins and Villeneuve flew to Hungary for location scouting partly due to Scott's familiarity with the country's network of facilities. They also toured Slovakia to source architectural ideas.[61] Blade Runner 2049's production crew were mostly Hungarian, with some American staff hired to supervise the set.[61] Inserts with Wright and Hoeks were the first scenes filmed on set.[62] Shooting took place mainly at Korda Studios and the Origo Studios backlot in suburban Budapest,[63] where the shoot qualified for a 25% tax rebate on in-state costs from the Hungarian government.[64]

When Gassner was first approached for Blade Runner 2049, he was called with a request from Villeneuve to observe the shape of passing street sweepers. The designer had known Scott since 1982, when they first collaborated for the Francis Ford Coppola-directed musical One From the Heart.[73] Redesigning the spinners then became one of his initial responsibilities. He and the filmmakers envisioned a harsh, angular design for the spinners, one intended to evoke the sense of technological innovation.[73] It was also up to Gassner to complete most of the Blade Runner 2049 sets so producers could exercise full artistic control of the shoot. Gassner described the process as especially difficult as design elements had to be distinct but lore-faithful, with everything executed under a tight shooting schedule.[73]

Warner Bros. announced in early October 2016 that the film would be titled Blade Runner 2049.[77] Editing commenced in December in Los Angeles, with the intention of having the film be rated R.[78] At the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con, Villeneuve said the film would run for two hours and 32 minutes.[79] An early cut of the film was four-hours long, and Villeneuve described this version as "quite strong", but also at times "too self-indulgent". He said he prefers the shorter final version, which is "more elegant", though Ridley Scott has voiced the opinion that it is still too long. Villeneuve said he will not show the four-hour cut to anyone.[80][81] As with Skyfall, cinematographer Roger Deakins created his own IMAX master of the film, rather than using the proprietary "DMR" process that IMAX usually uses with films not shot with IMAX cameras.[82]

Rapper-producer El-P said he was asked to compose music for the first Blade Runner 2049 trailer, but his score was "rejected or ignored".[83] Jóhann Jóhannsson, who had worked with Villeneuve on Prisoners, Sicario and Arrival, was initially announced as composer for the film.[84] However, Villeneuve and Jóhannsson decided to end the collaboration because Villeneuve thought the film "needed something different", and also that he "needed to go back to something closer to Vangelis's soundtrack" of the first film.[85] Composers Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch joined the project in July 2017.[86] In September, Jóhannsson's agent confirmed that he was no longer involved and was contractually forbidden from commenting.[87] The musical cue during the final scene, "Tears in the Rain", is a call-back to the "Tears in rain" scene from Blade Runner which saw the death of the film's central antagonist Roy Batty. The track is a reimagined version of the original Vangelis work.[13][88] 041b061a72


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