The Blade Runner sequel will be released one year from today. To mark the occasion, Warner Bros. has revealed that the film’s official title is Blade Runner 2049. Presumably, the “2049” refers to the year since the original Blade Runner took place in November 2019. So three decades have passed in movie time, which is slightly less than the thirty-five years that have passed in real time since Blade Runner was released in 1982.
If you were hoping for any more details about the film beyond the title, you’re out of luck. The press release specifically states, “Story details are not being revealed.” While I assume we’ll start getting those story details closer to the release date, for now we’re just going to have to be in the dark. All we know is that Ryan Gosling is starring, and Harrison Ford is reprising his role as Rick Deckard.
The question is will this movie thematically cohere. The first Blade Runner is a very pretty movie, but it’s not really about anything (which is why it’s completely irrelevant if Deckard is a replicant or not; it doesn’t inform the theme because there’s no theme to inform). While director Denis Villeneuve‘s previous films vary in quality, his previous two, Sicario and Arrival, are incredibly thoughtful, and I hope he brings the same thoughtfulness to Blade Runner 2049.
Villeneuve is directing from a script by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green with Ridley Scott producing and Roger Deakins handling the cinematography. The film also stars Robin Wright, Jared Leto, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Carla Juri, Mackenzie Davis, Barkhad Abdi, David Dastmalchian, Hiam Abbass, Lennie James, and Dave Bautista. Take your bets now on which of these actors are playing replicants.