Of all the roles that Harrison Ford is on the verge of reprising – Han Solo and Indiana Jones included – one that has piqued our interest purely because it’s still shrouded in the thick plumes of smoke billowing from futuristic LA is Rick Deckard. Yes, after toying with the idea for a number of years, Ford is now firmly on board for Blade Runner 2, with Ryan Gosling recently confirming his place on the long-gestating sequel to Collider.
With a summer start date now on the cards, Sicario‘s Denis Villeneuve has supplanted Ridley Scott in the director’s chair, though the latter will still be involved in a producing capacity. In fact, while he’ll soon be heading back to his Alien prequel trilogy with Covenant, the esteemed director continues to tease the opening sequence to the follow-up.
It’s by no means the first time that Scott has indulged in his early storyboards for Blade Runner 2, though by and large, it seems that the sci-fi sequel will hue closely to the director’s original pitch despite Villeneuve taking the reins. Going one step further, it’ll even make a direct reference to the opening shot of the first film, too. Attending the recent AFI Festival, here’s what the filmmaker had to share.
We decided to start the film off with the original starting block of the original film. We always loved the idea of a dystopian universe, and we start off at what I describe as a ‘factory farm’ – what would be a flat land with farming. Wyoming. Flat, not rolling – you can see for 20 miles. No fences, just plowed, dry dirt. Turn around and you see a massive tree, just dead, but the tree is being supported and kept alive by wires that are holding the tree up. It’s a bit like Grapes of Wrath, there’s dust, and the tree is still standing. By that tree is a traditional, Grapes of Wrath-type white cottage with a porch. Behind it at a distance of two miles, in the twilight, is this massive combine harvester that’s fertilizing this ground.
You’ve got 16 Klieg lights on the front, and this combine is four times the size of this cottage. And now a spinner [a flying car] comes flying in, creating dust. Of course, traditionally chased by a dog that barks, the doors open, a guy gets out and there you’ve got Rick Deckard. He walks in the cottage, opens the door, sits down, smells stew, sits down and waits for the guy to pull up to the house to arrive. The guy’s seen him, so the guy pulls the combine behind the cottage and it towers three stories above it, and the man climbs down from a ladder – a big man. He steps onto the balcony and he goes to Harrison’s side. The cottage actually [creaks]; this guy’s got to be 350 pounds. I’m not going to say anything else – you’ll have to go see the movie.
A summer start date would place Blade Runner 2 on course for a release in late 2017 or, in the more likely scenario, the beginning of 2018 to avoid clashing with Alien: Covenant.