Blade Runner is one of my absolute favorite movies and I’ve had very mixed feelings concerning its impending sequel. As Jason Kottke put it, “The words ‘Blade Runner sequel’ have inspired equal parts excitement and dread in my heart.” But as soon as I saw the incredible Arrival — which, if you consider yourself a sci-fi fan, you need to see — I found myself willing to give director Denis Villeneuve the benefit of the doubt. And now along comes the first trailer for Blade Runner 2049, and yeah, I’m in.
The trailer is short on dialog and long on mood, which makes sense because so was Ridley Scott’s film. Villeneuve’s visuals look absolutely perfect, from a weary-looking Ryan Gosling in his trenchcoat to the retro set designs to the prevailing noir-ish gloom. Even the bright orange “desert” scenery, though using a rather non-Blade Runner color palette, fits.
As for the music, you hear snippets of Vangelis’ original classic score mixed in with what I assume are Jóhann Jóhannsson’s characteristic orchestral and electronic experimentations. After hearing his work in Arrival, I’m really curious to see how Jóhannsson incorporates and/or builds upon the original Blade Runner soundtrack (which is one of the all-time great movie soundtracks).
Here’s the official synopsis:
Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), 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 (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.
Obviously, trailers can be deceiving. But based on what I see here, as well as the talent involved — Villeneuve, Jóhannsson, cinematographer Roger Deakins, Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista — Blade Runner 2049 has all the ingredients necessary to be a good, even great film. We’ll find out when it’s released on October 6, 2017.