Blade Runner 2049
Blade Runner 2049 is a 2017 American neo-noir science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green. 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, Carla Juri, Lennie James, Dave Bautista and Jared Leto in supporting roles. Set thirty years after the original film, the story depicts a bioengineered human named K, who discovers the remains of a once-pregnant replicant. To prevent a possible war between replicants and humans, K is secretly tasked with finding the child and destroying all evidence related to it.
|Blade Runner 2049|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Denis Villeneuve|
|Story by||Hampton Fancher|
|Based on||Characters from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
by Philip K. Dick
|Edited by||Joe Walker|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$164.5 million|
Principal photography took place in Budapest, Hungary between July and November 2016. Blade Runner 2049 premiered in Los Angeles on October 3, 2017 and was released in the United States on October 6, 2017, in 2D, 3D and IMAX. The film received acclaim from critics, with some regarding it as one of the best sequels ever made, and has grossed $164 million worldwide.
In 2049, bioengineered humans called replicants have been integrated into society as servants and slaves. KD6-3.7 is one of these obedient Nexus-9 replicant models, created by Wallace Corporation, who works as a "blade runner" for the LAPD, hunting down and "retiring" rogue older model replicants. His home life is spent with his holographic girlfriend Joi, an artificial intelligence product of Wallace Corporation. The Wallace Corporation bought out the bankrupt Tyrell Corporation, the first company to produce replicants.
K's investigation into a growing replicant freedom movement leads him to a farm, where he retires rogue Nexus-8 replicant Sapper Morton and finds a buried box. A forensic analysis reveals the box contains the remains of a female Nexus-7 replicant who died during an emergency caesarean section. K's superior, Lieutenant Joshi, orders K to destroy all evidence related to the case and to retire the child, believing the knowledge that replicants are able to reproduce (which was thought to be impossible) could lead to an interspecies war.
K visits the headquarters of Wallace Corporation, where the deceased female is identified as Rachael, an experimental replicant designed by Dr. Tyrell, founder of the Tyrell Corporation, before his death. In the process, he learns of Rachael's romantic ties with former veteran blade runner Rick Deckard. Seeking the secret to reproduction in replicants in order to expand his off-world operations, the company's CEO Niander Wallace sends his replicant enforcer Luv to steal Rachael's remains from LAPD headquarters and follow K to find Rachael's child.
Returning to Morton's farm to destroy it, K finds a hidden date (6.10.21) that he recognizes from one of his childhood memories about a wooden toy horse. While searching through birth records from that year, he discovers that twins were born on that day with identical DNA except for the sex chromosome, but only the boy is listed as alive. Tracking evidence of the child to an orphanage in ruined San Diego, K discovers its records from the relevant year have been stolen. K also recognizes the orphanage from his memories, and finds the wooden horse where he remembers hiding it, suggesting that his memories — which he thought were merely implants — are real.
K seeks out Dr. Ana Stelline, a designer of replicant memories, who verifies that his memory of the orphanage is real. This leads K to believe that he is Rachael's son. After failing a test for his replicant obedience, K is suspended by Joshi, but claims that he failed the test because he was emotional from completing his mission to kill the child. Joshi gives him 48 hours before he is retired, pending the results of his next test. K has the wooden horse analyzed, which reveals traces of radiation that lead him to the ruins of Las Vegas, where he finds Deckard. Deckard reveals that he is the father of Rachael's child, and that he scrambled the birth records to protect the child's identity before leaving it in the custody of the replicant freedom movement.
After killing Joshi, Luv and her men use LAPD's computer system to track K to Deckard's location. They kidnap Deckard and leave a severely wounded K for dead. The replicant freedom movement, who were also tracking K, rescue him and their leader, Freysa, informs him that Rachael's child is a girl and thus cannot be K. In order to ensure that Deckard does not lead Wallace to Rachael's daughter or to the replicant freedom movement, Freysa orders K to terminate Deckard.
In Los Angeles, Deckard is brought before Wallace, who suggests Rachael's feelings for him may have been engineered by Dr. Tyrell to test the possibility of a replicant becoming pregnant. When Deckard refuses to cooperate, Wallace orders Luv to escort him off-world to be tortured for information. K intercepts them, fights and kills Luv and then stages Deckard's death to protect him from both Wallace and the replicants. Having deduced that Stelline is Deckard's daughter, K leads Deckard to her office and instructs him to go inside. Deckard enters the office and meets his daughter for the first time, while K lies down and succumbs to his wounds.
- Ryan Gosling as K
- Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard
- Ana de Armas as Joi
- Sylvia Hoeks as Luv
- Robin Wright as Lt. Joshi
- Mackenzie Davis as Mariette
- Carla Juri as Dr. Ana Stelline
- Lennie James as Mister Cotton
- Dave Bautista as Sapper Morton
- Jared Leto as Niander Wallace
- David Dastmalchian as Coco
- Barkhad Abdi as Doc Badger
- Hiam Abbass as Freysa
- Wood Harris as Nandez
- Edward James Olmos as Gaff
Ana de Armas additionally portrays various holographic advertisements for the "Joi" line. Sallie Harmsen briefly portrays a replicant killed in front of Luv by Niander Wallace. Archival footage, audio and stills of Sean Young from the original film are used to represent her character of Rachael. Additionally, Young's likeness was digitally superimposed onto stand-in actress Loren Peta, who was coached by Young on how to recreate her performance, in order to briefly portray Rachael in a hallucination had by Deckard, and to portray a replicant designed by Wallace to be physically identical to the original Rachael, bar with green eyes (although Sean Young herself has brown eyes, the Voigt-Kampff test in the original Blade Runner reveals Rachael's eyes to actually to be green). The voice of the replicant was created with the use of a sound-alike actress to Young.
Development for a film sequel began in 1999. K. W. Jeter, a friend of Philip K. Dick's (who had authored Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, which had provided the basis of the first film), known for his cyberpunk and horror fiction, had authored two authorized sequels, issued in book form (a third would appear in 2000). Stuart Hazeldine, a British filmmaker, adapted the first of these, entitled Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human, into a script entitled Blade Runner Down. This was shelved due to concerns around the rights to the novel.
In 2007, Ridley Scott, who had directed the original film, considered the development of a sequel, tentatively titled Metropolis, after the 1927 film of the same name. He stated his interest while attending San Diego Comic Con that year. Co-writer Travis Adam Wright worked with producer Bud Yorkin for several years on the project. His colleague John Glenn, who had left the project by 2008, stated the script would explore the nature of the off-world colonies and the fate of the Tyrell Corporation in the wake of its founder's death.
In June 2009, The New York Times reported that Scott and his brother, director Tony Scott, were working on the Blade Runner prequel, Purefold, which would have taken place in 2019. The prequel was planned as a series of 5–10 minute shorts, aimed first at the web and then perhaps television. Owing to rights problems, the series was not to be linked too closely to the characters or events of the 1982 film. On February 7, 2010, it was announced that production on Purefold had ceased, due to funding problems. On March 4, 2011, the website io9 reported that Yorkin was developing a new Blade Runner film. It was also reported that month that Christopher Nolan was desired as director.
On August 18, 2011, it was announced that Ridley Scott would lead the production of a new Blade Runner film, although work would not begin until at least 2013. Producer Andrew A. Kosove suggested that Harrison Ford, who had starred in the original film, was unlikely to be involved. Scott said that the film was "liable to be a sequel" but without the previous cast, and that he was close to finding a writer who "might be able to help [him] deliver". On February 6, 2012, Kosove stated: "It is absolutely, patently false that there has been any discussion about Harrison Ford being in Blade Runner. To be clear, what we are trying to do with Ridley now is go through the painstaking process of trying to break the back of the story ... The casting of the movie could not be further from our minds at this moment." When Scott was asked about the possibility of a sequel in October 2012, he said, "It's not a rumor—it's happening. With Harrison Ford? I don't know yet. Is he too old? Well, he was a Nexus-6 so we don't know how long he can live. And that's all I'm going to say at this stage."
Scott said in November 2014 that he would not direct the film and would instead produce; that filming would begin in late 2014 or 2015, and that Ford's character would only appear in "the third act" of the sequel. On February 26, 2015, the sequel was confirmed, with Denis Villeneuve as its director. Ford was confirmed to be returning as Deckard; so too Hampton Fancher, one of the two writers of the original film. The film was expected to enter production in mid-2016.
On April 16, 2015, Ryan Gosling entered negotiations for a role. Gosling confirmed in November 2015 that he had been cast, citing the involvement of Villeneuve and the cinematographer Roger Deakins as factors for his decision; Deakins was hired as director of photography on May 20, 2016. Principal photography was set to begin in July, with Warner Bros. distributing the film domestically, and Sony Pictures Releasing distributing internationally. On February 18, 2016, an official release date of January 12, 2018 was announced.
On March 31, 2016, Robin Wright entered final negotiations for a role in the film, and on April 2, Dave Bautista posted a picture of himself with an origami unicorn, hinting at a role in the film. Bautista and Wright were confirmed to be joining the cast on April 4, and a filming start date of July was established. In late April 2016, the film's release date was moved up to October 6, 2017, as well as Ana de Armas and Sylvia Hoeks being added to the cast. Carla Juri was cast in May 2016. In June, Mackenzie Davis and Barkhad Abdi were cast, with David Dastmalchian, Hiam Abbass and Lennie James joining in July. Jared Leto was cast in the film in August; Villeneuve had hoped to cast David Bowie, but Bowie died before production began. In March 2017, Edward James Olmos confirmed he was in the film in a sequence playing his original character, Gaff.
When interviewed at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, Villeneuve had noted that the plot would be ambiguous as to the question of Deckard being a human or a replicant. In an interview, Villeneuve mentioned that the film is set a few decades after the original. It would again take place in Los Angeles, and the Earth's atmosphere would be different, he said: "The climate has gone berserk – the ocean, the rain, the snow is all toxic." It was announced that Scott would be executive producer.
Principal photography took place between July and November 2016 in Budapest, Hungary. On August 25, 2016, a construction worker was killed while dismantling one of the film's sets at Origo Studios.
Warner Bros. announced in early October 2016 that the film would be titled Blade Runner 2049. Editing commenced in December in Los Angeles, with the intention of having the film being rated R. At the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con, Villeneuve said that the film would run for approximately two-and-a-half hours.
Rapper-producer El-P was asked to compose music for the first Blade Runner 2049 trailer, but his score was "rejected or ignored". Jóhann Jóhannsson, who had worked with Villeneuve on Prisoners, Sicario and Arrival, was initially announced as composer for the film. However, Villeneuve and Jóhannsson decided to end the collaboration because Villeneuve considered the film "needed something different, and I needed to go back to something closer to Vangelis's soundtrack". New composers Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch joined in July 2017. In September, Jóhannsson's agent confirmed that he was no longer involved and that he was contractually forbidden from commenting on the situation.
The soundtrack album was released on October 5, 2017. A physical two-disc CD version of the soundtrack by Epic Records will be released in the United States on October 27, 2017. There are two editions of the CD release and each edition is limited to 2049 copies. Both editions are hand numbered to 2049 but each contains different cover artwork to differentiate the two.
|3.||"Flight to LAPD"||1:47|
|4.||"Summer Wind" (performed by Frank Sinatra)||2:54|
|11.||"Someone Lived This"||3:13|
|14.||"Suspicious Minds" (performed by Elvis Presley)||4:22|
|15.||"Can't Help Falling in Love" (performed by Elvis Presley & The Jordanaires)||3:02|
|16.||"One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)" (performed by Frank Sinatra)||4:24|
|18.||"That's Why We Believe"||3:36|
|19.||"Her Eyes Were Green"||6:17|
|21.||"All the Best Memories Are Hers"||3:22|
|22.||"Tears In the Rain"||2:10|
|24.||"Almost Human" (performed by Lauren Daigle)||3:22|
Blade Runner 2049 premiered on October 3, 2017 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, although following the 2017 Las Vegas Strip shooting, the red carpet events were cancelled prior to the screening. It was the opening feature at the Festival du nouveau cinéma in Montreal the following day. It also was premiered in Switzerland at the Zurich Film Festival on October 4, 2017.
Sony Pictures Releasing, who had obtained rights to release the film in overseas territories, was the first to release Blade Runner 2049 in theaters, first in France and Belgium on October 4, 2017, then in other countries on the two following days. The film was released by Warner Bros. domestically in the United States on October 6, 2017. In addition to standard 2D and 3D formats, Blade Runner 2049 was released in IMAX theaters. Also, Alcon Entertainment partnered with Oculus VR to create and distribute content for the film exclusively for its virtual reality format and launched it alongside the theatrical release of October 6, 2017.
Due to the popularity and preference of IMAX in 2D (as opposed to 3D) among moviegoers in North America, the film was shown in IMAX theaters in only 2D domestically, but was screened in 3D formats internationally.
The film is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for "violence, some sexuality, nudity, and language". Leading into the film's release, Villeneuve told Europa Plus the theatrical version would be his only version, unlike the original, and any potential alternate versions would be made by someone else.
Warner Bros. and Columbia Pictures jointly released an announcement teaser on December 19, 2016. A selection of excerpts (lasting 15 seconds) were released as a trailer tease on May 5, 2017 in the lead up to the full trailer, which was released on May 8, 2017. A second trailer was released on July 17, 2017.
Three short films have been made to explore events that occur in the 30-year period between Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049:
- 2036: Nexus Dawn is directed by Luke Scott, and follows Niander Wallace as he presents a new Nexus-9 replicant to lawmakers in an attempt to have a prohibition on replicants lifted. The short film also stars Benedict Wong as one of the lawmakers.
- 2048: Nowhere to Run, also directed by Scott, follows Sapper Morton as he protects a mother and daughter from thugs.
- Blade Runner Black Out 2022, is an anime directed by Shinichirō Watanabe wherein a rogue replicant named Iggy carries out an operation to detonate a nuclear warhead over Los Angeles, triggering an electromagnetic pulse that erases the Tyrell Corporation's database of registered replicants. Edward James Olmos reprises his role as Gaff in this film. Flying Lotus composed the soundtrack; Watanabe had used his music as a temp score in making a rough cut of the short.
As of October 19, 2017[update], Blade Runner 2049 had grossed $68.9 million in the United States and Canada, and $95.6 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $164.5 million, against a combined production and advertising budget of around $300 million.
In the United States and Canada, the film was initially projected to gross $43–50 million from 4,058 theaters in its opening weekend. In September 2017, a survey from Fandango indicated that the film was one of the most anticipated releases of the season. It made $4 million from Thursday night previews, including $800,000 from IMAX, but just $12.6 million on its first day, lowering weekend estimates to $32–35 million. It made $11.4 million on Saturday and went on to debut to $32.8 million, well below initial projections but still finishing first at the box office and marking the biggest openings of Villeneuve and Gosling's careers. Deadline.com attributed the film's performance to the 163-minute runtime limiting the number of showtimes theaters could have, lack of appeal to mainstream audiences, and the marketing being vague and relying on nostalgia and established fanbase to carry it. In its second weekend, the film dropped 52.7% to $15.5 million, finishing second behind newcomer Happy Death Day ($26 million).
Overseas, it was expected to debut to an additional $60 million from 62 countries, for a worldwide opening of around $100 million. It ended up making $50.2 million internationally, finishing number one in 42 markets, for a global opening of $81.7 million. It made $8 million in the United Kingdom, $4.9 million in Russia and $3.6 million in Australia.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 88% based on 303 reviews, with an average rating of 8.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Visually stunning and narratively satisfying, Blade Runner 2049 deepens and expands its predecessor's story while standing as an impressive filmmaking achievement in its own right." Metacritic, another review aggregator, assigned the film a weighted average score of 81 out of 100, based on 51 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". Critics who saw the film before its release were asked by Villeneuve not to reveal certain characters and plot points. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four, calling it an instant classic and writing: "For Blade Runner junkies like myself, who've mainlined five different versions of Ridley Scott's now iconic sci-fi film noir, [...] every minute of this mesmerizing mindbender is a visual feast to gorge on." Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film five out of five stars, praising the production design, cinematography and score, and calling the CGI some of the best he had ever seen, writing: "It just has to be experienced on the biggest screen possible. Blade Runner 2049 is a narcotic spectacle of eerie and pitiless vastness, by turns satirical, tragic and romantic." A. O. Scott of The New York Times described the film as "a carefully engineered narrative puzzle" that "tries both to honor the original and to slip free of its considerable shadow", and mostly succeeds. He found it, though, ultimately unequal to the original, describing Blade Runner 2049 as "a more docile, less rebellious 'improvement'". He also lauded Villeneuve's direction to which he attributed an "unnerving calm, as if he were exploring and trying to synthesize the human and mechanical sides of his own sensibility", as well as the cinematography and visual effects, which he describes as "zones of strangeness that occasionally rise to the level of sublimity".
Eric Kohn of IndieWire gave the film an A- rating, saying: "Blade Runner 2049 may not reinvent the rules for blockbuster storytelling, but it manages to inject the form with the ambitions of high art, maintaining a thrilling intensity along the way." Scott Collura of IGN awarded the film a score of 9.7 out of 10 and called it one of the best sequels ever, saying: "2049 plays off of the themes, plot, and characters of the 1982 movie without cannibalizing it or negating or retroactively ruining any of those elements. Rather, it organically expands and grows what came before. It's a deep, rich, smart film that's visually awesome and full of great sci-fi concepts, and one that was well worth the 35-year wait." Mick LaSalle of San Francisco Chronicle rated the film 3.5 out of 4 stars, labeling the film as a "quiet, thoughtful science fiction" while drawing a similarity on its tone to Villeneuve's recent film, Arrival and praising the performances, particularly Gosling and Ford.
Christopher Orr writing for The Atlantic found the sequel to be a faithful and worthwhile continuation of the original film stating: "This is in part because, like its predecessor, Blade Runner 2049 is a decidedly cool artifact, and not primarily an actors' film. Villeneuve's most important collaborators are the cinematographer Roger Deakins and the production designer Dennis Gassner, who between them conjure a future world breathtaking in its decrepitude, a gorgeous ruin. From the grayed-out countrysides over which the sky has closed like a lid; to the drizzly neon decadence of Los Angeles; to a San Diego refashioned as a waste dump worthy of WALL-E; to the Ozymandian wreckage of Las Vegas—the film is a splendor of the first order." Graeme Virtue, in The Guardian stated that the film's "impact is never at the expense of visual comprehension. Characters may crash through walls but it is never unclear where those walls are in relation to the mayhem. These occasional jolts of intensity do not snap us out of the film’s hypnotic spell, which remains persuasive enough to make the 163-minute duration feel like something to luxuriate in rather than an endurance test."
John Serba in his review for Mlive also saw the film as a worthy successor and continuation of the original film and capable of standing next to other strong films in this genre such as the 1927 Metropolis, stating: "Blade Runner 2049 is a feast for the eyes and intellect, and for more patient audiences. It broods so intently and for so long, its occasional bursts of violent action break the film's exquisitely meditative constitution. A key atmospheric component is the thrumming synthesizer score, by Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch, emulating Vangelis' masterful original."
Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post put emphasis on the depiction of the villain-aspects of the industrialist played by Jared Leto stating: "In the world of 2049, there are now two kinds of replicants, in addition to people: the old, rogue versions, and a newer, more subservient variety designed by a godlike industrialist (Jared Leto portraying Wallace), who refers to his products, tellingly, as good and bad 'angels.'"
Reviewing the film for Vice.com, Charlotte Gush was critical of the film's portrayal of women, who she said were "either prostitutes, holographic housewives" or victims dying brutal deaths. While acknowledging that "misogyny was part of the dystopia" in Scott's 1982 original, she stated that the sequel was "flat, emotionless, nonsensical, and eye-gougingly sexist". Writing in one of the reviews of the film in The Guardian, Anna Smith expressed similar concerns, stating that "sexualised images of women dominate the stunning futuristic cityscapes" and questioned whether the film heavily catered toward heterosexual men.
The Economist was more critical of the film, calling it a "bombastic sequel" and noting its "thin and threadbare" storyline, which was "riddled with holes", and the "little more than a cameo" appearance of Ford, despite his being used heavily in the film's promotion. Kevin Maher of The Times gave it three of five stars, claiming "a more devastatingly beautiful blockbuster has yet to be made", but concluding that the plot was lackluster.
|List of awards and nominations|
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Result||Ref.|
|Golden Trailer Awards||June 6, 2017||Best Teaser||Blade Runner 2049||Won|||
|Hollywood Film Awards||November 5, 2017||Producer of the Year||Andrew A. Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Bud Yorkin, and Cynthia Sikes Yorkin||Won|||
|IndieWire Critic's Poll||December 19, 2016||Most Anticipated of 2017||Blade Runner 2049||Won|||
In September 2015, Ridley Scott expressed interest in making additional films. In October 2017, Villeneuve said that he expected a third film would be made if 2049 was successful. Hampton Fancher, the writer of both Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049, also revealed that he was considering reviving an old story idea involving Deckard travelling to another country, and Ford said that he would be open to returning if he liked the script.
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