Real talk: Directed by Ridley Scott, based incredibly loosely on the book “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by Philip K Dick, featuring a title by William Burroughs, 1982’s “Blade Runner” remains one of the great sci-fi movies. Gorgeous cinematography, stunningly tactile visual effects, incredible performance from Rutger Hauer as the replicant who may indeed have a soul, using Harrison Ford for all of the things Harrison Ford does well (including possibly being a robot), it’s a classic.
So, when one sees the teaser for the upcoming “Blade Runner 2049,” produced by Scott, directed by Denis “Arrival” Villeneuve, starring it-man Ryan Gosling and Ford (who apparently isn’t cutting his hair for any director these days, be he J.J. Abrams or Villeneuve), it’s understandable that the first thought is:
“PLEASEDON’TSCREWTHISUP! PLEASEDON’TSCREWTHISUP!PLEASEDON’TSCREWTHISUP!” etc.
So far, so good.
Los Angeles looks to be a desert wasteland, with Gosling’s character finding Deckard (Ford) perhaps the lone resident in his old building (perhaps the way J.F. Sebastian was in his old building). The sound effects are vintage, and a walk through the urban neon (a visual so influential you can find it in a film as contemporary as “Rogue One”) is also present. (But where are they? China? Tokyo? Off-World?)
For his part, Dick has never completely left us as a source. From “Total Recall” to “Minority Report,” Dick’s main themes (“How do we know this is real?” and “How do I know I am human?,” more or less) seem ever more relevant in the age of Siri. The Spike Jonze movie “Her” is a PKD story in all but name.
Amazon just started season 2 of “The Man in the High Castle,” which has about as much relationship to PKD’s incredible novel as “Blade Runner” does to “Androids.”
“Blade Runner 2049” is due out Oct. 6, 2017.