On what is becoming a monumental day for fans of Harrison Ford’s classic science fiction vehicles, some interesting news has surfaced regarding the long-in-the-making sequel to Blade Runner. It has been announced that Ryan Gosling could join a returning Harrison Ford in the follow-up to the futuristic actioner and its world full of rogue replicants.
Coming by way of an announcement from production company Alcon Entertainment, it seems that Gosling is in negotiations to co-star in the sci-fi sequel alongside Ford, who reprises the role of replicant hunter Rick Deckard. At this point, no details have emerged regarding the nature of Gosling’s character, however, this seems to have the makings of a possible passing of the franchise torch.
While Ridley Scott, the helmer of the original 1982 Blade Runner, will still be involved with the sequel as an executive producer, he will cede the director’s chair to Denis Villeneuve. Known for 2013's acclaimed Prisoners, the Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal kidnapping drama, Villeneuve should bring an appropriate repertoire of character intrigue and smart plot twists to Blade Runner 2. The Canadian director will work from a script by Michael Green and Hampton Fancher that, according to Scott, Harrison Ford stated was "the best thing he ever read."
Interestingly enough, those accolades also come with a possibly revelatory hint about the dynamic between Harrison Ford’s Deckard and Ryan Gosling’s unnamed character. According to Ridley Scott, the script is structured in a three act storyline, which doesn't even see Deckard come into the picture until the third. Coupled with this possible casting news, we could take this to mean that Gosling is, for all intents and purposes, the star of Blade Runner 2. In that sense, his prospective addition to the film may introduce an interesting wrinkle to widespread expectations.
What does seem clear is that the 72-year-old Harrison Ford appears intent on making the rounds to his signature franchises, possibly handing them off to a new generation, as his appearance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens is rumored to entail. While another go with Indiana Jones also seems possible, Blade Runner has always been that "other" coveted Ford film that’s had to fight to carve out its place in the annals of the genre. Initially branded a financial disaster that barely covered its $28 million cost, 33 years, and one critical director’s cut later, the film is widely celebrated as a perennial, imaginative, neo-noir classic.
The sequel will apparently be set 30 plus years after the original, which is set in Los Angeles in 2019 (oddly enough, only four years away). The first Blade Runner combined gloomy, rainy, nighttime cityscapes with bright, futuristic aesthetics, but was also packed with philosophical narratives perpetually questioning the idea of what it means to be alive and sentient. While some of the technologically fabricated replicants that Deckard hunts appear demented and dangerous, they’re still motivated by the understandable instinct of self-preservation and plagued with very human existential questions. We may see Ryan Gosling’s character forced to delve further into this nebulous dichotomy.
Blade Runner 2 doesn't have a release date, however, principal photography is reportedly set to begin in the summer of 2016, which suggests a release sometime in 2017.