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Fans of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner have spent years discussing and debating one particular mystery: is Harrison Ford's Rick Deckard a person, or is he actually a replicant? Different people behind the production have provided different answers to this question, and on the big screen the truth remains ambiguous. It's a very big part of Blade Runner's legacy, and one that Blade Runner 2 director Denis Villeneuve has full intentions to cherish in the making of the sequel.
Villeneuve's new film Sicario had a big premiere up at the Toronto International Film Festival this past week, and it was while being interviewed by Crave Online that the director revealed how he will be approaching Blade Runner's greatest mystery. Asked if Deckard is a human or a replicant, the Canadian filmmaker first declined to answer - saying "Now that I am on the other side of the fence I cannot answer" - but then he followed-up by discussing his approach to that matter in the sequel:
The thing I must say is that I love mystery. I love shadows. I love doubts. I would just want to say to the fans that we will take care of that mystery. I will take care of it.
The irony of Denis Villeneuve's quote is that it's as ambiguous as the subject it's about. What does "take care of that" mean in this context? When a gangster says that in a movie, it means somebody is getting whacked. Is Villeneuve planning on taking the mystery into a back alley and blowing its brains out?
Joking aside, when watching Blade Runner 2 all of us will be wondering whether or not it will answer the question of Rick Deckard's humanity. Villeneuve's quote could suggest that he doesn't want to create a firm answer, and instead wants to keep the doubts and mystery as an overarching part of the series. But that doesn't mean that he won't provide a few hints the provide a direction one way or the other.
As alluded to earlier, those behind the original Blade Runner have discussed their views about what Rick Deckard really is. Most notably, Ridley Scott has said that his protagonist is indeed a replicant. He told the New York Times in 2007,
Yes, he’s a replicant. He was always a replicant.
Meanwhile, Harrison Ford has said that he thinks Rick Deckard is a human, and that it was something that he debated for a long time with Scott. As a result, the speculation continues.
Blade Runner 2 is now in development, though a release date has not yet been pinned down. It's been confirmed that Harrison Ford will be back to reprise his role as Rick Deckard in the movie - making it the third major character from his career that he's resurrected (following Indiana Jones and Han Solo). There have also been reports about Ryan Gosling joining the cast of the sci-fi drama, though that has not been entirely confirmed.