Ever since Blade Runner was released in theaters 34 years ago, there’s been talk of returning to this strange sci-fi world, but it’s only now that progress is being made. Over the last couple months, Blade Runner 2 has recruited some notable names to its cast, but over the weekend, Dave Bautista cryptically hinted that he would be joining as well on his social media accounts. While that was but a tease, it’s officially confirmed that he’s been added to the sequel.

Warner Bros announced Bautista’s casting today, saying he would play an "important supporting role." However, the studio stopped short of identifying who his character is in Blade Runner 2, so we’ll have wait for another official announcement, assuming an outlet or publication doesn’t break the news ahead of time. Bautista will appear alongside Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling and Robin Wright.

The past couple years have been great for Dave Bautista’s acting career. After appearing as Diaz in 2013’s Riddick, he was propelled to new levels of fame in 2014 playing Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy. Last year saw him playing lethal henchman Mr. Hinx in the latest James Bond flick, Spectre. His upcoming appearances include Kickboxer: Vengeance, Marauders and reprising Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Appearing in Blade Runner 2 will definitely boost his blockbuster profile further, not to mention give him a little extra geek cred.

Set in a dystopian Los Angeles in 2019 (now only three years away), 1982’s Blade Runner followed a world where genetically engineered beings know as replicants looked just humans. Banned from Earth and sent to perform menial labor off-world, it was the Blade Runners’ job to eliminate any replicant that made its way back to Earth. The movie saw Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard brought in for one final mission as the special police operative, but his search for the fugitive replicants found him caught in a mysterious conspiracy. Blade Runner 2 will reunite us with Deckard decades later, although Ford is apparently only appearing in the third act of the movie. 

Warner Bros hasn’t revealed any plot details regarding Blade Runner 2, but the move will answer the question of whether Deckard is a human or replicant. As far as Bautista goes, he could easily play either of the two beings, although I’m personally leaning more towards replicant. Sicario’s Denis Villenueve is taking over as director from Ridley Scott, but the latter will still be involved as a producer. Blade Runner co-writer Hampton Fancher also collaborated with Michael Green on the sequel’s story.

Set to being shooting this July, Blade Runner 2 hits theaters on January 12, 2018, and we’ll keep you updated on any developments surrounding its production.

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