How Often Harrison Ford Thought About Rick Deckard Before Returning For Blade Runner 2049

Rick Deckard side by side Blade Runner 2049

Harrison Ford has played a number of iconic roles throughout his career, and in recent years he's had the opportunity to bring a lot of them back to the big screen. The latest is Rick Deckard, who Ford played 35 years ago in Ridley Scott's iconic Blade Runner, and is now back in Denis Villenueve's Blade Runner 2049 -- but he actor recently admitted to me that he didn't really spend a lot of time thinking about the character because he never really expected a sequel to ever be made. Said Ford,

He comes back to haunt me once in a while. I hadn't anticipated where the story might pick up. I didn't actually think that we'd ever do another one. But I was very gratified when I had the chance to read the script and how beautifully it was crafted and what emotional opportunities it gave me.

This weekend I had the pleasure of sitting down with both Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling at the Los Angeles press day for Blade Runner 2049, and it was during our conversation that I asked about how Ford had previously reflected on the role of Rick Deckard. After beginning with a sly answer, he frankly noted that he had mostly put the part in the past -- but obviously that all changed when he was handed the script for the sequel written by original Blade Runner scribe Hampton Fancher and Michael Green.

Of course, one can understand why Harrison Ford never really held out much hope for a Blade Runner sequel. While the movie is now heralded as one of the most brilliant sci-fi visions ever committed to the big screen, most people definitely didn't feel that way about it when it was first released in theaters in 1982. Not only did critics not respond to it positively, but the fact that it came out during one of the biggest summers in Hollywood history resulted in it being a box office dud. That could have been the end of its legacy, but in the last three-and-a-half decades it has achieved what can arguably called a cult film status, and it was ultimately powerful enough to inspire expansion with Blade Runner 2049.

A few years back Ridley Scott went on the record quoting Harrison Ford saying that the Blade Runner 2049 script is "the best thing he's ever read," and Ford certainly echoed these sentiments during my interview with him. Unfortunately, the details of the screenplay's craft and the emotional opportunities it offered for Rick Deckard are being kept a secret for now, and we'll have to wait to learn about them when the film actually arrives in theaters.

You can watch part of my interview with Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling at the Blade Runner 2049 press day below!

Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling weren't the only two members of the Blade Runner 2049 team that I spoke with this weekend, as I also did interviews with director Denis Villeneuve, screenwriters Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, and the other principal stars. We'll be posting a whole lot more from those conversations in weeks leading up to the film's release, so stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more, and look for Blade Runner 2049 in theaters on October 6th!

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.