If you want to get technical, the biggest villain in Blade Runner 2049 isn't Jared Leto's Niander Wallace. He barely threatens anyone, his goals aren't that terrible when you think about it and he mostly outsources the dirty work to the strongest villain of the piece: Sylvia Hoeks' Luv. A killer Replicant who gets to knife, punch and kill quite a few of the film's heavy hitters, she is a stand-out in an all star cast, and totally badass. And believe it or not, the inspiration for her character's demeanor comes from an unlikely source: modern pop stars, like Taylor Swift. Hoeks explained as follows:
I looked at big celebrities, big singers, who are younger girls, like Taylor Swift or Selena Gomez. [These people] who have big platforms and have to have certain control in their life, because every little second of their day is probably somebody making a picture of them or putting them in the media. So their whole life kind of happens virtually.
Now before we go any further, it should be mentioned that the publicly defined images of said pop stars, Swift in particular, really seem to jive with Luv's role in Blade Runner 2049. With her retro-future look, icy demeanor and a very similar cadence to the sort of evil image that Taylor Swift has been indulging in with some of her more recent music, you can really see what Sylvia Hoeks is talking about when it comes to the model for her character. Listening to her explain to one of the Blade Runner 2049's characters the logic in why she's going to kill them almost sounds like a missing verse from "Blank Space," as it's delivered with the lethal edge Swift coats some of her lyrics with.
It totally works too, as Luv is very much in the service of her one big fan/manager, Jared Leto's Niander Wallace. Everything she does is basically on his commands, and in order to serve his means. That doesn't take agency away from her character though, as she's basically at the same level of strength that a henchman in the James Bond universe would possess. And all the while, Sylvia Hoeks really shines in her Blade Runner 2049 role, as she is equally as ominous as she is flat out terrifying. She is someone who could shake your hand one moment, and stab you in the throat the next. As the actress explained her character to Bustle, Luv is someone who's commanding, in control, and again, she feels like the more real menace of Blade Runner 2049.
While Leto's reclusive billionaire/savior of humanity is a more soft spoken and exacting mastermind, Luv is more of a blunt instrument that bulldozes through obstacles when necessary. Which, now that we've invoked the Bond franchise, sounds a lot like a more evil version of the relationship M and Bond have throughout the series. So if we're all really serious about the prospect of a female actor playing the role of 007, Sylvia Hoeks is a name that should make a lot of people's shortlists after this commanding role, with perhaps either Taylor Swift or Selena Gomez in the running to play her villainous competition.