In this era of rampant spoiler-phobia and carefully calculated studio hype, every minor detail about any upcoming blockbuster must be fought and scrapped for. Or at least that’s usually the case. During a recent AFI Q&A the always wily and unpredictable Ridley Scott pulled a surprise move and described, in detail, the entire opening scene to Blade Runner 2.
Proceed no further if you think knowing what happens in the first scene of a movie constitutes a spoiler…
“We start off at what I describe as a ‘factory farm’ – what would be a flat land with farming. Wyoming. Flat, not rolling – you can see for 20 miles. No fences, just plowed, dry dirt. Turn around and you see a massive tree, just dead, but the tree is being supported and kept alive by wires that are holding the tree up. It’s a bit like Grapes of Wrath, there’s dust, and the tree is still standing. By that tree is a traditional, Grapes of Wrath-type white cottage with a porch. Behind it at a distance of 2 miles, in the twilight, is this massive combine harvester that’s fertilizing this ground. You’ve got 16 Klieg lights on the front, and this combine is four times the size of this cottage. And now a spinner [a flying car] comes flying in, creating dust.
Of course, traditionally chased by a dog that barks, the doors open, a guy gets out and there you’ve got Rick Deckard. He walks in the cottage, opens the door, sits down, smells stew, sits down and waits for the guy to pull up to the house to arrive. The guy’s seen him, so the guy pulls the combine behind the cottage and it towers three stories above it, and the man climbs down from a ladder – a big man. He steps onto the balcony and he goes to Harrison’s side. The cottage actually creaks; this guy’s got to be 350 pounds. I’m not going to say anything else – you’ll have to go see the movie.”
Scott has discussed some aspects of this opening scene before. Previously Scott has indicated that Deckard will end up shooting the big guy who comes off the combine, who, of course, ends up being replicant.
The beginning of Blade Runner 2 is certainly drastically different from the dialogue and futuristic urban imagery-heavy opening to the original movie. I’m sure Deckard will end up back in futuristic LA eventually, but this opening scene seems to indicate Blade Runner 2 won’t simply be a slavish recreation of the original.
Blade Runner 2 stars Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling and will be directed by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Sicario). The film is set to begin filming in mid-2016 for a likely 2017 release date.