If you were hoping Blade Runner 2049 would address the long-argued “Is Decakrd a replicant?” question, you’re out of luck. Turns out director Denis Villeneuve (Sicario) isn’t planning to get into that at all, which should make for some interesting interviews with Harrison Ford down the road I’m sure.
Villeneuve is directing this sequel coming straight off his work on Arrival with a script and story by Hampton Fancher, Michael Green, and Ridley Scott. Set for a October 6, 2017 release, the film will star a returning Ford as Rick Deckard, Ryan Gosling, Robin Wright, Jared Leto, Mackenzie Davis, Dave Bautista, and more. When Halt and Catch Fire’s Davis was added to the cast I theorized she could be playing a Pris model considering her dramatic resemblance to original star Daryl Hannah but that didn’t help me come to terms with how they would address Ford/Deckard’s aging if he is, as Scott has attested, a replicant.
After seeing Blade Runner for the first time I was surprised to learn anyone thought Deckard was a replicant as I didn’t actually take anything remotely like that from the film. It was a while later I found out Scott’s Director’s Cut actually tried to make sense of this and even later when someone finally got him to say, “He is definitely a replicant.” So why wouldn’t the sequel address this?
In an interview with Allocine (in French, and I’m paraphrasing the following), the filmmaker says it was very important to him not to break the tension of the mystery that lingers around Scott’s original movie, or solve all its riddles. You might think that because Nexus 6 replicants only have a four-year lifespan, that the return of Ford in “Blade Runner 2049” as Deckard answers the question regarding his humanity, but Villeneuve says “not necessarily.”
It’s an interesting debate to start all over again, especially when you consider the story unfolding on HBO’s Westworld about artificial intelligence and humanity. It’s of course something brought up in almost every tale about robots, androids, etc. but this is something we thought was put to bed in the case of Blade Runner.
Scott previously gave details on how the film might start but no word on whether that’s remained since the project actually started moving. Villeneuve previously expressed some concern over how fans will take to his style. “It’s not Ridley Scott, it’s me, and that it’s different,” he said. “It’s still the same universe, we are still in the same dream, but it’s mine, so it’s like I have no idea how you people will react, I don’t know. It has its own life.” Perhaps Villeneuve preferred Deckard to be a human but had to compromise considering Scott thinks the opposite? Perhaps this Deckard is a new old replicant? What do you think?