In terms of its visuals alone, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is widely considered one of the most influential artistic achievements of the modern age. And based on the brand new Blade Runner 2049 trailer, it’s safe to say that Denis Villeneuve has a clear understanding of the 1982 original’s place in the annals of film history.
Rather than reimagine Scott’s neo-noir cityscapes, the director, who has the legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins by his side, relies on the same aesthetic elements that made Scott’s version so visually arresting. This is the same world of fluorescent alleyways and decaying urban mausoleums. Of course there are some minor updates, seeing as how the sequel takes place 35 years after Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard investigated the sinister Tyrell Corporation (and came face to face with the nature of his own humanity in the process).
Now Deckard is in hiding, and a new Blade Runner is on the verge of unlocking a secret that could change the course of humanity. That job goes to Ryan Gosling’s LAPD Officer K, whose first meeting with Deckard might unlock one of the original’s biggest mysteries.
Blade Runner ended rather ambiguously, with the audience left to wonder whether or not Deckard was a replicant. So when Deckard tells Officer K that “we were being” hunted, it implies that he is indeed a replicant, and is hiding in some kind of replicant refugee camp. Or perhaps this is just a red herring, because Villeneuve would be a fool to give up one of the mythology’s key secrets in a trailer, right?
One person who’s equally curious is Jared Leto’s creepy inventor, who’s also on the hunt for Deckard and whatever secrets he may hold. But until the film’s eagerly anticipated fall release, the only person with the answers is Villeneuve himself, and as you might have guessed he’s playing this one pretty close to the chest.
“We are still exploring the themes of memories and empathy,” Villeneuve said during a recent Q&A. “That’s still part of the deeper tissue…of where the movie evolves in relation to what does it mean to be human.”
Fine, we’ll just wait until October 6, when Blade Runner 2049 lands in theaters. Watch the new trailer below.