Your Definitive Guide to Preparing for 'Blade Runner 2049'

Blade Runner 2049
Want to brush up on your 'Blade Runner'? We've got you covered.

We've been waiting for this moment for years. Sure, we put Blade Runner 2049 on our list of most anticipated films for 2017, but our love affair with this sci-fi classic and intrigue about its long overdue sequel goes back much further than that.

After all, Ridley Scott’s 1982 original Blade Runner damn near defined a genre, and the crew behind the new film are top notch. Director Denis Villeneuve was known for suspenseful dramas like Prisoners (2013) and Sicario (2015) until his first foray into sci-fi last year, Arrival, a film that quietly subverted genre conventions. DP Roger Deakins, though not necessarily a household name, is a hero to cinematographers worldwide, and has shot some of the most influential films of the last 30 years, including every Coen Brothers hit fas far back as Barton Fink (1991).

The fact that this team was chosen to helm this ambitious project instead of perhaps more obvious blockbuster choices is a good indicator of the potential quality of the work (That they have Scott’s blessing as EP; the script is co-written by one of the original film’s scribes, Hampton Fancher; and it's scored by master composer Hans Zimmer doesn’t hurt our confidence, either).

Whether you're brand new to the Blade Runner phenomenon and want to know what the hype is all about, or as geekily giddy as we are about this week's release, this canon of related coverage—from background on the film’s stellar helmers to new behind-the-scenes featurettes—will get you up to speed.

Blade Runner 2049: What to Expect

From prequels commissioned by Denis Villeneuve himself (including one directed by none other than Ridley Scott's son, Luke) to revealing BTS featurettes, the hype game on this movie has been strong.

The Original Blade Runner: Looking at its Influence

It's almost impossible to count all the ways that Ridley Scott's landmark adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?  has influenced the film landscape since its 1982 release. Though spectacular, it was not merely a spectacle, and the level of attention paid to everything from production design to sound helped build a world that somehow brought humanity to a coldly mechanized vision of the future.

Director Denis Villeneuve: How He Got Here

Before Arrival, Quebecois director Denis Villeneuve had seven features under his belt. Known for his suspenseful and moody—but also deeply human—storytelling, he gained mainstream momentum with 2013's Prisoners, a crime drama starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, and became widely lauded with Oscar-nominated Sicario two years later. 

'Arrival': The Film That Hints at What Could Be

Arrival hints at the approach that Villeneuve might take with Blade Runner 2049, but he didn't get there on his own. Screenwriter Eric Heisserer and DP Bradford Young, among others, helped construct this "deconstructed" sci-fi. As Young put it, "The science fiction genre has all types of good tropes that work that are tried and true, and that didn’t make sense for this story." Hear more from the collaborators, read the screenplay, and learn more about the film's production and impact below. 

DP Roger Deakins: The Man, The Myth, The Legend

'No Country for Old Men'
The Oscar bees have been buzzing that Roger Deakins may finally—finally!—win an Academy Award for his work on this film. And after 13 nominations and almost 80 credits to his name (including such diverse titles as The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men, and Skyfall), it's about damned time! Throughout his prolific career, he's also been generous in sharing his insights about the craft with aspiring cinematographers. One of our favorites? "Technology is changing all the time, but for me, nothing has changed in the sense that you are still telling stories by the use of light, the use of a frame, the way you move a camera. I'm still hoping to be part of telling stories about people and the way we are."

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1 Comment

Saw the movie last night. Impressive to say the least. It won't appeal to the short attention span/MCU crowd. If you like intelligent well crafted scifi, you'll like Bladerunner 2049. It's a worthy successor to the original.

October 6, 2017 at 2:58PM