So arrives the first trailer for Blade Runner 2049, because what is a science-fiction film without a belated sequel? It’s an odd one for sure. Released in 1982 and based on Phillip K Dick’s novella Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Blade Runner was not a blockbuster hit racking up $33.8 million from a $28 million budget. Compare that to the same summer’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan which grossed $91 million from an $11.2 million budget.
Over the years and through different cuts, most notably 1992’s The Director’s Cut (which most notably removed the voiceover) and 2007’s The Final Cut (actually a director’s cut) the film has grown in stature and reputation as one of the best science fiction films ever made. It’s imagery remains timeless and iconic and the central mystery thought provoking.
This sequel, is reportedly one of the most expensive R-rated films ever made but can a Blade Runner sequel really be a big hit? It is a known property but it isn’t a Star Wars or even a Star Trek. Director Denis Villeneuve has proven that he can make a success of thoughtful science-fiction with arrival but can he elevate a cult film to the mainstream? Much will depend on word of mouth. Resurrecting a beloved franchise is dangerous. You risk alienating the fans of the original and not engaging a new audience. Still, art isn’t always about instant success and this looks like it keeps perfectly in tone with the original…one of the cuts anyway.
The original creative team have given the film their blessing with Ridley Scott having ushered the project through pre-production as executive producer and Harrison Ford returning to his ambiguous part as Deckard. They’ve used the same font too, and that’s important.
Blade Runner 2049 arrives in cinemas 6 October 2017