November 8, 2016

New ‘Blade Runner’ has ‘its own personality’: Villeneuve

BRUCE KIRKLAND / Toronto Sun

Do not expect Denis Villeneuve’s forthcoming Blade Runner sequel to look anything like his science fiction drama Arrival, which opens wide on Friday.

“They are two different movies,” Villeneuve tells the Toronto Sun in a telephone interview, while taking a break from shooting his Blade Runner in Budapest. “They are very different!”

Arrival, which stars Amy Adams as an American linguist trying to communicate with aliens in space ships hovering just above the ground in locations around the world, is remarkably realistic. Villeneuve’s team utilized an absolute minimum of special effects except when the aliens are depicted. Little flashy technology is shown.

“That was one of the main objectives,” Villeneuve says. “The idea was really to see what would happen if it was happening next Tuesday— on a rainy Tuesday morning in North America.” Arrival was shot on location in Villeneuve home province of Quebec, with most of the action set in the United States.

In contrast, Blade Runner 2049 is a long-awaited sequel to Ridley Scott’s controversial classic from 1982. It starred Harrison Ford as a burned-out replicant hunter in a bleak, futuristic Los Angeles. Ford will make a cameo appearance in the sequel with Ryan Gosling headlining Villeneuve’s strong cast.

“The project that I am working on now has its own personality,” Villeneuve says warily, referring to how he has learned to adapt to the dystopian vision offered in the original Blade Runner.

“This is the first time that I am making a movie in someone else’s universe while trying to make something mine. It’s a strange transformation. So that’s where we are right now. It has its own personality because it was inspired by and is linked to the first movie, but it has its own aesthetic.

“For obvious reasons, I am not allowed to discuss it. But it is like a different world. That is all I can say!”

Warner Bros. is keeping a tight lid on Blade Runner 2049, except to give it an official title while confirming its release date on Oct. 6, 2017.

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