Warning: There are SPOILERS ahead for “Blade Runner 2049”. So if you haven’t seen the blockbuster yet then please head to your local cinema to right that wrong instantly, before then returning to read this article.
While out promoting Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve has repeatedly made it clear just how much of an influence Ridley Scott’s 1982 original was on his follow-up. But much has changed in the intervening 35 years between the films, and now the cinematic landscape is dominated by the franchise.
So while, like the original, “Blade Runner 2049” still feels like a very singular film, the fact that a studio spent somewhere between $150–185 million on the blockbuster probably means that they want to squeeze as much money as possible out of the potential franchise as they can. If “Blade Runner 2049” fares well at the box office, and really connects with a modern audience, that would undoubtedly mean sequels.
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But what are the chances that a “Blade Runner 3” will actually happen? During my recent interviews with the sequel’s cast and crew I quizzed them about the possibilities of a follow-up, and director Denis Villeneuve was the first to admit that he fully expects another film if “Blade Runner 2049” is a triumph.
Villeneuve started off by explaining, “When I jumped on board what really struck me was that it was such a singular movie that had been written as a whole. There was never any intention, or I never had pressure to think what is coming next. It was a really big challenge, and I understood that everybody was thinking the same: ‘Just to do a follow-up to the first one was such a huge challenge.”
That’s when he added, “Of course if the movie is well received, then I would easily bet that they would do another one. For this time it is a one off movie.”
Hampton Fancher, who wrote the original film and “Blade Runner 2049”, then went on to admit to me that he already has the perfect idea for another sequel set aside, teasing that, rather than taking Rick Deckard off the planet, he’d want to see the character in a different country.
“I don’t have an impulse to take the story off-world. But I have a notion about Deckard going on. I had an old idea that I liked, and I might play with that and see what everybody thinks. It would involve Deckard in another world, culturally so to speak, other than the USA. It would take him to another country.”
Meanwhile, Harrison Ford, the man who has played Rick Deckard in both “Blade Runner” films, teased that if the story was right he’d return for a third installment. Just don’t expect him to come up with any ideas or suggestions for it.
“That depends on the imagined story. I’m not in that end of the business. That’s for people with different talents and responsibilities that I have. But if they came up with something equally as good as this I would be involved.”
“Blade Runner 2049” is now in cinemas.