This week kicked off in grand fashion with the world premiere of the Blade Runner 2049 trailer, preceded by an intimate Q&A hosted at IMAX headquarters in Los Angeles with filmmaker Denis Villeneuve and co-stars Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling in attendance to discuss what fans can expect from the film, which picks up 30 years after the events of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.
In case you missed the live Blade Runner 2049 Q&A on Monday, Daily Dead was on hand to bring you guys back some tidbits from the trio. Here’s what Villeneuve, Gosling, and Ford had to say about collaborating on the project, the sequel’s ambitious look and production design, and much more. Look for Blade Runner 2049 in theaters (and IMAX) on October 6th, 2017.
Harrison Ford on how technology has adapted in reality versus in the Blade Runner universe:
I think it's fascinating that the original film postulated a technology, which, in many ways, we've surpassed. And in other ways, we're not quite there. This film does extend, takes into account, the thirty years that have passed and references technologies that actually are in place now. Also, to me, which is a little bit more interesting [is how] technologies deal with some of the ethical considerations that [they] present us with. There's no such thing as a free lunch. We're really talking about both the benefit of technology and the social consequences of it in a way that I think is really interesting.
Denis Villeneuve on how Blade Runner 2049 differs from the original:
I'll just say that in 2049, for some reason, society has lost its memory, and so that idea is not in a relationship with the story anymore. That's something that is kind of frightening in our world today, and I think that is something that is relevant to what is happening in the world today, too.
Ryan Gosling on the first time he saw the original Blade Runner:
Well, I saw it, I think, probably when I was ten years old, after it came out. So when I first saw it, I think I was just really struck by how influential it had been on everything I had seen up until that point. But because I was young, I think it was one of the first films I had seen that it wasn't clear how I was supposed to feel when it was over. It made me question what it meant to be a human being. It made me question my ability to recognize the hero from the villain. It was this nightmarish vision of the future, but sort of presented in this romantic, dreamlike way. So it was very haunting and really probably one of the first films where I really wondered what happened after it was over. What happened to that world and those characters?
So, to have the opportunity to actually physically enter that world and be a part of it and learn the answers to those questions was a wonderful opportunity.
Harrison Ford on returning to the Blade Runner universe:
Well, I think the character is woven into the story in a way that intrigued me. There is a very strong emotional context in the relationship between the character Deckard that I play and other characters I found fascinating. It's interesting to develop a character after a period of time, to revisit a character. It was a very interesting experience working with Denis, working with Ryan, and the other people involved in the film. It was a very gratifying experience. I really had a good time.
Ryan Gosling on the impressive set and production design used to bring the world of Blade Runner 2049 to life:
Well, again, because it had so much of the world and its influence had sort of seeped into my subconscious as a kid, because it was influencing so much of what I was listening to and watching then, so, to be a part of that in any way was surreal. But then, to get to the set and realize that these sets were fully functioning worlds that you could inhabit, there was very little imagining that had to be done.
I was just completely immersed in this universe that I had grown up watching and imagining. It was very impressive and overwhelming. I think the trick for me was to not be impressed by it on camera, because it was supposed to be my everyday reality, so I'd know nothing else. But, of course, I have never worked in this way on that kind of scale before, so it was pretty overwhelming, but great.
Denis Villeneuve on collaborating with legendary DP (director of photography) Roger Deakins:
Well, the thing is that it's always a privilege to work with Roger Deakins. What I could say is that this time, Roger was always focusing, of course, on the logical light, but for this time—and this is an expression Roger will hate—but he went wild. And because of the nature of the project, I was allowed to do things that I think [I] was not daring to do in the past, and honestly, I can tell you right now that this film is some of his most stunning work, and I'm very proud of what Roger did on the cinematography.
Harrison Ford on what made his experiences on Blade Runner 2049 special for him:
I remember a scene that I did with Ryan towards the beginning, where we are meeting with each other for the first time. It was a scene about the history that transpired between the last time you saw the character of Deckard, and how he seemed now, and they referenced between the two characters, and it was unexpectedly deep, emotionally deep, and [a] really rich kind of recipe that I was really excited about. Working with Ryan was really great, and that was the first scene we had together, and it was complex and out there. I really enjoyed it, and I really enjoyed the way Denis managed the scene and both of us—especially the way he sucked up to me [laughs].
Denis Villeneuve on any special moments he experienced during production on Blade Runner 2049:
It's very difficult to answer this question sincerely, because in most of the movies I've done before, there's always two or three moments that you can refer to. There are specific scenes, there are specific challenges. But on this one, the scale and the amount of scenes were both big challenges for me from a directing point of view. But I can't point my finger on something specific, though. Every day was a journey, a very impressive journey for me that I will remember vividly and sincerely.