The Darker Future of Blade Runner 2049

Ngebray.com,- In 1982, Bladerunner hugely influenced the sci-fi movie genre and quickly gained cult status. Ridley Scott introduced audiences to a dystopian future set in 2019, world filled with corporate advertising, pollution, and androids called replicas.

 

Now, director Denis, or Denny Villeneuve, and Oscar winning production designer Dennis Gassner have updated that world for a sequel, Bladerunner 2040. Back in 1981, Dennis Gassner was working for Zoetrope Studios with Francis Ford Coppola and Dean Tavalares. They just made One from the Heart, a movie for which they recreated Las Vegas on sound stage. And Ridley Scott wanted to buy the neon they used.

Picture from empireonline.com

Bladerunner was shot in 1981, a different era for filmmaking, and Steven Poster was one of the original film’s photography team. The sequel to Bladerunner was shot in 2016 and set in 2049. By now, the environment has become harsher, and all of the architecture as well as the weather needed to reflect that, including the creation of a massive seawall in Los Angeles to counter the effects of global warming and now global freezing.

Much like the original, the sequel is a stage-set film and in deciding on a location for the shoot, executive producer Ridley Scott suggested looking at Budapest, where he’d previously shot The Martian. Gassner says the design process, or manifestation of this new future began with the spinner, the fictional flying vehicles from the first film. Gassner says that Budapest physically had a lot to offer, such as long dormant power stations which acted as a trigger for other ideas.

The good example of Scott’s creativity on set is the closing scene in Bladerunner, Where Batty’s on the roof with the giant rotating fans. Bladerunner has long been praised for its unique, post-modern production design and for the sequel, filmmakers wanted it to feel like a natural progression, so they didn’t rely on digital effects. They just used them where they were needed. Gassner says it’s the ability to create bigger scale that will set the new film apart from the original movie, that it’s a bigger world, and now you’re able to see more of it.