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The First Trailer for Blade Runner 2049 Is Here and I Don’t Know What To Do With My Emotions

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.

Honestly, I don’t. While there are few movies I love as much as the original Blade Runner, there are also few movies that strike me as less in need of a sequel.

Today the first full trailer for Blade Runner 2049 debuted at a special Q&A with the cast and director Denis Villeneuve. In addition to Ryan Gosling in the starring role as new the “blade runner” (cops with the job of tracking down bioengineered replicants and killing them), the movie also features original Blade Runner star Harrison Ford, Robin Wright who can do no wrong, and Jared Leto as the creepy bad guy—the only kind of role I can really stomach Jared Leto in. But you, Jared Leto, are no Rutger Hauer, and nothing you do will ever top Roy Batty’s final scene.


(image: Warner Bros.)

The new trailer is a lot, visuals-wise, but we’re still left guessing after the plot—so here’s what we know, officially:

Officer K (Ryan Gosling), a new blade runner for the Los Angeles Police Department, unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. His discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former blade runner who’s been missing for 30 years.

Well, that’s pretty vague and we still don’t know much, but let’s talk about the good first. There’s no denying that this movie looks visually stunning. The original movie’s neo-noir futuristic setting left an impression on generations of moviegoers, so obviously they’re stepping it up for the sequel. Cinematographer Roger Deakins is known for his evocative style in movies like No Country For Old Men and Skyfall, and Villeneuve, who directed Arrival, certainly knows his way around science fiction.

The script is written by original Blade Runner screenwriter Hampton Fancher, who was personally responsible for convincing Philip K. Dick to let them option and adapt Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Fancher’s co-writer this time around is by Michael Green, currently the co-showrunner on American Gods. All of these signs bode well for an excellent movie.

And yet … there’s a part of me that wishes Blade Runner could have been left alone. Prequels and sequels to the first film have been discussed and failed in development for decades, and as such Blade Runner remains one of the only masterful science fiction movies that hasn’t been watered down by tacking on a million reboots and tie-ins to its name. Blade Runner is a complex, uncomfortable, melancholic, fascinating movie about what makes us human, and I liked that the book was closed on it.

While this trailer has buoyed my hopes that we’ll be getting a good film out of Blade Runner 2049, and it’s intriguing to see Harrison Ford as Deckard again, part of me wishes this were all an android’s dream and we could go back to debating which cut of the original Blade Runner is best.


(image: Warner Bros.)


(top image: Warner Bros via screengrab)

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Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.