The utterly wondrous new trailer for Blade Runner 2049 is promising a sequel to end them all. Director Denis Villeneuve's follow-up to Ridley Scott's 1982 masterpiece comes drenched in all the eye-opening visuals and intriguing philosophical questions we've come to expect from the Blade Runner universe. We've selected our favourite moments from the latest trailer.
Gold isn't a colour readily associated with the blue-tinged, neon-infused futuristic world of Blade Runner. But as last year's Arrival proved, Villeneuve is one of the boldest visual stylists in the business. This shot where Ryan Gosling's new officer K enters the domain of Jared Leto's shady replicant developer, Wallace (we assume he's the antagonist) lays out an imminently approaching war between man and machine.
The perpetually rain-soaked, smoke-infused Los Angeles streets of Scott's original were an enormous influence on the sci-fi cinema that followed. It looks like Villeneuve is honouring his predecessor's shadowy, engrossing atmosphere as Gosling's Blade Runner stalks the streets, at one point appearing bloodied whilst in another appearing to comfort the mysterious Joi (Ana de Armas). And the giant holographic ballerina really does take the breath away.
Talk about landscapes that take the breath away. We're still not quite sure where Gosling's character is at this point (are we about to be introduced to another, seemingly derelict city?) but the overwhelming ochre hues of the cinematography are stunning. Credit genius cinematographer Roger Deakins (The Shawshank Redemption; Skyfall) for that. However we do know why Gosling's character is here – to track down original Blade Runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford)...
As befits his megastar status, Ford gets a dramatic entrance as Deckard emerges from the shadows, gun in hand. The juxtaposition of orange with spots of darkness creates a dynamic visual sense as K and Deckard come to terms with why the former is here (wherever 'here' is).
Snow? In Blade Runner? Given this is a world of metal, machinery and oppressive darkness this is quite a striking textural change. Given Deckard's startled impression we imagine the context surrounding the moment is pretty dramatic.
A climactic onslaught of unforgettable images including a large, purple-haired female hologram, the briefest of appearances from Dave Bautista and a strobe-laden disco culminates here. We're presuming this shot of an eyeball is a nifty homage to the opening of the first movie, emphasising the importance of seeing and also mirroring our awe at the return of this extraordinary futuristic world.
Blade Runner continues to instigate fierce debate as to whether Deckard himself is a replicant. Even Ford and Scott find it difficult to agree on the issue. The climactic shot of the 2049 trailer establishes a similar sense of ambiguity as K is informed that "your story isn't over yet... there's still a page left." Are we to infer from this that K is himself a replicant? Given Gosling's skill at playing detached, ever-so-slightly unsettling characters, we reckon this could be close to the truth...