The new film is set thirty years after the original Blade Runner (released in 1982) and will see Harrison Ford return to the role of Rick Deckard, a "blade runner", a cop who tracks down and exposes replicants, genetically-engineered entities with pre-programmed memories who are designed to pass as human. Ryan Gosling is playing a new character, a Los Angeles cop named "K" who has to track down the missing Deckard. Robin Wright and Jared Leto will also star.
Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Arrival) is directing from a script by original Blade Runner co-writer Hampton Fancher and Gotham and Heroes scriptwriter Michael Green. Acclaimed cinematographer Roger Deakins (The Big Lebowski, The Shawshank Redemption, Skyfall) is also on board. Johann Johannsson (Arrival) will be scoring the film.
The need or necessity for a Blade Runner sequel has been fiercely debated by fans over the years. However, the decision by Ridley Scott to step back to only produce the movie and hire Denis Villeneuve as director instead has raised interest in the sequel, due to the latter's excellent work on Arrival.
The appearance of Harrison Ford in an aged state has caused confusion in some quarters, as repeated public statements and interviews with Ridley Scott over the years have confirmed that Deckard is a replicant and thus should either be dead or un-aged. However, the original film itself did not confirm this, only heavily indicated it (with cop Gaff revealing he knows what Deckard has been dreaming about, which would only be possible if he could access Deckard's memories, which can only be done to replicants). It is possible that Scott's view has been altered by the need for a sequel storyline, or that Deckard is some advanced form of replicant capable of ageing.
Blade Runner 2049 will be released on 6 October 2017.