April 23, 2016
'Blade Runner' 2 Release Date Revealed, Female Lead Cast

Blade Runner 2 has a new release date. The release of the sequel to the 1982 Ridley Scott film has been moved up a few months. It was originally slated for release on January 12, 2018.

According to Geek, Alcon Entertainment, the company producing the film, is apparently "happy with whatever they've seen from Blade Runner pre-production because the movie has had its release date pulled forward... into the much more competitive box office date of Oct. 6, 2017."

This date is considered more competitive since two other big productions are being released on that date, one from 20th Century Fox/Marvel and the other from Warner Bros.

Moving the release date of Blade Runner 2 to an earlier date seems unusual considering that production has not begun. Most of the time films get pushed back rather than forward. The movie is set to start filming this June.

The sequel, which will probably not be titled Blade Runner 2, will be set about 30 years after the original. Harrison Ford is already cast to reprise his lead role as Rick Deckard. Ryan Gosling, Dave Bautista, Ana de Armas, and Robin Wright have also been cast in unknown supporting roles. The most recent addition to the cast is Ana de Armas, from the thriller Knock Knock. Cinema Blend reports that she will have a leading role, but that no other details are available.

Blade Runner 2 will see Denis Villeneuve directing the release. Ridley Scott is too busy directing another production, but will have some input on the film as an executive producer.

Blade Runner was based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick. The plot of the original revolved around the main character, Detective Rick Deckard, searching for and identifying four Nexus 6 replicants. The replicants had escaped an off-world colony and came to Earth looking for a way to extend their 4-year lifespan. Deckard was required to "retire" (euphemism for killing) the replicants once he found them.

The earlier release date of Blade Runner 2 has not brought any new rumors to light. Cast and crew are very tight-lipped, but it can be assumed that Ford's Deckard will not be pursuing replicants in the film. For one, at the end of Blade Runner, Deckard came to the realization that he is a might be a replicant himself. It is unclear how Ford's aging could be explained, since replicants are androids and do not age. The other reason is that he also began to sympathize with the replicants in the end. For these reasons, it seems likely that Deckard will be the one who is pursued in the film, possibly by Gosling, as either a replicant that has somehow aged or as a sympathizer.

Although the sequel's release date is 30 years after the original's, Blade Runner was a memorable classic in science fiction and introduced the audience to a believable, yet fantastic, dystopian world. Flying cars (called spinners), were the norm, but the gadgets that Detective Deckard used in his line of work were jaw dropping in their complexity and function.

The least of these was the Voight-Kampff machine. This machine was a high-tech device that operated similarly to a polygraph. It was used to take particular biometric measurements on suspected replicants. Replicants cannot mimic human emotions precisely, so by asking a series of increasingly provocative questions, and using the machine, investigators could determine if the suspect was human. The device's movie prop seemed rather crude and mechanical for the period, but was an interesting concept nonetheless.

The coolest gadget in Blade Runner by far was the Esper device. The Esper was used to analyze photographs. It was voice controlled and was capable of zooming into the photo at very high magnification levels. In addition, the device was designed to model 2D images in 3D, so with proper magnification and manipulation, it was possible to "zoom in" to objects that were possibly behind other objects in the photo.

Although Blade Runner's original release date was 30 years ago, and we are only three years from the year the movie was set in, we still do not have any technology that can achieve the magnification level and clarity of the Esper, let alone its 3D enhancement trait. Of course, we don't fly around in spinners either. Regardless, it will be interesting to see if Blade Runner 2 gives these devices a 2049 reboot when it releases in October of next year. They might be even cooler than before.

[Photo by Anonymous/AP Images]