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Blade Runner 2049 (2017) Poster

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David Bowie was Denis Villeneuve's first choice for the role of Niander Wallace, but passed away before the start of shooting.
The opening scene in which K confronts Sapper Morton is a nearly exact remake of a scene written and storyboarded but never filmed for Blade Runner (1982).
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There are three short films that fill the gap between Blade Runner (1982) and this sequel. Blade Runner: Black Out 2022 (2017) is the first in chronological order, followed by 2036: Nexus Dawn (2017) and 2048: Nowhere to Run (2017). "Black Out 2022" was made by anime director Shin'ichirô Watanabe, who is famous for his work on The Animatrix (2003) and Cowboy Bebop (1998). The other two films were directed by Luke Scott, Ridley Scott's son.
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According to the documentary Dangerous Days: The Making of Blade Runner (2007), director Ridley Scott had a totally different introduction in mind for Rick Deckard in Blade Runner (1982). In the end, he chose the noodles scene on the street to first show Harrison Ford (I) as an ex-Blade Runner. Thirty-five years later director Denis Villeneuve used that exact unused scene in this film to introduce Ryan Gosling, which became the farm scene with the discovery of the tree.
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Wood is rare and valuable, as shown by the wooden horse K owns. Wallace's house is made almost entirely out of wood to show how wealthy he is.
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The original Blade Runner (1982) is notorious for having several different cuts released through the years. When questioned about the possibility of a future alternative cut of his film, director Denis Villeneuve stated that the theatrical cut is his one and only version. At one point there was a four-hour rough cut of the film that had been split into two parts for more convenient viewing, and the makers discovered that each part almost felt like a complete film on its own. They briefly considered them as two separately titled movies, but Villeneuve decided that it should be cut down to just one definitive version.
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Edward James Olmos--who had Hungarian ancestors--famously improvised a native line in Blade Runner (1982), and his lines in this film also include such a word: he mentions that Deckard is now "nyugdíjas" (retired_. An old Hungarian woman is also heard screaming in the hallways of K's apartment. Most of the movie was filmed in Budapest, Hungary.
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Director Denis Villeneuve noted that he was fully aware of the immense pressure he was under, and how hardcore fans of the original view the prospect of a new film: "I know that every single fan will walk into the theater with a baseball bat. I'm aware of that and I respect that, and it's okay with me because it's art. Art is risk, and I have to take risks. It's gonna be the biggest risk of my life but I'm okay with that. For me it's very exciting . . . It's just so inspiring, I'm so inspired. I've been dreaming to do sci-fi since I was ten years old, and I said 'no' to a lot of sequels. I couldn't say 'no' to [this film]. I love it too much, so I said, 'Alright, I will do it and give everything I have to make it great'."
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The text of the baseline that K must recite ("And blood-black nothingness began to spin / A system of cells interlinked within / Cells interlinked within cells interlinked / Within one stem. And dreadfully distinct/ Against the dark, a tall white fountain played") is from Vladimir Nabokov's "Pale Fire" (lines 703-707 of the poem), the novel that Joi volunteers to read to K. The passage goes on to describe how "the mind / Of any man is quick to recognize / Natural shams . . . The reed becomes a bird, the knobby twig / An inchworm . . . ". Recognizing "natural shams" is of course an apt description of a Blade Runner's job.
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For shooting of the scene in Las Vegas, cinematographer Roger Deakins was inspired by a memory of seeing the Sydney Opera House in Australia after a dust storm. Denis Villeneuve suggested adding the giant erotic statue.
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The film includes signs for companies that suffered the alleged "Blade Runner Curse," most notably Pan Am airlines (which went bankrupt in 1991) and Atari (which currently exists as a brand but has not been a corporate entity since the mid-'90s). Director Denis Villeneuve has explained that both films take place in an alternate universe where these companies remained corporate powerhouses and other companies like Apple did not exist (not to mention a universe in which synthetic humans were developed by the 2010s).
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Initially, Denis Villeneuve was against the concept of a sequel to Blade Runner (1982), as he felt it could violate the original. However, after reading the script, which he and Harrison Ford have described as "one of the best" they had ever read, he committed to the project, stating that Ford was already involved at that point: "To be very honest with you, Harrison was part of the project before I arrived. He was attached to it right from the start with Ridley [Scott]. I met him and he's honestly one of the nicest human beings I've met and is one of my favorite actors of all time, so for me it's a lot of pleasure."
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Dennis Gassner based the design of Niander Wallace's lair on one of the rooms in Kiyomizu-dera, the famous ancient temple in Kyoto, Japan. The floor type used for the lair is the uguisubari or the nightingale floor, where the noise created alerts a person to a possible intruder.
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In order to portray the blind character of Niander Wallace, Jared Leto decided to fit himself with opaque contact lenses that made it impossible for him to see.
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As seen in the film, the baseline test that K must recite back ("A system of cells interlinked within / Cells interlinked within cells interlinked") was Ryan Gosling's idea. He employed an acting technique called "dropping in," which induced a trance-like and hypnotic effect on his performance.
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Composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (I) was attached to compose the music for the film. However, in August 2017 he dropped out from the project for unknown reasons and composer Hans Zimmer (I), along with Benjamin Wallfisch, were hired to replace Jóhannsson.
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With Ridley Scott having toyed with the edit of Blade Runner (1982) over the years, it is fair to ask which version would be considered "canon" going into the sequel. Denis Villeneuve replied by insinuating the follow-up may not be as much of a straightforward sequel as we thought: "The movie will be autonomous and at the same time there will be some link. The only thing I can say is I was raised with the original cut, the original version that Ridley doesn't like. That's the Blade Runner that I was introduced to at the beginning and that I loved for years, and then I must say that I appreciated the very last cut, the 'Final Cut' version. So between all the different cuts, for me it's the first and the very last that I'm more inspired by."
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When Joi searches around Deckard's place, there is ambient noise which was heard in Deckard's apartment in the first movie and was also used as background noise in the med bay in Alien (1979).
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The greenhouses at Sapper Morton's farm bear the word "Tselina", Russian for "virgin lands". It is a reference to Nikita Khrushchev's "Virgin Lands" campaign ("Osvoyeniye Tselina") in the Soviet Union where citizens were moved to undesirable and sparsely populated lands to start farms and grow food. This is the first example of the mix of various languages used throughout the movie.
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The loud and jarring "motorcycle" noise that appears throughout the score began as a male choir sample that Benjamin Wallfisch repeatedly ran through a series of electronic filters until it sounded mechanical.
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The character name Ana Stelline is a pun on "anastellin", a human anti-angiogenic peptide. Anti-angiogenesis is a field of medicine concerned with the prevention of formation of blood vessels. The field is often studied by cancer doctors to stop blood-flow supplying malignant tumors.
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According to an interview with editor Joe Walker (III), the aerials over the abandoned solar farms are shot at a real location, a thermosolar power station near Seville.
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Security and secrecy throughout the production were so high that the producers and filmmakers adopted various measures to prevent leaks to the public, such as limiting the amount of behind-the-scenes publicity--apart from an approved Omaze video. To prevent the ending from being leaked, it was communicated verbally, not included in the scripts handed out to the actors. According to actor Lennie James (I), other security measures included such things as when actors being considered for supporting roles were given scripts, they were required to decide whether to accept within 36 hours; the scripts were incomplete, mostly the first 20 pages, and a random number of pages that included their characters (in James' case, he was shown the 20 pages after his last scene); once an actor accepted the offer, the full script was given; everyone was subject to a non-disclosure agreement, with heavy penalties for violation; actors were searched at entry points to the sets; cell phones and cameras were forbidden; for each shooting day, actors were required to sign on the sides for the day when given, and again when returning them--they were not allowed to keep the sides. Failure to return them would result in not being allowed to leave the set at the end of the day; digital scripts could only be opened on one device, copy-proofed, and were deleted automatically after a certain number of hours (in James' case it was nine hours after he completed filming his scenes).
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Sony Pictures, which handles worldwide distribution of this film, incurred the wrath of the Film Critics Association of Turkey (SIYAD) when it defended its decision to supply Turkey with a self-censored version of the movie, deleting all instances of nudity, by stating that it was done out of "respect for the local culture." SIYAD responded in an open letter to Sony, saying, "Seeing oneself as an authority to decide what is appropriate and what is not appropriate for a 'local culture' and imposing your view on that 'culture' is one of the greatest shows of disrespect for that 'culture'. It is an insult to the people of Turkey and specifically to movie-goers in Turkey to assume them to be disturbed by any sign of nudity whatsoever."
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At one point Mariette (Mackenzie Davis) says, "More human than humans", referring to Replicants. In Blade Runner (1982), when Eldon Tyrell (Joe Turkel) meets Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), he says, "More human than human", referring to Replicants, as a slogan of Tyrell Corp.
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Two versions of the Baseline scene were filmed: the original scripted version, in which "K" reads a small passage of Vladimir Nabokov's "Pale Fire", and a much longer take written by Ryan Gosling himself. It was a lengthy eight-minute staccato dialogue and Gosling delivered each take without hesitation for every camera angle.
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When asked for his thoughts about the sequel beforehand, Rutger Hauer (who played Roy Batty in Blade Runner (1982)) stated that he was completely indifferent to it. He saw no reason why the makers would go back to something which he thought was already perfect, but admitted that it could be considered a compliment. He was equally unimpressed after seeing the film, stating that "it's not a character-driven movie and there's no humor, there's no love, there's no soul. You can see the homage to the original. But that's not enough to me."
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The name of Agent K's apartment building is Mobius 21. Jean (Moebius) Giraud's graphic short story "The Long Tomorrow" (published in "Metal Hurlant" in France and "Heavy Metal" in the US) was an early influence on the look of Blade Runner (1982).
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Originally, at the early development stage of the project, Ridley Scott was set to take on directorial duties. By the time the movie was getting close to pre-production, however, he announced he would no longer take the helm but would stay involved as a producer. Specifics weren't given by Scott on why he dropped out of directing the film. Oddly enough, a report came out in August 2014 that Alien: Covenant (2017), a sequel to Prometheus (2012), may be getting delayed because Scott planned to helm this film after The Martian (2015), which was in production at the time. However, it seems that Scott's commitment to Alien: Covenant (2017) may have forced him to step away from directing this film.
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When K enters the hall where he first meets Deckard, we hear the same bells sounds as when Deckard enters the Bradbury building for the final showdown with Pris and Roy.
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The image of garbage transports dropping their loads into the junkyard of San Diego echoes the setting of Soldier (1998), written by Blade Runner (1982) co-screenwriter David Webb Peoples. In that film, the protagonist is a space soldier deemed obsolete and dumped on a junkyard planet, and is a veteran of battles described by Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) in Blade Runner.
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When K is approached by Mariette and two other women, one of the two speaks her lines in Finnish, saying, "Tää jätkä on Blade Runner. Se on vitun vaarallinen. Annetaan sen olla." ("This guy is a Blade Runner. He's fucking dangerous, let's leave him be."). The character is played by Krista Kosonen, who is a native Finn. Additionally, this is the only time the term Blade Runner is used.
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In the casino Joi is wearing a clear jacket, much like the one worn by Zhora (Joanna Cassidy (I)) in Blade Runner (1982).
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Hampton Fancher and Michael Green wrote the original screenplay based on an idea by Fancher and Ridley Scott, with the story taking place several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original. Denis Villeneuve said in an interview in "Collider" on September 11, 2015: "Hampton Fancher, Ridley Scott and Michael Green did a fantastic job on the screenplay. It's a very powerful screenplay. And I felt that it made sense to me and I had the Ridley Scott blessing. But you ask if I hesitated. I hesitated massively. It took me a lot of time to say yes."
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For director Denis Villeneuve, there are two versions of the original Blade Runner (1982) despite the seven alternative cuts: The original cut is the story of a human being falling in love with a replicant and the final cut is a story of a replicant that discovers its true identity. As for this film, in Villeneuve's own words, it is made from the tension between those two versions.
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Jared Leto used Silicon Valley tech investors and inventors that he personally knows as examples of how Niander Wallace would behave.
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The term "Blade Runner" is not part of the Philip K. Dick 1968's original novel "Do Android Dreams of Electric Sheep?" It is the title of a 1974 novel written by Alan Nourse.
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Niander Wallace is the creator of the newest line of replicants. His first name is a direct hint to the Homo Neandertalensis, which is a species of humans sprung from the Homo species. The Homo Neandertalensis lived alongside the Homo Sapiens. The Homo Sapiens turned out to be the more efficient species. The Homo Neandertalis became extinct and Homo Sapiens prevailed. This could imply that Wallace - being a human - is a member of a dying race. The humans (here Homo Neandertalensis) live alongside the replicants (Homo Sapiens) which will eventually outlive their human brothers.
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Soldier (1998) was written by David Webb Peoples, who also wrote the screenplay to Blade Runner (1982). He has always maintained that "Soldier" is set in the same universe as "Blade Runner," and "2049" contains at least one subtle nod to "Soldier:" The garbage scows that K sees in the metal wasteland on his way to the sweatshop are nearly identical to the one that deposited Todd (the protagonist of "Soldier," played by Kurt Russell (I)) onto the off-world colony Arcadia, the primary setting of the 1998 film. Since "2049" happens over a decade after "Soldier," the scows have minor modifications--though they are immediately recognizable to the eagle-eyed viewer.
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The Wallace Corp. alert is from Sergei Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf."
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Joshi, the superior to whom K reports, means simply "boss" or "superior" in Japanese.
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The replicant rebel leader Freysa is missing her right eye, which would suggest that she had been retired by a blade runner and had it removed, but survived despite this. This could also mean she removed it or had it removed to avoid being retired/discovered.
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Denis Villeneuve admitted that he was initially hesitant to take on such an iconic property: "It's more than nervous, it's a deep fear. I mean, when I heard that Ridley Scott wanted to do another movie in the 'Blade Runner' universe, at first my reaction was that it's a fantastic idea, but it may be a very bad idea. I'm among the hardcore fans of Blade Runner (1982). It's one of my favorite movies of all time. It's a movie that is linked with my love and passion for cinema. I'm coming from a small town in Quebec where, at that time, there was no internet and the way to be in contact with movies were those American fan magazines like 'Fantastic Films' and 'Starlog' and I still remember the shock, the impact of seeing the first frames, the first pictures coming out of 'Blade Runner'. Me and my friends were in awe, so excited, and the movie was such a strong cinematic experience. A new way of seeing sci-fi."
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All the scenes in K's apartment were shot in a mist-filled studio for four weeks, to give the impression of a foggy view out of the window. This impacted electronic equipment and K's apartment had to be air conditioned to bring humidity levels down.
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This film earned cinematographer Roger Deakins his first-ever Academy Award for Best Cinematography, after having been nominated 13 previous times without winning.
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Emily Blunt was considered for a role but declined due to her pregnancy.
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Policeman K's serial number is KD6-3.7, so it is P KD6-3.7. This pays homage to author Philip K. Dick (PKD).
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Jared Leto traveled to Budapest, Hungary, in September 2016 to film his scenes and was wrapped in just under two weeks.
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The dog Deckard owns is an Estrela Mountain Dog.
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Jared Leto was introduced to Denis Villeneuve by his close friend Jean-Marc Vallée, who had directed Leto in Dallas Buyers Club (2013).
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On August 25, 2016, a construction worker was killed while dismantling one of the film's sets at Origo Studios.
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Ultimately Denis Villeneuve says he signed on "because I feel that I can do it," and expanded a bit on how he'd be approaching the sequel: "It's a huge challenge, because you don't want to cut and paste, otherwise there's no point. And at the same time you have to respect what was done, so you have to find the right equilibrium between being faithful to the first one and bringing something new at the same time that will make sense to the 'Blade Runner' universe."
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Jared Leto worked with the organization Junior Blind of America to research blindness in preparation for the role of Niander Wallace.
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To make Joi (Ana de Armas) appear more artificial, editor Joe Walker experimented by freezing her image for nine frames just before she responds to a question. That way it looked like her program paused for a split second, as if her processor was briefly occupied in coming up with an answer. However, it felt corny and it was decided that her artificiality was already convincingly communicated through her fast costume changes and transparency.
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Another interpretation of Gaff's origami sheep: "Rachael" is the Hebrew word for "ewe," a female sheep.
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Both producer Ridley Scott and director Denis Villeneuve cited the movie's length and slow pacing as the main reasons for its disappointing box-office results. Scott felt that the movie was at least 30 minutes too long, although he admitted that he himself was partially to blame since he provided input for the screenplay. Villeneuve said that while still proud of the film, he realized afterwards that he had made "the most expensive art house movie in cinema history", and knew it would be a huge financial risk. He admitted that the running time and a marketing strategy that gave away minimal plot elements may have scared away audiences, especially people less familiar with the original.
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The giant Joi in the hologram advertisement was supposed to be her "default" setting, the idea being that K customized her voice and appearance to a less sexualized version. The advertisement version of Joi is not voiced by Ana de Armas but first assistant editor Mary Lukasiewicz. She recorded a temporary voice-over, but the producers decided to keep it in the finished film.
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Sony Pictures Entertainment/Columbia Pictures were not involved with Blade Runner (1982); in fact in 1982 Columbia Pictures was owned by the Coca-Cola Co. Sony's participation in this movie is due to its purchase of Embassy Pictures, one of the companies that produced the original "Blade Runner".
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This would be the second time Hans Zimmer (I) and Benjamin Wallfisch have worked together in 2017; they previously collaborated on Dunkirk (2017), a film by Christopher Nolan (I). However, Zimmer composed most of the music for "Dunkirk", while Wallfisch contributed with sounds on some tracks.
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In June 2009, "The New York Times" reported that Ridley Scott and his brother, director Tony Scott (I) were working on a Blade Runner (1982) prequel, "Purefold", set in 2019. The prequel was planned as a series of five- to ten-minute shorts, aimed first at the web and then perhaps television. Due to rights problems, the series was not to be linked too closely to the characters or events of the 1982 film. On February 7, 2010, it was announced that production on "Purefold" had ceased due to funding problems. On March 4, 2011, the website "io9" reported that Bud Yorkin was developing a new "Blade Runner" film. It was also reported that Christopher Nolan (I) was desired as director.
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Sylvia Hoeks is the second Dutch actor to be cast in a "Blade Runner" movie as a villainous Replicant; Rutger Hauer famously played Roy Batty in Blade Runner (1982).
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Ridley Scott started the production and was set to direct, but in the end turned down the project due to scheduling conflicts with Alien: Covenant (2017). He remained, however, as executive producer and creative consultant.
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Director Denis Villeneuve experienced immense pressure to do this sequel right, especially when producer Ridley Scott (who also directed the original Blade Runner (1982)) was on set. Scott's presence became nearly unbearable when it was time to direct "Blade Runner" veteran Harrison Ford, so Villeneuve finally asked Scott how he would feel if his favorite director Ingmar Bergman were looking over his shoulder while directing. Scott had a good laugh over it, but understood and left the set. Villeneuve later credited Scott with leaving him alone for most of the shoot, and giving him full freedom to direct the sequel as he pleased, only offering advice when Villeneuve asked for it.
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Ridley Scott claimed that the opening scene of K's confrontation with Sapper Morton was an alternate beginning of Blade Runner (1982), which would have featured Deckard instead of K, and that much of the original script for the scene was used as well as Scott's original storyboards.
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Officer K's (Ryan Gosling) flying car is a Peugeot, a French automotive brand.
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This sequel was released in the US on October 6, 2017, just ten years and one day after the final-cut version of the first film premiered in Los Angeles. It also premiered just over 35 years after the release of the first film.
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At 2 hours and 43 minutes, Blade Runner 2049 (2017) is 46 minutes longer than the original Blade Runner (1982) which ran 1 hour and 57 minutes.
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Ridley Scott advised Denis Villeneuve to leave room for mystery.
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European sci-fi magazine "Métal Hurlant", considered revolutionary in the comic book field during the '70s and '80s, has inspired many generations of authors and filmmakers, such as Ridley Scott for Blade Runner (1982). François Schuiten, one of the most influential comic book artists behind Métal Hurlant, acted as production designer on Mars et Avril (2012). This indie sci-fi romance, which pays tribute to Métal Hurlant in many ways, is directed by Martin Villeneuve, the younger brother of Denis Villeneuve, who directed this film.
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Gary Oldman and Ed Harris (I) were considered for the role of Wallace before Jared Leto was cast.
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In a (21 September 2017 interview in the Dutch magazine "Algemeen Dagblad", Sylvia Hoeks explained her hair was dyed black to give her "an Asian appearance". Hoeks said, "I became the Japanese version of myself. My best friend and I even started to greet each other in Japanese."
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Critics who saw the film before its release were asked by director Denis Villeneuve not to reveal certain characters and plot points.
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Although there is no shortage of digitally-created elements in the film, amounting to a total of 1150 visual effects shots, the crew tried to shoot with real sets on real locations as much as possible. For example, the solar farms in the beginning were filmed at a thermosolar power station near Seville, Spain, while Sapper's farm was filmed in Iceland. Mexico City doubled for a hazy shot of Los Angeles in the distance. Most of the filming was done in Budapest, Hungary, with many of the sets only a minute's walk from one another, and real cityscapes are visible through windows. Green-screen (process) shots were done sparingly, usually to extend horizons or add elements to a shot.
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The movie begins in June of 2049, as seen by the onscreen date of K's first baseline exam.
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The film's cast includes one Oscar winner (Jared Leto) and four Oscar nominees (Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Edward James Olmos and Barkhad Abdi).
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In the scene showing the ruins of Las Vegas you can clearly spot modified versions of the Luxor and MGM Grand casinos, including actual signs and decorations.
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Prostitute Mariette dresses similarly to the pleasure model replicant Pris from Blade Runner (1982) (fur coat, short skirt, black boots, mop hairstyle).
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Jared Leto made a surprise appearance at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, NV, on March 29, 2017, to promote the film at the Warner Bros. panel and to introduce new footage. He appeared alongside co-star Ana de Armas and director Denis Villeneuve. Ryan Gosling also appeared at the convention to present new footage at the Sony Pictures panel.
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The first joint-venture between Warner Bros. and Columbia Pictures since Something's Gotta Give (2003).
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When Joi tells K "Four symbols make a man: 'A', 'T', 'G' and 'C'," she is referring to the letters that represent the four bases that make up DNA--"A" is Adenine, "T" is thymine, "G" for guanine and "C" for cytosine. When she says, "I am two: 1 and 0", she is referring to the fact she is digital and therefore made of binary code "1"s and "0"s.
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The cars used by The Wallace Corporation are Lincolns.
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Freysa, the replicant revolutionary leader, says to K that he expects her to look up and to the left. The obvious reason is that this would reveal her replicant serial number, but it also refers to the facial "tell" that a person is speaking the truth. One of the signs of when a person is lying is that he or she looks up and to the right, which indicates involvement in creative "right brain" thinking--in other words, lying.
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Jared Leto described the opportunity to be part of this film to be a great honor as being a fan of the original Blade Runner (1982) at CinemaCon 2017. Leto elaborated on how "Blade Runner" influenced his life due to the film's cinematography, art direction, directing, music and acting.
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The whole production was named "Triboro" during shooting.
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During post-production on Blade Runner (1982), on July 11, 1981, producer Michael Deeley and director Ridley Scott were both "technically" fired . This film began shooting exactly 35 years later, on July 11, 2016.
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At one point the prostitute Mariette remarks about K's (Ryan Gosling) holographic girlfriend Joi, "Oh, I see, you don't like real girls." Gosling starred in Lars and the Real Girl (2007), about a man's relationship with a sex doll he ordered on the Internet.
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When they meet for the first time, K asks Deckard if his pet dog is real. In the first film, when Deckard finds Zhora, one of the replicants he's been ordered to retire, working in a strip club, he asks her the same question about the snake she uses in her act.
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The lead character played by Ryan Gosling is referred to as "K" and is later given the name "Joe." The central character of Franz Kafka's novel "The Trial," about an innocent man being persecuted by people and forces beyond his control, is called "Joseph K."
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Dr. Steline makes a cake reminiscent of the promised cake in the video game Portal (2007) (VG). Like the original, the cake is not real.
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The coat Lennie James' orphanage keeper wears bears a marked resemblance to that worn by Mr. Bumble, the dreaded orphanage keeper, in the musical film Oliver! Based on Charles Dickens (I)' "Oliver Twist".
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Director Denis Villeneuve worked with David Dastmalchian on Prisoners (2013). Ryan Gosling also auditioned for that same movie, but Jake Gyllenhaal was cast instead.
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Sylvia Hoeks plays a character named Luv. Coincidentally, there was a popular girl pop group called Luv in the '70s and '80s in the Netherlands, where Hoeks is from.
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Ryan Gosling (K) and Wood Harris (Nandez) both appeared in Remember the Titans (2000).
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Ana de Armas is Cuban. This is noted as Joi's "ethnicity" (the character she portrays) when "K" enables the emanator and next to her projection appears a list of her characteristics: height, body type, face type, skin tone, eye color, lip color, hair color, hair style, ethnicity and language.
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Both Ana de Armas ("Joi") and Jared Leto ("Niander Wallace") have previously starred in movies about gun running. For de Armas it was War Dogs (2016) and for Leto it was Lord of War (2005).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

A visual effects company worked for a full year on the scene where Rachael (Sean Young) appears exactly as she did 35 years ago in Blade Runner (1982). Stand-in actress Loren Peta acted out the scene, and her appearance was changed through computer-generated visual effects to resemble Young. Rachael's voice was provided by a sound double. Director Denis Villeneuve purposely limited the amount of Rachael's shots and gave the visual effects team ample time to work, in order to avoid the criticism that the digitally recreated Carrie Fisher and Peter Cushing in Rogue One (2016) had drawn. He said that the result was "mesmerizing".
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When K asks why Gaff believed Deckard was always going to end up leaving society, Gaff said, "It was something in his eyes." This alludes to the running theory that Deckard is a replicant: in the original Blade Runner (1982), the Voight-Kampff test used to identify replicants focused intensely on the subject's eyes and pupil responses. Also, the replicant's pupils would occasionally glow (Pris and Rachel) and there was a brief scene where Deckard is talking to Rachel and his pupils glow for a brief time.
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While shooting a fight scene, Harrison Ford accidentally punched Ryan Gosling in the face. As an apology to his co-star, Ford invited Gosling to share a bottle of scotch whisky with him.
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After saying Deckard has retired, Gaff makes an origami sheep. This is, of course, a reference to the original source novel "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep". In that book Deckard is saving for a real sheep for his wife, and muses that an android might hope for a manufactured animal. It is also a reference to Gaff's habit of making tiny origami sculptures out of little pieces of paper in the first film.
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Deckard's first words to K are, "You mightn't happen to have a piece of cheese about you?", a quote from "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson (I). In a deleted scene from the original Blade Runner (1982), Deckard visits Holden in the hospital and finds him reading "Treasure Island".
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Being 57 years old at the time of filming, Sean Young does not appear directly in the movie, but her character (the young Rachael) is recalled first with a picture and upgraded footage from Blade Runner (1982), and then played by a performance double (Loren Peta). Young was brought in personally to train Peta in reproducing Rachael's characteristic gait and mannerisms from the first movie. The scenes were filmed with minimal crew and in total secrecy, and Young's contribution was purposely denied in media campaigns. In fact, perhaps as misdirection, Young had previously revealed that she wasn't asked by the producers (including Ridley Scott) to appear in the film, and even requested fans to boycott the movie if she was not in it.
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The final scene in the snow uses the "Tears in Rain" theme from the original, referencing Roy's death scene.
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Hampton Fancher was approached to write a script for this film. He agreed to write the sequel but in a novella format mixed with a screenplay. He wrote the 110-page novella script and then told them to leave him alone after that. According to Michael Green, who wrote the shooting draft, the script was called "Acid Zoo" and featured an ending in which Deckard died.
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The name of the casino that Deckard is living in is "Vintage Casino." This would explain the analog roulette tables, as well as the old-school showroom with the Elvis Presley and showgirls holograms, and the jukebox with a Frank Sinatra hologram. Both Presley and Sinatra have been featured in "live" concerts since their deaths, appearing as film clips and voice-only recordings while live musicians perform behind them.
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In the bible, Rachael gave birth to Joseph who is sold into slavery and later becomes an important patriarch of Israel. "Joe" is the name Joi suggests for K.
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In the scene where Mariette wakes up the morning after being with K, she sees the little wooden horse standing upright on the side table. The light let in from the window casts a shadow from the horse onto the table, which resembles a unicorn, an image prominent in the original film.
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The original police spinner from the first movie is briefly seen when Deckard runs towards it to escape once Luv has discovered where he is hiding.
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When K enters a building to find Deckard, the sign above the door reads, in reverse, "Haeng Un". This is Korean for "Good Luck". Cityspeak, the dialect we hear Gaffe (Edward James Olmos) speak in the original film, was comprised of many languages, including Korean.
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Both this movie and Blade Runner (1982) use eyes as a recurring motif: in the original "Blade Runner" the second shot is an extreme closeup of an eye. This is the first shot of this film. In the original "Blade Runner" Roy and Leon visit Chew, the engineer who designed the Nexus 6 replicant's eyes. In this film the Nexus 8 replicants are identified by their eyes. Eldon Tyrell wears very large glasses and is murdered by Roy by having his skull crushed through his eyes. Niander Wallace is blind and relies on miniature drones to see.
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Rachael dying sometime after the events of the original movie had previously been used in the 1995 follow-up novel "Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human." The main plot point of replicants procreating naturally had previously been used in the 1996 follow-up novel "Blade Runner: Replicant Night."
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There is a spot on the top of the small wooden horse's head where it looks as if a horn was located but had since broken off. Check this when the horse is being researched, which ultimately leads K to Las Vegas.
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A scene features a malfunctioning hologram of the late Elvis Presley going in and out playing a song. While heard only in brief intervals, the song playing ("Suspicious Minds") contains lyrical content that closely match the events of the movie.
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While researching the DNA found on the baby's sock, K discovers the existence of faked twins (one male and one female child with the same DNA code). The girl is supposed to have died in the orphanage. Philip K. Dick, author of "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", had a twin sister who died shortly after birth.
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The threesome scene was shot for real, without the use of green screen and containing a minimum of digitally inserted elements. The scene was shot twice, once with Ryan Gosling and Ana de Armas doing their choreography, and once with Gosling and Mackenzie Davis repeating the movements. Both shots were then combined, containing two versions of Gosling and two backgrounds. Digital manipulation was used to remove one of each from the shot, and to match up the positions of Joi and Mariette as exactly as possible. Some glitches where their movements did not line up perfectly were allowed, to suggest that they cannot sync up perfectly. In fact, a computer-generated Joi was briefly inserted when she moves around K to remove his coat, because her movement did not match up with Mariette's. Editor Joe Walker noted that this caused a happy accident where Joi briefly looks less life-like, as if her program acts less realistic when she knows that K is not watching her.
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When Ridley Scott talked about the sequel's story and what involvement Harrison Ford (I) would have, he said, "We talked at length about what it could be, and came up with a pretty strong three-act story line, and it all makes sense in terms of how it relates to the first one. Harrison is very much part of this one, but really it's about finding him; he comes in in the third act."
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The theme that plays during the flight to the orphanage (probably marking the beginning of the second act), is a musical variation on the famous "Tears in Rain" melody by Vangelis, preparing us for the original that plays out during the ending scene.
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Throughout the movie Niander Wallace and Luv call replicants "angels". It's a nod for Blade Runner (1982), in a scene where Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) said, "Fiery the angels fell; deep thunder rolled around their shores; burning with the fires of Orc". This is in turn a misquotation from (William Blake)'s poem "America" which reads, "Fiery the angels rose, and as they rose deep thunder roll'd. Around their shores: indignant burning with the fires of Orc."
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Harrison Ford doesn't appear on screen until 1 hour and 45 minutes into the movie.
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Jared Leto's character Niander Wallace is blind. Not only is this a reference to Oedipus Rex, who blinds himself upon learning that he has had sex with his creator, but Niander's predecessor, Dr. Eldon Tyrell, had his eyes gouged out by a replicant in search of its/his creator.
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Harrison Ford (Rick Deckard), Edward James Olmos (Gaff) and Sean Young (Rachael) are the only actors to reprise their roles from the original Blade Runner (1982).
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A theme of human nature being naturally bad is present in this film. One of the most prominent references is how Officer K (Ryan Gosling), a replicant, shows more purpose and emotion than all other humans throughout the movie. Officer K even denies orders, showing him to be more human than other humans in the movie.
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At the orphanage, only the girls have long hair. All the boys have shaved heads or very close-cropped hair.
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The book K is reading, Vladimir Nabokov's "Pale Fire", is thematically relevant (in addition to supplying the text for his baseline). It is structured as an elaborate commentary to a poem, while the new film is an elaborate commentary on the themes of its predecessor. More tellingly, the author of the commentary, whose name also begins with K (Kinbote), believes he is secretly of exalted parentage, a belief which is almost certainly delusional.
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The fight scene between K and Deckard (nicknamed the "Hologram Funhouse" by the crew) was the most difficult sequence to edit, because it involved two fighting actors and many dancing holograms, and their movements had to match up between shots. After many months of editing, director Denis Villeneuve thought it looked too much like a variety act, and the scene was nearly deleted altogether until editor Joe Walker re-cut it as a very tense manhunt, deleting the music and most of the shots of holograms. Shots of dead or broken holograms and their faltering sounds were kept in as much as possible, to add to the tension in the scene.
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Ryan Gosling (K) and Jared Leto (Niander Wallace) don't share a scene.
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In the climatic scene, the Rachael (Sean Young (I)) character (from Blade Runner (1982)) is re-created for Deckard--and he rejects her because, he says, the original Rachael had green eyes. However, a re-viewing of the original movie shows a close-up of Young's eyes, and the same close-ups are seen in this movie when fragments of her interview from the first movie are played, and they are undeniably golden brown.
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As the hologram of Elvis sings "Fools Rush In" in the rundown casino in which Deckard lives, Deckard notes that he "likes this song." Later, Wallace implies that Deckard is a replicant made by Tyrell and programmed to fall in love with Rachael. It should be noted that lyrics to "Fools Rush In" include the line, "I can't help falling in love with you."
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Another possible interpretation for "Galatian Syndrome": In Galatians Chapter 4, Paul recalls the story of Abraham, who bore two sons - Isaac, by his wife Sarah, and Ishmael, by his slave woman, Hagar. Paul quotes Genesis 21:10, "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son." Paul then implies that the Galatians are in danger of becoming slaves, as Hagar's descendants became. However, according to Christian legend, Ishmael was the founder of the Arab race or Muslim religion, just as his half-brother Isaac was the founder of the Hebrew race or Jewish religion. In both "Blade Runner" films, the replicants are referred to as being "slaves," and are the outcasts of human society. Therefore "Galatian Syndrome" would imply that Rachel's twins, having been born of a replicant mother, would be the outcasts of the human world, but possibly the founders of a new evolutionary race of replicants. (NOTE: In the original Blade Runner (1982), the replicant creator J.F. Sebastian says he suffers from "Methuselah Syndrome," a condition which makes him look older than he is. This is a reference to Methuselah, the oldest man in the Bible who, according to Genesis 5:27, lived to be 969 years old.)
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Although Dr. Ana Stelline is the plot objective the movie revolves around, she has only about 20 lines and a few minutes of screen time.
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After Officer K (Ryan Gosling) scans Sapper Morton's (Dave Bautista) eyes in his car, a list of replicants appears on the car's screen. One of the replicants is Sarah Gadon, with whom director Denis Villenuve worked previously on Enemy (2013).
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6.10.21 is engraved on the root of the tree under which Rachael has been buried and on the foot of the wooden horse toy as a hint of both the birthday of the "special" child and the date of death of Rachael. This film was released on 6.10.17, just ten years and one month after "Blade Runner: final cut" premiered in Los Angeles and New York.
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When Joi asks to be put solely in the widget and is told that if it's destroyed it will be the end of her, she informs Ryan Gosling "just like a real girl", Gosling once starred in a film called Lars and the Real Girl (2007).
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It is discovered that K's flying car is a Peugeot when it is shot down and attempts to reboot (but malfunctions and fails). Peugeot cars have been widely criticized (whether justly or not) by Jeremy Clarkson in shows such as Top Gear: Episode #22.5 (2015).
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See also

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