Blade Runner sequel rumoured to bring back replicant character with CGI

Ben Skipper

Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi sequel ‘Blade Runner 2049’ was shrouded in mystery until its stunning teaser trailer released late last year.

Some of the mystery may now have been chipped away however, if a new rumour is to be believed. (Warning: very light spoilers follow)

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According to The Terminator Fans (via Collider) one of the original film’s replicant characters (genetically-created android humans) will be brought back as they originally appeared, through the use of special effects.

This means we could see Rutger Hauer’s Roy Batty, Daryl Hannah’s Pris or Sean Young’s Rachael return with their more youthful visages. It could also mean we see a younger version of Harrison Ford’s protagonist.

Ridley Scott’s original cut of ‘Blade Runner’ left it ambiguous as to whether the character was a replicant or not (and most fans would rather it had been left that way), but subsequent versions and cuts have implied he in fact is. It’s not clear how the new film will handle this crucial aspect of the series’ story.

Villeneuve recently told French magazine Allocine (via Gizmodo) that the big question will “not necessarily” be given a definitive answer in the sequel.

This new report has cropped at a time when digital recreations of actors has proven a controversial subject. ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ includes a digital recreation of Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin, as he appeared in the original ‘Star Wars’ film in 1977.

Given Cushing died in 1994, the ethical dilemma surrounding his CGI-aided return has been a contentious one since the film’s release.

While the actors who could return digitally in ‘Blade Runner 2049’ are all still alive and could aid the performance, should the rumours prove true it would be another entry in a sometimes-troubling Hollywood trend.

Ford is the only confirmed returning actor (he’ll have his silver fox 2016/17 look in the film). He’ll star alongside Gosling, Robin Wright, Ana de Armas, Mackenzie Davis, Dave Bautista and Jared Leto.

‘Blade Runner 2049’ will arrive in cinemas on 6 October.

Harrison Ford as Deckard in 1982's 'Blade Runner'. (Credits: 20th Century Fox)
Harrison Ford as Deckard in 1982’s ‘Blade Runner’. (Credits: 20th Century Fox)