MADRID – Harrison Ford reprises his iconic role as replicant hunter Rick Deckard in the highly-anticipated “Blade Runner 2049,” a sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 cult masterpiece, although this time around he cedes the protagonist role to Ryan Gosling, with whom he sat down on Tuesday to take questions from EFE ahead of the film’s photocall in the Spanish capital Madrid.
Canadian director Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival,” 2016, “Sicario,” 2015) takes over from where Scott left off; 35 years have elapsed since we last saw Peckard and, to fuel the mystery surrounding this character’s life, the film’s distributor, Sony, decided to only partially screen the film to journalists ahead of interviews.
“It’s a part of the plan to preserve the experience for the audience as much as possible,” Ford insisted. “We want them to come fresh to the film and to be able to find their way through it, experience it rather than be told about what’s happening.”
“So, I’m not going to tell you. No, I can’t. I shouldn’t, I could; but I won’t,” he said, humorously.
What we do know is that “Blade Runner 2049” picks up 30 years after the events of the first film, which was set in 2019. A new blade runner – a hunter of escaped androids called replicants – Agent K (Gosling) unveils a dark secret that could lead to the end of humanity, a discovery that brings him to Peckard.
Scott took over as one of the executive producers for the latest installment and the screenplay was done by Michael Green and Hampton Fancher, who also adapted Philip K. Dick’s sci-fi novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” for the original “Blade Runner.”
The film introduces new characters played by Cuban actor Ana de Armas, Golden Globe winner Robin Wright and Oscar winner Jared Leto, who portrays the sinister replicant creator, Niande Wallace.
The 1982 “Blade Runner,” which initially failed to take the box office by storm and split critics’ opinions, evolved into a cult classic for lovers of neo-noir and sci-fi.
It raised pertinent questions on the significance of mankind and on what social class systems, genetic engineering and the effects of climate change might look like in the future.
Gosling told EFE that all of those themes were preserved and developed in the sequel, but that the situation had become much worse.
“Life is much harder for everyone involved and the conditions in which people are living in are more brutal,” he said, adding: “and in my case, as a blade runner, the job has become more isolated. They’re considered sort of outcasts in society now, they live in the margins.”
“When you meet my character he’s just trying to find little crumbs of connection and human interaction. Things have changed, but there’s new characters and new themes introduced,” he said.
During their joint interview, Ford and Gosling maintained a light-hearted, jovial air and joked about the difference in age between them: Gosling was just two when the original title, starring a then 40-year-old Ford, was released.
“He likes to talk about the diapers I was wearing and am still wearing, so let’s not go too far down that road,” Gosling said.
“I’m closer to diapers than you,” Ford retorted.
Returning to themes within the new film, Ford said that it retained the noir aspect of the original, and that tension, complications and mysteries continued to play out in the latest action.
“Somehow, like the original, this nightmare is still beautiful and there’s something romantic about it,” Gosling added.
“There’s human spirit that confronts and, in ways, overcomes the existential nightmare,” Ford concluded.
Filmed in Hungary, “Blade Runner 2049” is set for global release on Oct. 6.