Choice of Gosling will help appease sceptical Blade Runner fans

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The Independent Online

When we heard the first news of a potential Blade Runner 2, a collective groan echoed across the film community (well, from the collected factions of dedicated fanboys). But as the news has had time to settle in and announcements have been made, it would now seem to be generally acceptable to be getting pretty excited about the prospect of returning to a Ridley Scott’s most terrifying dystopia. 

While the necessity of the movie itself is still stirring debate, there is no denying the fact that the talent that is attaching itself is really getting fans excitied. Harrison Ford’s return as Deckard primarily of course, as well the genuinely talented director Denis Villeneuve (whose latest, Sicario, hits this week), but the fact that it now seems that main man duties may be handed to Ryan Gosling have got people sitting up and taking notice.

Is a sequel truly the way to keep this unique screen relationship alive? Or should this be one entry that continues to thrive on new viewers discovering it?

 

During the press tour for his latest flick The Martian, Ridley Scott (now on producing duties) dropped the juicy tidbit that Gosling is all but confirmed for the lead role sequel, with Ford in a more supporting capacity. Let the speculation begin. 

Gosling is a, perhaps the only, truly worthy actor to take the lead in an extension of the Blade Runner universe. He is one of the few in the modern gallery of leading men whom represents the kind of hard man protagonist that Ford used to characterise in his heyday; the good-looking, macho presence, yet one who chooses intriguing dramatic projects alongside the more conventional Hollywood roles.  

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Ryan Gosling is all but confirmed to play a role in the next Blade Runner film

He has been quiet on the leading man front as of late (his last was Only God Forgives back in 2013), but has always been a performer who selects roles that interest him, and not ones that necessarily rely on his chiselled face, abs and demeanour.OGF is probably a good indication as to how we could see him in the Blade Runner universe, drenched in neon lighting as he pursues his target silently, with the potential to exact violence should the situation require it.  

Quite what role Mr Gosling will have in the sequel is any one’s guess (I’m assuming a new generation of Blade Runner, rather than a replicant), as well as to what his relationship with Ford’s Deckard will be, but it is yet another sign that perhaps this sequel is moving in the right direction. Villeneuve has promised to keep the mystery alive, and is certainly one of the most interesting directors breaking on to the scene, and seeing him paired with both Gosling and Ford is something quite tantalising, even without the project being a sequel for one of the most iconic Sci-Fi’s of all-time. 

Despite this promising casting decision, and the selection of a director with a keen eye for striking visuals, there is the looming cloud that remains: should this film even come into being? Blade Runner has a truly unique screen history, what with it failing to generate much interest from both audience and critics upon release, before getting re-cut (twice) to become the iconic feature that it is today. Is a sequel truly the way to keep this unique screen relationship alive? Or should this be one entry that continues to thrive on new viewers discovering it?

While the need for the sequel will be continually debated, few can deny the promising nature of the talent that it is attracting (don’t forget, Roger Deakins is attached to shoot the damn thing!). As long as the mysterious allure and mythology is preserved and treated with respect, the Blade Runner sequel could well bring joy to the pantheon of fans across the world. So far the choice of Villeneuve and Gosling is a sign that perhaps no tears will have to be shed to be lost in the rain.

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