One debate that will continue to rage in the decades to come is whether Deckard, played by Harrison Ford in Blade Runner – one of the best science fiction movies of all time – is a replicant. It’s not helped by the fact that there are so many different versions of the film out there, and each one has a different spin on this theory. Director Ridley Scott is adamant that Deckard is a replicant, but Ford played him as human. We guess the important thing is that he believes he’s human, either way.
When Denis Villeneuve was preparing to make Blade Runner 2049, he obviously asked Scott and Ford about this. Ford reprised his role as Deckard in Villeneuve’s sequel, which centres around Ryan Gosling’s replicant K. K believes he is the son of replicant Rachael (Sean Young in the first movie) and human (?) Deckard.
Villeneuve told CinemaBlend in 2017, “I was raised with the first [movie], and then later on, I discovered what was the original dream of Ridley. So I really loved his version, too. The key to making this [new] movie was to be in between.”
Villeneuve continued; “Because the first movie was a story of a human being falling in love with a designed human being — an artificial human being. And the story of the second movie is a replicant that doesn’t know he’s a replicant, who slowly discovers his own identity. So, those are two different stories.”
“I felt that the key to deal with that was in the novel of Philip K. Dick. Which was that, in the novel, that characters are doubting themselves. They are not sure if they are replicants or not. From time to time, the detectives are having to go and perform [tests] on themselves to make sure they are really humans. I love that.”
Villeneuve concludes; “So I decided that Deckard, in the movie, is unsure, as we are, of what his identity is. Because I love that. I love mystery. That’s an interesting thing to me. I really love that. Again, Harrison and Ridley are still arguing about that. If you put them in the same room, they don’t agree. And they start to talk very loud when they do. It’s very funny.”
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