After years of development and anticipation, “Blade Runner 2049” could now be a major player for the 2018 Oscars. Denis Villeneuve‘s sequel to Ridley Scott‘s 1982 sci-fi classic follows a young blade runner (Ryan Gosling) who discovers secrets that lead him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who has been missing for 30 years. Gold Derby recently spoke with Villeneuve, composers Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch, and makeup artist Donald Mowat about their work.
The project had been in discussions for several years by the time Villeneuve, a recent Oscar nominee for “Arrival,” came on board. A script had been completed by Michael Green and Hampton Fancher, who adapted Philip K. Dick‘s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” into the first film. “As a director, you have a script in your hands, and there’s work that needs to be done,” states Villeneuve. In the case of this new effort, “the movie was written for Ridley. With all my respect and admiration for Ridley Scott, I’m very different, and I needed to bring the story closer to me in some ways.”
Wallfisch admits he was a bit intimidated having to compete with the iconic Vangelis music for the original film. “It’s almost impossible to imagine [the film] without that score,” he explains. “What was interesting was taking that great respect and love for that music, and then thinking well, this is a brand new story. These are events that happen 30 years later, and this needs… a very different approach.” Wallfisch worked with mentor Zimmer to create a score that “pays its respects to Vangelis… but it’s something new.”
Zimmer, who’s also in contention this year for “Dunkirk,” was initially reluctant to jump aboard the project when his services were requested at the last minute. “I said ‘absolutely not,'” he reveals. “You don’t want to touch that. It’s Vangelis.” But the Oscar-winning composer of “The Lion King” (1994) decided to join up when it became clear Wallfisch would also be involved.
Makeup artist Mowat was similarly worried. “I’m not going to lie: it was the most tremendous pressure in my career,” he divulges. “I’ve always referenced the work they did in ‘Blade Runner,'” he adds, “so for me, it’s iconic, as it is to so many people, especially in the film business.”
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