Bladerunner II – I Want That Owl
May 24, 2014

Bladerunner II – I Want That Owl

As if the original 1982 movie phenomenon Bladerunner didn’t go through enough incarnations, with so many different “cuts” and versions, rumors of prequels, sequels, and revamps have been around for years. Now it looks as though the long awaited follow-up is really going to happen and a taxi driver’s inadvertent use of an iPad may just have given a clue about the possible location of the Bladerunner II shoot. Putting two and two together and coming up with five, the Daily Telegraph newspaper has printed a speculative piece along those lines. The Director of the original sci-fi noir classic, Ridley Scott, was trying to stay under the radar as he arrived at Sydney airport. His cover was destroyed when the taxi driver picking him up held up an iPad with Ridley’s name on it. The paper seems to think there is some significance in the fact that the moviemaker was wearing jeans and a dark sweater – not much of a disguise there eh?

So, could Scott be down under plotting the scene for the sequel? If so, nothing could be further from the dark, rain-drenched, foreboding setting of the first film. What is certain is that the film is definitely in the pipeline and I just can’t wait. Alcon Entertainment will be producing the film and have announced their desire to place Harrison Ford in the role of Deckard, the part in which Ford starred so brilliantly back in 1982. Languid and laconic, his portrayal of the futuristic bounty hunter and “Replicant” killer was key to the picture’s ambiance. At the age of 71, Harrison Ford might just be tempted. He is already signed up for the latest Star Wars re-hash and the resurrection of his two biggest on-screen incarnations might make a hard-to-beat “Swan Song” finale to a great career.

I am a big fan of the film, so much so that I get told to shut up whenever I am watching it, as I know the damn thing so well I can’t stop myself speaking the words. I will have a lot of watching and re-learning to do with the new version to get to the same peak of geek status – bring it on.

I read one of those “what’s your ten best…” or “what would you like to own…” pieces recently in which the burning question was which movie prop would you most like to own. It was a complete no-brainer for me. It’s that owl, that fantastic, cold-eyed creature that adorns the brilliantly lit scene when Ford’s Deckard visits the Tyrell Corporation building. For those of you who don’t know the film (why not?), Tyrell makes robots, artificial humans – the Replicant androids – and lifelike creatures. As sunset streams through the vast room, Tyrell’s assistant Rachael asks Deckard, “Do you like our owl?” and Deckard in turn asks the mesmerizing Rachael (is she human, is she a Tyrell creation?) if it is artificial. Of course it’s artificial and I want one. It turns out Rachael was artificial as well — and I wouldn’t mind one of those too, but let’s not be greedy.

The 1982 film was set in the future, in 2019, which of course is not too far away now, so with a bit of luck, it may get finished before then. The big questions will be whether the new one will go analog like the original and eschew the modern CGI methods and how they will manage the soundtrack. Vangelis’s music and sound back in ’82 changed the way films were scored. Like I said, I just can’t wait.

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

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Eric Hopton is a writer, musician, artist, and photographer. He has a degree in Social Anthropology and has always been passionate about travel, having so far visited 73 countries. His music and sound work has been used in many projects around the world and can be heard on Bandcamp and Freesound, where he has contributed over 1,300 sounds under his sonic alter ego, ERH.

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