by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief
Production on the Blade Runner sequel has been rocking and rolling in Budapest since July, but information around the production has been tight. Here’s what we currently know… Ryan Gosling is starring in the follow-up to the visionary 1982 classic being directed by Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Prisoners) and produced by original helmer Ridley Scott. Harrison Ford is returning, but in what capacity is anybody’s guess at this point. The original film featured Ford as the titular Blade Runner, a cop/investigator tasked with hunting down and retiring (i.e. killing) replicants (humanoid androids nearly indistinguishable from actual humans). If he is playing the Deckard fans know and love is currently unknown.
Today a new image was released with Ford, Gosling, Scott and Denis Villeneuve, along with a familiar firearm.
Not only is Harrison Ford returning, his PKD Detective Special, the unique firearm he used to dispatch his share of “skin jobs” in the original entry is also back. A few weeks back a source shared that three fully functioning “hero” versions of Deckard’s classic blaster have been built and sent to the set along with three rubber “stunt” versions of the blaster as well. These new hero blasters have been built to fire blanks, something that was only rumored of the original. It’s not at all shocking that the blaster would be making an appearance in the next chapter of Blade Runner since Harrison Ford’s Deckard is along for the ride.
One would have to assume the other weapon on the counter would be Gosling’s own weapon of choice in BR2. After all the next installment takes place in 2049, thirty years after the original film. We must assume that this future is still evolving quickly and that weapons have advanced far beyond Deckard’s ancient blaster.
The original Blade Runner blaster was built by property master Terry Lewis from two very different guns, a Charter Arms Bulldog pistol and a Steyr-Mannlicher .222 Remington Rifle. In 1982 the gun was purchased by Hollywood Marketing Specialist Jeff Walker and wasn’t publicly seen again until it popped up at WorldCon in 2006. It sold at auction back in 2009 for a whopping $300k. It now resides in the amazing movie prop collection of Dan Lanigan. Take a look at the video below of Mythbuster and Prop Replica enthusiast Adam Savage fulfilling many a Blade Runner fans dream of inspecting and holding Deckard’s blaster (along with a lot of other treasures in Lanigan’s possession).
It’s a smart move for Warner Bros. to bring back as much from the first film as possible when you consider it from strictly a merchandising standpoint. The reason there has never been a ton of officially licensed Blade Runner merchandise is tangled mess that the rights are in. By plopping that stuff in this new film, they create a loophole that they can use to finally realize the potential of the property.
Deckard’s pistol ranks up there with Luke’s Lightsaber and the original Ghostbusters Proton Packs for me as the most iconic science-fiction props of all time. I’m thrilled that it will be there exactly how it was in the original film alongside Harrison Ford.