The first trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s hotly anticipated Blade Runner 2049 materialized earlier this week, giving sci-fi diehards an eyeful of one of next year’s biggest-name tentpoles. There were appetizing visuals aplenty, a foreboding showdown between stars Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, reprising his role as Rick Deckard, and yet still so much remains unknown. What will this film’s rating be? How dreamy will Ryan Gosling’s eyes look, on a scale from 9 to 10? Will the blades get runned? Those last two will remain up in the air until the film’s release on October 6 of next year, but we do have a definitive answer for that first one.

Director Denis Villeneuve recently sat down with Screen Daily and divulged a few juicy tidbits about the upcoming sequel, including the detail that they shot with the intention of landing an R rating. Denis the Menace was quoted as saying, “My producers are finding it fun to remind me that it will be one of the most expensive R-rated independent feature films ever made.” He makes it sound as if the money-men are turning the heat up on him a bit, but the R rating is where Villeneuve feels most comfortable, as evidenced by the fact that all of his films except for this year’s Arrival and the unrated Polytechnique have contained the combination of cusswords and boob-shots required to land the ‘R.’

As an additional detail, Villeneuve made his reluctance to use CGI or digital effects in post-production for his new feature. He mostly eschewed green screen and managed most effects in-camera, and he stated as much:

I can count on my fingers the amount of times we put a green screen on set. Most of the movie was done on camera, me and [cinematographer] Roger Deakins worked very hard to do it that way ... CGI is a strong tool for backgrounds and extensions but what is around the actors needs to be as real as possible. When I watch a movie that’s mostly CGI, I’m disengaged.

Promising signs, both of them — a tame Blade Runner is scarcely a Blade Runner at all, and there’s truly no virtual substitute for good ol’ fashioned film craft. We’ve got a whopping ten months to go until the release, but for now, all signs are positive.


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