The voiceover narration is one of the key components of the film noir style. No atmospheric gumshoe yarn is complete without the rough-and-tumble detective grumbling colorful similes over footage of himself walking down dimly-lit alleys. (In some specific circles, these little turns of phrase coming from internal monologue are known as Chandlerisms, named after detective fiction godhead Raymond Chandler.) Ridley Scott’s original Blade Runner kept close to its film noir roots by including a running voiceover from Harrison Ford’s replicant-eliminator Deckard, though the film’s following has proven divided on how that element suits the story. I am a fan; Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve is not.

He made that much clear when speaking with Collider in a recent interview, saying that his upcoming sequel would not include any narration, either from Deckard or Ryan Gosling’s newly introduced blade runner. Villeneuve dispelled any questions with a decisive quote:

That’s a joke I made with Harrison Ford when he came to do his ADR: I gave him a narration. No, there’s no narration. It’s not something that would have been welcome and the movie doesn’t need one. It was not a part of the project, no, but we were making jokes about that. It would’ve been a strange thing to see the fans’ face if the movie had started with a narration, a voiceover.

It’s fair enough if Villeneuve doesn’t want to use voiceover, but his assertion that fans would find it baffling strikes me as odd. Either way, this should make for a grimmer, sparser vibe than the original. Hopefully it hasn‘t been estranged from the trappings and trope of noir much more than this. Blade Runner 2049 comes to theaters on October 6,

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