Roger Deakins is widely regarded as one of the greatest cinematographers on the planet (except by the Academy, who’ve inexplicably never awarded him an Oscar despite 11 nominations). Deakins’ name in a film’s credits is a guarantee that no matter how terrible everything else in a movie is (and he has shot a couple stinkers), the movie will look gorgeous.

I’m pretty skeptical about the existence of a Blade Runner sequel, one made some 30 years after the original, and one that will seemingly undo much of the ambiguity that made the first movie so memorable. But regardless of whether Blade Runner 2 is a good idea or a terrible idea, the movie is going to look fantastic, because the production just announced that Roger Deakins will shoot the sequel for director Denis Villeneuve. Deakins previously collaborated with Villeneuve on 2013’s Prisoners, and on the new drug-war thriller Sicario, which just made its world premiere at this week’s Cannes Film Festival. From the press release:

[Blade Runner 2] is scheduled to start principal photography in summer of 2016. Hampton Fancher (co-writer of the original) and Michael Green have written the original screenplay based on an idea by Fancher and Ridley Scott. The story takes place several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original. Harrison Ford will reprise his role as Rick Deckard.

Not mentioned in the press release: Ryan Gosling, who’s been rumored as Ford’s key co-star in the film. To date, his participation is still unconfirmed.

Gosling’s contribution might help the movie. If Ford is really invested, he could help too. Villeneuve is a talented guy and his direction could save the film as well. But even with the best of all their intentions, Blade Runner 2 might still be a creative long shot. But with Deakins involved it will, at the very least, be a gorgeous creative long shot.

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