The New Posters For 'Blade Runner 2049' Crank the Cyberpunk-Noir Aesthetic to 11

Monday, 18 September 2017 - 11:16AM
Blade Runner
Blade Runner 2049
Monday, 18 September 2017 - 11:16AM
The New Posters For 'Blade Runner 2049' Crank the Cyberpunk-Noir Aesthetic to 11
Image credit: Warner Bros.
Blade Runner 2049, directed by Denis Villeneuve, is set to hit theaters worldwide this October, 35 years after the original film wowed and confused audiences with its depiction of a dystopian future. So far we've seen trailers, a few extended clips, and a bunch of still images from the sequel, and now, courtesy of Heroic Hollywood, new international character posters have hit the internet in all their rainy, Photoshopped glory.

When it comes to making a sequel to a cult classic film that released (and flopped) three and a half decades ago, studios and filmmakers have to walk a fine line between being original and evoking the vibes of the first film. One way to tell audiences that the new film is similar but different is with the promo campaign—each poster focuses on an individual character, including Ryan Gosling as Office K and Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard. The images contain similar elements so that they work together visually as a cohesive set, but how do they work as standalone images made to promote the film?

It seems like staring at things or at nothing at all while holding a gun will be a big part of what Gosling does in the film, and this poster captures that perfectly. The background of the image is hazy so that you focus on him, and all of the colors are desaturated except for a partially obstructed burning building and the bright orange title text at the top. For those being introduced to the film by this image, it says that Gosling is a cop in a disconcerting situation.

Harrison Ford's poster shows him and his signature stern expression standing front and center with a hazy blue cityscape in the background. There's a gun in his hand, he's wearing plain clothes, and there's a layer of airbrushed rain over the entire image, just like the other character posters in the set. The background fits the tone they're trying to establish for the film, but the overly airbrushed image of Deckard doesn't make it seem like he's a part of the scene.

Like the previous images, the Sapper character looks deeply concerned about something as he stands in the faux rain staring at something we can't see.



Same blue cityscape, same "rain", but Joi is dressed in more vibrant colors than the other characters and her pose is different. While the other characters are facing the viewer, she is standing with her back turned, looking over her shoulder (maybe to show off the sick dress).

Like the character posters, Blade Runner 2049 is a bit of a contradiction from what we've been shown so far. It's dark and brooding, but also bright and flashy. The original had some of that too, but it also had a sad $6 million opening weekend on a budget of $28 million. It seems dangerously close to falling into the same pitfalls that Ghost In The Shell did by putting nine out of ten of its eggs in the basket marked "visually stunning" and leaving that other egg on a cliff.

What is promising though, are the prequel shorts that flesh out the characters and the fact that the film has a runtime of nearly three hours. They have plenty of time to tell a compelling story that's worth seeing on the biggest screen available, but if the plan is to sell global audiences on a $185-$200 million sci-fi movie based solely on pretty visuals and the guys who played Han Solo in Star Wars and Sebastian in La La Land, then they're fighting an uphill battle.

I'm still excited to see the film on opening night on October 6th and I'm optimistic that it will be great, but I don't think these posters and the rest of the advertising has done enough to sell the movie to fans.
Science Fiction
Sci-Fi Movies
Blade Runner
Blade Runner 2049
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