When you see Blade Runner 2049, one of the things that really stands out is that the film is masterfully crafted from top to bottom. Director Denis Villeneuve and his team’s choices are impeccable, from the production design to the cinematography to the costume design. And, of course, the score. Blade Runner 2049’s score has been something of a hot button issue, as it was revealed this summer that Johann Johannsson, who scored Villeneuve’s Arrival and Sicario to incredible results, had been replaced by Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch (A Cure for Wellness) on the film. It was a surprising jolt to what had thus far sounded like a pretty smooth ride, and indeed Johannsson fans were a little displeased at the move.
However, despite the fact that it’s still a bummer we didn’t get a new Johannsson score, the score that Zimmer and Wallfisch put together is incredible and directly in keeping with the high quality of the rest of the film. Zimmer has been Wallfisch’s mentor for some time now, but Wallfisch has really been making a name for himself with memorable scores for films like A Cure for Wellness, Annabelle: Creation, and most recently the horror hit IT. Their collaboration here is stunning, taking just enough from Vangelis’ iconic Blade Runner score to make it fit inside that same world, but taking the sound to new and interesting destinations. It’s at once jolting, off-putting, and surprisingly emotional, and it’s now available to stream (or purchase) in its entirety.
So sit back and revisit the score in the streams below. I have a feeling this one’s gonna be in regular rotation for film score nerds for some time to come.