Alcon Entertainment has finally rounded out the cast of its upcoming Blade Runner sequel, and the final addition is sure to get a reaction. The studio announced today that Oscar winner Jared Leto is joining the ensemble in a “key role,” noting that he’ll be turning in a performance as a “memorable, never before seen character.” Leto is, of course, just coming off his highly anticipated turn as The Joker in Warner Bros.’ Suicide Squad, and given that he’s a method actor is known to be fairly picky in choosing his projects.
Ridley Scott, who directed the original Blade Runner, spurred development of Blade Runner 2 a few years ago and is serving as executive producer on the follow-up, which has Sicario and Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve set to helm. The project has basically been put together in the most promising manner possible, with original Blade Runner scribe Hampton Fancher co-writing the script with Michael Green, Harrison Ford reprising his role as Rick Deckard, and Ryan Gosling set in a co-starring role.
Story details are, as with every Villeneuve project, firmly under wraps but we do know the story takes place several decades after the events of the 1982 original film. Leto is a curious choice to join the ensemble, and one wonders what kind of role was held back until the last minute for an actor of his caliber. Production on the sequel is poised to begin soon, meaning Leto doesn’t have a ton of time off from his reshoots and promotional duties on Suicide Squad. The actor briefly flirted with a co-starring turn in the bestseller adaptation The Girl on the Train but ultimately opted not to join that project, and he’s likely contracted to reprise his role as The Joker in future DC films.
While much has been made of Leto’s extensive methods in preparation for Suicide Squad (a film in which his role was cut down significantly in post-production), the prospect of seeing him take on the world of Blade Runner is undeniably enticing. He may be annoying to some, but Leto’s a talented dude.
Villeneuve is reuniting with his Sicario and Prisoners cinematographer Roger Deakins on Blade Runner 2, marking Deakins’ second ever sci-fi film after 1984 and In Time. He is without doubt one of the best cinematographers who’s ever lived, so Deakins’ involvement is yet another reason to be excited about this sequel.
The follow-up is currently untitled, but is poised to be released on October 6, 2017 so I’m sure we’ll hear more sooner rather than later as filming gets underway. No doubt set photos are bound to arise.
Leto joins an ensemble that also includes Robin Wright, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Carla Juri, Mackenzie Davis, Barkhad Abdi, David Dastmalchian, Hiam Abbass, Lennie James, and Dave Bautista. Warner Bros. will release the pic in North America while Sony is handling international territories.