There ought to be a word for this kind of film—halfway between a sequel and a reboot—but there isn't, so we just have to call it Blade Runner 2049. The film is perhaps more subtle in the way it refers to Ridley Scott's 1982 dystopian cult classic than some recent sci-fi restorations—Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I'm looking at you—but it isn't above a bit of blatant parallelism. For example, it's easy to see reflections of Blade Runner characters in 2049: private dick Rick Deckard is now the stoic, world-weary K; femme fatale Rachael is Joi, a hologram companion who straddles the line between mortal and machine; wacky Roy Batty is the single-minded, murderous Luv; not to mention a bevy of replicants passing for humans and cops with hidden agendas. In fact, one of the few prominent characters not recast is the city of Los Angeles, whose architecture is strikingly absent compared to the first film. The resulting movie feels curiously devoid of a civic soul, which is perhaps the point.
Blade Runner: The Latest Architecture and News
Grit vs Globalism: What the City of Blade Runner 2049 Reveals About Recent Trends in Urban Development
You may not have guessed that the dystopian state of Los Angeles filmed in Blade Runner 2049 is a real place, just smaller. The scenes, from Los Angeles to the Trash Mesa and Wallace Tower were built to scale in Wellington, New Zealand by Weta Workshop, the massive ‘miniature’ sets were then filmed by cinematographer Alex Funke.
Blade Runner 2049, the recently-released sequel to the 1982 sci-fi classic, has prompted a deluge of interest in the futuristic, dystopian world in which it is set. However, it seems that some architects may have a more direct interest in the film than usual, as images surfacing on Twitter show an uncanny similarity between some of the film’s concept art and a 2010 design by Spanish practice Estudio Barozzi Veiga.
Architecture critic Kate Wagner has collaborated with 99% invisible on a podcast and a guest column delving into the tragedies of McMansions and the representation of evil through architecture in film, respectively.
In the podcast, Wagner, who is the author of McMansion Hell, is interviewed by Roman Mars and explains how the McMansion typology evolved, as well as how it became so despised, delving into topics of architectural history and representations of wealth.
It's a well-known fact that architects, almost without exception, love the 1982 film Blade Runner. Architects also love scale models. So what could possibly be more exciting than seeing photos of the model shop of the film? Enter this Imgur album of 142 photos from behind the scenes, posted earlier this week by user minicity. After the break, check out our selection of images of the Tyrell Corporation's imposing pyramidal fortress, among other things, under construction.