Ryan Gosling is no stranger to science fiction. Despite high-profile roles in mainstream movies such as The Notebook, Drive and Shane Black’s The Nice Guys, the actor made his directorial debut with the 2014 fantasy film Lost River, a project he wrote and produced. As a teenager, Gosling also landed the lead role in Young Hercules, a kid-friendly fantasy series which ran for 50 episodes in the late 90s, and saw the young actor portray the titular son of Zeus during his warrior training.
Currently, the Hollywood icon is tackling his most significant sci-fi role to date in the currently untitled Blade Runner sequel. Speaking to SciFiNow in Los Angeles, an enthusiastic Gosling explains: “As an actor, to be part of a project like this is unbelievable. It’s unreal, but they are being very secret about the project. They put a chip in my neck. If I say too much, my head will explode! What can I tell you about it? I can say that Harrison Ford will be in the film, and it’s an extension of the story. It’s not a remake; it’s a sequel.”
When it comes to the high anticipation for Blade Runner 2, Gosling is fully aware of the fervent expectation of the original film’s fans. “There’s certainly a lot of excitement around the project,” he admits. “There’s a huge responsibility as well. I think we all feel that, but we’re not doing it on our own. We’re doing it with Ridley [Scott] and with Harrison’s help, and they are experts.”
Solid information on the sequel’s plot is scarce, but we know that the film is set several decades after the 1982 original, and shooting is expected to start in Budapest this summer. Scott returns as a producer and Gosling will be joined by Ford, who reprises his role as Deckard. Cast members include The Princess Bride’s Robin Wright, Guardians Of The Galaxy’s Dave Bautista and Dutch actress Sylvia Hoeks, although their characters are shrouded in secrecy. “I think it’s interesting that Denis Villeneuve is directing and that [cinematographer] Roger Deakins is shooting it,” teases Gosling. “I’m a fan of everybody involved, so it’s incredibly exciting.”
Sci-fi isn’t a genre that is new to Gosling, “Growing up, I never really read a lot of science fiction, but I saw a lot of science fiction films – and obviously Blade Runner is a seminal science fiction movie,” he says. “It really set the bar, and is probably one of the most borrowed-from science fiction films, aside from Alien. I don’t remember the first time I saw the movie, but I don’t think I saw it in a theatre. I think I saw it at home on VHS as a kid. I am a huge fan of the film. And as a fan of the movie, I was excited to know that Ridley and Harrison wanted to extend that story; that they felt that there was more to tell.”
We’ll have to wait until 2017 to see Gosling in action alongside Ford, but the Canadian-born actor has nothing but high praise for the 1982 movie and the upcoming sequel: “I think the original is an incredible piece of art, and on every level: stylistically, from a story standpoint, from the performances… Also, there’s a melancholy nature to it that I think is in all great science fiction. It’s the perfect film, and it obviously had a huge impact on a lot of cinema. It also had a lot of impact on all of us who are working on it now. This is going to be great.”
The untitled Blade Runner movie will be released in cinemas in October 2017. For all the latest film news, pick up the latest issue of SciFiNow.