The first teaser trailer for Blade Runner 2049 didn’t offer much in plot specifics, but it did give some deep-cut visual clues as to where ex-Blade Runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) might be hiding out.
Both the synopsis and the new footage for the film make it seem like Deckard is trying to keep a low-profile in the events following the original film. In the trailer, he tells Ryan Gosling’s Officer K “things were simpler.” A close read of the synopsis, combined with some guesswork could lead to this rough plot sketch: Deckard is a replicant, or enough people think he’s a replicant, so he’s been hiding for 30 years. This new cop — Officer K (Gosling) — has tracked him down. But, did Deckard make it really easy to find himself by hanging out in the most famous location in Blade Runner; the Bradbury building?
The Bradbury Building is a real-life location in Los Angeles and was used extensively for the finale of Blade Runner. Everything about its airy interiors and ostentatious design practically screams Blade Runner these days. But is Gosling’s Officer K actually in the Bradbury Building? Or are there multiple locations here?
The trailer begins with Officer K entering a building, which seems like it could be the police station Deckard goes to in the original film. During the 1981 filming of Blade Runner, Union Station in Los Angeles was used for the interiors of the police station. The archway Officer K sees here is very similar to Union Station, but it’s not an exact match. And in fact, looks a little like the entrance to the Bradbury Building.
So, when K enters a building in the trailer, the whole thing could still be Union Station, but also takes on a feeling of the Bradbury Building, too. Meaning, maybe we’re supposed to think this is the Bradbury Building? Union Station is where the cops hung out in Blade Runner, while the Bradbury Building was where Roy Batty and Rick Deckard had their famous showdown and everything ended with tears in the rain.
Looking at the curved entrance to the Bradbury in real life, and the curved entrance Officer K enters in Blade Runner 2049, it starts to really feel like this is both the Bradbury IRL and the Bradbury from Blade Runner. And yet, there’s another wrinkle here. In the original movie, Deckard’s apartment was shot in the Ennis House in Los Angeles. (A popular shooting location; it’s even been used in Game of Thrones.) In those apartment scenes, Deckard had a piano: one of the many clues that he was grappling with his “true” identity. And, now a piano is back in the trailer.
Still, does the interior of Deckard’s room in this trailer look anything like his apartment from the original film? No. Not at all. But it does look a little bit like the rooms inside of the Tyrell building in earlier scenes from Blade Runner. The trailer does not have any big shots of the famous Tyrell building pyramid, so, right now, this location seems unlikely. Still, Officer K is approaching this building from the ground, while most of the buildings in the original Blade Runner are first glimpsed at from the air in a descending spinner air-car.
Deckard’s room in the new trailer looks more like a hotel room than anything else, which leans back toward the Bradbury Building theory. So, Deckard is probably not living in his old apartment, and also probably not living at the old police station. He’s maybe living in the Tyrell building. Or, most probable: hiding out in the Bradbury Building, surrounded by bad memories. In real life, the Bradbury Building was totally renovated and restored in the early 1990s. And if this is the same building, it looks similarly restored here, too.
Blade Runner 2049 hits theaters on October 6, 2017.