The premise of the original Blade Runner movie captured the paranoid essence of Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep primarily because it helped to frame this question: if you were a synthetic person, and you didn’t know it, would it matter? Now, as Blade Runner 2049 creeps closer to its cinematic release, a different question has been posed: is Ryan Gosling a real person and if not, is that okay?
All kidding aside, most of the trailers for Blade Runner 2049 heavily imply that the mystery of the film will center on if Gosling’s character, Harrison Ford’s character, and perhaps all the other characters, are in fact, not human. During San Diego Comic-Con, Gosling described his experience of being in Blade Runner like this: “I’m not sure it’s sunk in yet — I’m not sure this is not an entire elaborate episode of Punk’d.”
For those who don’t remember, Punk’d was a reality show in which actor Ashton Kutcher created unlikely scenarios and caught people on camera acting like fools as a result of the situations he contrived. I.E. if Ashton Kutcher could be the puppet-master of a sci-fi movie he would convince you that you were really a robot, and then reveal that you weren’t, ha ha, just kidding you’ve been punk’d!
So, should fans worry about this comparison? Will the plot of Blade Runner 2049 play out like an earnest episode of Punk’d and if so, who is being punk’d? The Replicants, Gosling, or the audience?
Blade Runner 2049 opens on October 6.