'Mute' Netflix Trailer Is Subtle, More Realistic 'Blade Runner'

According to the new trailer for Duncan Jones’s latest film, Berlin 2052 looks a lot like the world of Blade Runner, but one that feels a lot more like the near-future than other sci-fi in recent memory.

In Mute, a mute bartender played by Alexander Skarsgård goes up against a bunch of gangsters in 2052 Berlin, looking to find out what happened to his missing girlfriend (Seyneb Saleh). Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux play U.S. Army surgeons with their own mysterious agenda.

There’s purple hair, flying cars, and neon surging throughout the cityscape, but this exotic world feels strangely realistic, like a place we might all be living in before the end of our lifetimes. The look is very Blade Runner, with a seemingly straightforward plot that might as well take place in the present day.

But if we know Duncan Jones, the film’s co-writer and director, then there’s some bizarre sci-fi conceit lurking underneath the film’s core mystery.

Duncan Jones — the spawn of David Bowie — somewhat recently directed Warcraft. But his other two films, Moon and Source Code, also explore sci-fi set in the near-future. Jones has tackled bizarre technology related to things like cloning, mining on the Moon, and transferring one’s consciousness through time. It’s pretty heady stuff.

Based on Easter eggs from previous Mute images — and comments from Jones himself — we know that Mute takes place in the same cinematic universe as Moon and Source Code. It’s set roughly 17 years after Moon.

Who knows how Mute might connect to those other two movies, if at all. At the very least, we can expect yet another head-spinning thrill ride.

Mute will be released on Netflix February 23, 2018.