‘Blade Runner 2049’ Aiming for an R Rating, Says Director Denis Villeneuve

     December 21, 2016


While the first teaser trailer for Denis Villeneuve‘s sci-fi sequel Blade Runner 2049 was undoubtedly a fantastic early look at the film and its tone, it left us with very little idea as to what the feature’s rating would eventually be. You can take a look at Villeneuve’s filmography to make a good guess: With the exception of the unrated Polytechnique and the PG-13-rated Arrival–which remains Villeneuve’s highest-grossing film to date–all of his films have been rated R. So it’s little surprise to find that Blade Runner 2049 was shot with an eventual R rating in mind.

Screen Daily chatted with Villeneuve about the film, which wrapped shooting in Hungary in late November and is currently undergoing editing in Los Angeles (see a few new images here). He also spoke about applying the same principal he used for shooting Arrival (that of favoring a minimal use of computer-generated imagery) to that of Blade Runner 2049. Villeneuve then teased a couple of future projects set in the sci-fi genre, but don’t expect much movement on those anytime soon. A sequel to Blade Runner 2049, however…


Image via Warner Bros.

Here’s what Villeneuve had to say about the R rating:

My producers are finding it fun to remind me that it will be one of the most expensive R-rated independent feature films ever made.

As the first trailer showed, a lot of the heavy visual lifting is being done by practical work in front of the camera lens and by Roger Deakins‘ veteran experience as a cinematographer. In other words, not a whole lot of CGI to be found so far. So here are Villeneuve’s thoughts on the use of CGI in the film:

I can count on my fingers the amount of times we put a green screen on set. Most of the movie was done on camera, me and [cinematographer] Roger Deakins worked very hard to do it that way.


My actors were not walking on green screens all day long. CGI is a strong tool for backgrounds and extensions but what is around the actors needs to be as real as possible. When I watch a movie that’s mostly CGI, I’m disengaged.

Finally, while Villeneuve says he has “two more [sci-fi] ideas now that [he] would love to do,” he also teases that “Blade Runner could go on… we’ll see how this one goes.” A sequel to a film this epic and long-awaited is a no-brainer considering today’s trend for studios to launch and maintain film franchises. We’ll just have to see if the box office makes Blade Runner 2049+ a reality.

Are you happy to hear the movie is aiming for an R rating? Let us know in the comments below! And for more on Blade Runner 2049, be sure to check out our recent write-ups below:

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