In Blade Runner 2049,
a reimagined Las Vegas
When filmmaker Denis Villeneuve began assembling the creative team for his next feature — the long-awaited sequel to the 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner — he kept returning to the same word. “It’s a brutal society. It’s a brutal world,” he told production designer Dennis Gassner. The original film, set in 21st-century Los Angeles, melded vintage noir and dystopian futurism. Starring Harrison Ford as a bounty hunter of runaway androids, it envisioned a city of slate-gray skyscrapers, goliath video billboards, and perpetual rainfall. The sequel, Blade Runner 2049, is set three decades later, and “those 30 years haven’t been kind to Earth,” says Paul Inglis, the film’s supervising art director. The storms are more torrential, the buildings more, well, brutalist. And nowhere is the environment harsher than in a second metropolis that has been added to the story universe: Las Vegas.