Blade Runner 2049 brought back Harrison Ford’s character from the original Blade Runner, but his return was ruined before the film even started. Harrison Ford starred in the first Blade Runner movie, making his return in Denis Villeneuve’s sequel incredibly exciting. However, the way Blade Runner 2049 went about handling Harrison Ford’s return to the franchise not only hurt the character’s big comeback, but the movie as a whole.
2017’s Blade Runner 2049 is the long-awaited sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner. Ford starred in the original Blade Runner as Rick Deckard, a replicant hunter who is tasked with finding and taking down ultra-humanoid androids known as replicants. However, Ryan Gosling took over the spotlight in Blade Runner 2049, with the actor starring as another blade runner named Officer K. Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard does return in Blade Runner 2049, but the way that he was brought back really ruined his big moment.
Blade Runner 2049’s Marketing Spoiled Harrison Ford’s Return
Ford’s return in Blade Runner 2049 was completely spoiled by the film’s marketing, ruining the surprise. Ford appeared in most of the Blade Runner 2049 trailers and posters, meaning that audiences knew that the character would reappear before even seeing the film. It makes sense for the film to be marketed this way, as it clearly connects the two Blade Runner movies, but the way that the film handled Ford’s return and the way that the marketing handled it clashed immensely.
Rick Deckard’s Blade Runner 2049 return is treated as a big reveal in the narrative of the movie, with Harrison Ford not appearing until about halfway through the movie. In the timeline of Blade Runner 2049, Rick Deckard had been hiding from authorities for decades, with absolutely nobody knowing where he is. K’s discovery of Deckard is meant to be a huge surprise to the characters and the audience, as Ford’s Blade Runner return was uncertain before the marketing campaign. However, this surprise was ruined in the trailers and posters, with Ford’s face being plastered everywhere.
How Blade Runner 2049 Set Expectations Too High With Harrison Ford
Another problem with how the marketing handled Ford’s return was that it set expectations way too high. Blade Runner 2049 was Agent K’s story, not Rick Deckard’s, with Ford’s character getting fully explored in the original Blade Runner. By putting Ford in all of the marketing, some viewers expected him to be more heavily involved in the story than he was, creating a lot of disappointment.
Rather than being a Blade Runner sequel, Blade Runner 2049 is a revival set in the same universe, with it mostly exploring its own storylines with original characters. Putting Ford in all of the marketing made Blade Runner 2049 seem more like a direct sequel rather than a revival, causing confusion about the movie’s story. Ford’s inclusion in the marketing not only spoiled his return but also incorrectly set expectations regarding what Blade Runner 2049 would be.