Very little is known about Blade Runner 2049's plot. That's largely because the film's director, Denis Villeneuve has gone through great lengths to ensure that what happens in film is kept secret before its release. In a way, Villenueve is defying 2017's spoiler-obsessed culture and allowing viewers to experience this new film as people experienced the first Blade Runner installment, which came out in 1982. Considering that that movie takes place in 2019, and Blade Runner 2049 takes place in, well, 2049, one might deduce that in 35 years, a third Blade Runner set in 2079 will be made. That's a long time to wait, though, so will everyone be getting a Blade Runner 2049 sequel in the near future, instead? It seems likely that a third movie will be made, but it could take a while again.
It would be a shame, really, for the next Blade Runner to take 35 years to come out like 2049 did, because both films are set in such fascinating worlds. Jared Leto, who stars in Blade Runner 2049, recently told Bustle in a phone interview that he's enthusiastic about the series and hopes the latest installment leads to more. "I was excited that they're continuing this story and there's a new chapter. I hope to make 10 different Blade Runner films: prequels, sequels, spinoffs, and everything," Leto says. "I absolutely love the world."
While Leto is decidedly pro-2049 sequel, star Ryan Gosling isn't so sure. He recently told the L.A. Times, "If there was a story to tell that was worth telling and worth the effort that we were going to put into it, then sure. But I have yet to hear that story." Perhaps 2049 naturally leads to another movie, like Blade Runner's director Ridley Scott, says happened with the original. "The very first film is a very clear indication of what the second will be," Scott told Den of Geek. Given that Blade Runner 2049 similarly takes place in a complicated, exciting world, a third installment seems likely.
The only caveat, if there were to be a Blade Runner 2049 sequel, would be that Villeneuve probably won't be involved. That's because the director of both Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival has signed on to direct the upcoming sci-fi movie, Dune, the adaptation of Frank Herbert's 1965 epic novel, so he's pretty busy at the moment. But Villeneuve's taking on a new, greatly ambitious, project isn't the only reason he will likely not create another Blade Runner in the near future, as he has been very vocal about not wanting to do another film right after this one. In an interview with Variety, Villeneuve described the toll of Blade Runner 2049, saying, "I got slowly a bit more and more tired physically... I remember thinking, ‘That might be my last movie. I’m going to bed for like three years.'"
Villeneuve evidently had a change of heart when he was offered Dune, but it's still unclear if he's want to return to Blade Runner, mostly because it's too early to think about it. "This movie is just out of the oven. I have no distance from it at all. I’m still making my peace with it. So a third one — if there is a third one — is not something I’ve thought about at all. For me, it was enough to try to stay on the horse for this run, you know?" the director said in the interview with L.A. Times. This approach is definitely different from that of many filmmakers, in a time when sequels are often in the works immediately after their predecessors' releases.
Even if Villeneuve isn't involved in another Blade Runner film as a director, that doesn't necessarily mean that there will not be a third installment of the series. It may not be immediately after this Blade Runner film, but the chances that a third one will be made in the near future seem likely as 2049 only adds greater intrigue into the futuristic story, and it will likely be good enough to get Gosling involved again, too.
Additional Reporting by Anna Klassen.