David Bowie Could’ve Been Blade Runner 2049’s Villain: Here’s How
The movie's director, Denis Villeneuve, wanted the legendary rock star to play Niander Wallace, but unfortunately he was too late.
- Given the iconic status of Blade Runner, the creators of the sequel had an enormous responsibility on their shoulders
- Although the idea has been in the air since the 1990s, it took several decades for the movie to be released
- The film's director, Denis Villeneuve, always considered David Bowie to play the villain, but unfortunately it was too late
Creating a great sequel to an iconic film beloved by millions of fans is no easy task, especially one as legendary as 1982's Blade Runner.
The original film, directed by Ridley Scott, had a massive impact on cinema and popular culture in general, becoming one of the founding pillars of the cyberpunk genre, which was a brand new branch of sci-fi at the time.
Blade Runner influenced the sci-fi genre for decades to come, and to this day, traces of it can be found in countless other projects, so much so that almost any dark, rainy futuristic city instantly evokes memories of the dystopian Los Angeles of alternate 2019.
Blade Runner Sequel Took Several Decades To Be Released
The idea of creating a sequel has been floating around since the 1990s, until Alcon Entertainment acquired the rights to the franchise on one condition: that it would not be a remake of the iconic original, but an original creation set in the same universe.
Many renowned filmmakers were considered to direct the Blade Runner sequel, including Christopher Nolan, but it was ultimately decided that the creator of the original, Ridley Scott, would also be responsible for the new film.
However, Scott had to step down from his position as he was busy with Alien: Covenant and Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve took his place in the director's chair.
With the sequel picking up thirty years after the first film, much has changed in the world of the movie, and the Tyrell Corporation, which played a major role in the original, was no exception.
After its leader and founder Eldon Tyrell was killed by Roy Batty and a series of other devastating events, the company's assets were purchased by a new influential figure, Niander Wallace and his Wallace Corporation.
The enigmatic scientist, obsessed with uncovering the secret of replicants' biological reproduction, served as the primary villain in Blade Runner 2049, and Denis Villeneuve understood that he needed to be played by someone truly extraordinary.
Denis Villeneuve Wanted David Bowie To Play The Villain
In an interview with Metro UK, the director revealed that his first choice was none other than legendary musician David Bowie himself, as he had a huge influence on the original film.
Unfortunately, Bowie tragically passed away from liver cancer on January 10, 2016, and when Villeneuve found out, he had to find another suitable replacement for the role.
Ultimately, Jared Leto, who, like Bowie, is known for both his music and his film roles, was cast as the film's antagonist.
Although Niander's presence in the film was rather limited, being more of a looming threat in the background while his orders were carried out by the replicant Luv, portrayed by Sylvia Hoeks, Leto still managed to make his appearances quite memorable.
He managed to capture the aloof and unlikable nature of the character, who was an obsessed man with a God complex, though some fans jokingly point out that he may have been so good because it's close to Leto's actual personality.
Regardless, it is incredibly sad that we will never get to see Bowie's take on the mysterious villain, as in addition to being an outstanding musician, he also proved to be quite a talented actor on many occasions, appearing in many films including Labyrinth, The Last Temptation of Christ and The Prestige.
As for the Blade Runner franchise, Blade Runner 2049 was a box office flop despite being a true masterpiece, but a TV series Blade Runner 2099 is currently in the works and is expected sometime in 2024.
Source: Metro UK