Long before Warner Bros.' highly-anticipated Blade Runner 2049 ever started production, most fans assumed that Harrison Ford would return in some capacity as Rick Deckard, with a whole new cast put in place around him, including Ryan Gosling. Today we have word that there is at least one more original Blade Runner star returning for Blade Runner 2049, Edward James Olmos, who is reprising his role as Gaff in the sequel. The actor confirmed his casting in a new interview, and gave the first details about how he fits into the story.
The actor confirmed the news during an interview on The Trend Talk Show, after one of the co-hosts read about his return as Gaff in one of the trade publications a month ago. The host had previously run into him, but he flat-out denied being in the Blade Runner sequel at the time, revealing in this interview that he will in fact be back. Here's what he had to say about why he couldn't talk about his return then.
"I signed a seven page non-disclosure contract. I did, my manager did, my agent did, everybody did. I couldn't talk about it. I couldn't talk to anybody about it. Guess what? This is the first time that I'm telling the whole world, that yes, I am going to be Gaff in Blade Runner 2049."
In the original Blade Runner, Gaff was a longtime Blade Runner who interacts with Harrison Ford's Rick Deckard through an intricate form of communication known in the movie as "Cityspeak," a language which was essentially invented by the actor, with parts of it spoken in Hungarian. While he wouldn't say much about how Gaff fits into the story, this character seems to shed light on how the Blade Runners operated during the original movie, although he has a much smaller role in this sequel. Here's what the actor had to say.
"Well, it's not about Gaff, but it's about someone who is going to try to find out certain things about us back then. They come to me, I'm now retired. I don't want to ruin the story for anyone but my role is like it was in the original, that time I only had four scenes, in this I only have one. But again, it's a poignant little piece of work that I'm very grateful for."
It was also mentioned in this interview that this original sci-fi classic was very "forward-thinking" since it doesn't address race in the same way we do now. When asked about that notion, Edward James Olmos went on to praise original Blade Runner director Ridley Scott for letting him bring a "cultural dynamic" to the movie. Here's what he had to say below.
"We were very lucky that Ridley Scott is a very secure artist, within himself. I brought that to the piece, I brought the cultural dynamic to it. I spoke 10 different languages, I was a mixture of different cultures, and it was really amazing that he allowed me to do it, because I didn't even speak in English, really."
Now that we know Gaff will make his return in Blade Runner 2049, it remains to be seen if there are other cameos from original Blade Runner stars in this sequel. Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling lead a diverse cast that also includes Robin Wright, Dave Bautista, Ana de Armas, Carla Juri and Mackenzie Davis. Take a look at the video below, with the Blade Runner 2049 talk coming at approximately the 19-minute mark.