October hardly qualifies as blockbuster season, but Denis Villeneuve will most likely change that when he unveils the long-murmured-about Blade Runner 2049 on the 6th of that month. He’s bringing all the buzz and gossip-mongering of the summer tentpole frenzy a few months later into the year, and the hype machine has gladly risen to meet him. Empire Magazine, that hallowed bastion of fan-boy and -girl culture, has stoked the flame with a glossy new cover story for Villeneuve’s latest this month, and the denizens of the internet will be pleased to know that they’ve publicized some of their exclusive new photos ahead of time.

First, take a gander at the cover itself, featuring stars Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford looking equally uncomfortable. Ford will reprise his role as replicant-hunter Deckard, while Gosling joins the cast as a fellow blade runner with the LAPD. Gaze deep into their eyes and imagine all the places Gosling would rather be.

Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

But wait, there’s more! Empire also revealed a still that finds Deckard and Gosling’s character Officer K in a tense shootout. Do you think they still use the term “Mexican standoff” three decades into the future? This frame in particular teases the hardcore color-grading that’s gone into this film, wrapping the two men in a warm, golden glow to create a futuristic look:

And in the final new photo, Gosling and Ford lock eyes once more, but this context seems a bit more relaxed. They appear to be at the future equivalent of a nightclub, complete with dappled colored light and those tiny cocktail tables:

We still don’t know all that much, but we do know for sure that the true star of this film is color. However the script and performances go, at least we’ll have something pretty to look at.

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