- John Nelson, the Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor on “Blade Runner 2049,” walks through how he made a CGI version of the franchise’s memorable Rachael character for the movie.
- The process took a year of trial and error, which was all done under secret shooting sessions and a code name.
- Sean Young, who played the character in the original movie, was also brought on to supervise.
With a total of 1,200 visual effects shots in “Blade Runner 2049” — that comes out to 1:45 of the movie’s total running time of 2:43 — Oscar-winning VFX supervisor John Nelson and his team logged in major hours to go a step beyond the 1982 original movie’s legendary sci-fi look.
But there was a particular scene in the movie that Nelson and director Denis Villeneuve paid special attention to — and it has led to Oscar nominations for the movie.
Toward the end of the movie when Deckard (Harrison Ford) meets Niander Wallace (Jared Leto), he is offered something very near and dear to him in exchange for information on where Wallace can find the only known child replicant. From the shadows appears Rachael, played by actress Sean Young, the beautiful replicant who is also Deckard’s love interest in the original movie. For the “2049” scene, Rachael looks like she hasn’t aged a day from when we saw her in the original movie, and that’s because Nelson and his team pulled off a flawless CGI version of Young to bring back the character for the sequel.
This is just the latest example of recent major blockbuster movies using computer graphics to de-age an actor. We’ve seen it with Kurt Russell in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” Johnny Depp in “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” Robert Downey Jr. in “Captain America: Civil War,” and Michael Douglas Read More Here