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David Bowie Was Intended to Be the Villain in 'Blade Runner 2049'

We could have been spared Jared Leto's sometimes-extra presence.
Foto por Theo Wargo para Getty Images

David Bowie seemed to pick acting roles that put him in brainy, sometimes totally bonkers films, which is probably what happens when your first movie has you as a literal alien. Aside from that, there was Bowie's bizarre near-cameo in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and his turn as Nikola Tesla in The Prestige. If not for his untimely death in January 2016, we might have seen him in yet another likely headfuck: the ultra-anticipated Blade Runner 2049, which is out October 6.


Director Denis Villeneuve revealed in a recent interview (reported by Metro) that Bowie fit the "rock star qualities" he wanted for the movie's antagonist, the android manufacturer Niander Wallace. He also notes that Bowie "influenced the original Blade Runner in many ways" and wanted to acknowledge that legacy. It's not known if Villeneuve approached Bowie before the latter died, but his loss forced the director to go with the next best thing: Jared Leto. Admittedly, Leto is literally in a successful rock band as we speak, so it's not the most inappropriate choice for a rock star-ish actor. We all remember Suicide Squad, however, and though Leto had nothing to do with that movie's poor reception, his somewhat cringeworthy antics around its release didn't help, such as him pulling out his "Joker voice" to berate fans during 30 Seconds to Mars shows.

Thankfully, Leto has been comparatively chill during this press cycle, so we're all good. Still, what could have been, man.

Phil is on Twitter.