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Real-World Tokyo Sets This 'Blade Runner' Homage

The skylines and urban landscapes of modern day Tokyo are transformed with some VFX into Ridley Scott's near-future sci-fi vision.

by Kevin Holmes
15 August 2016, 1:35pm


Screengrab via

For good or ill Blade Runner 2 is in the Hollywood pipeline. Whether it will sour or compliment the sci-fi classic, we'll have to wait until October 2017 to find out. Philip K. Dick certainly didn't write a sequel to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (although somebody else did), but the film does have Harrison Ford on board, Sicario director Denis Villeneuve, Ryan Gosling, and regular Coen Brothers collaborator Roger Deakins. Plus Ridley Scott, who's producing, has already shared his vision for the opening which sounds interesting. And EW have reported that it's set a couple of decades after the original, with L.A. in an even worse state than it was before. 

While fans await that with cynicism and bated breath, the original is never far from any sci-fi filmmaker's (or any filmmaker's) mind. Tokyo-based CGI studio Reelvision have created a homage to Scott's vision of Los Angeles c. 2019 (by way of Toyko's red light district, Hong Kong, and Syd Mead's Heavy Metal magazine/Moebius-inspired artwork). Called Tears in Rain: Homage to Blade Runner it was shot in Tokyo and has flying cars, giant imposing hologram ads, towering skyscrapers, and lots of visual motifs from the film—plus a Vangelis-style soundtrack by echoes-breath. All of this, mixed in with footage of people and cars going about their business against the backdrop of Tokyo's skyline.

From the Instagram account @BladeRunnerReality which uploads photos of real-world locations that look like the production design of the film, to your own Blade Runner visions when walking through a city, to homages like this, turning real-world locations into scenes from Scott's movie is almost an industry in itself. 

It's testament to how immersed in our cultural DNA the movie is, that reality is itself becoming a Blade Runner clone. Perhaps this was Philip K. Dick's dastardly plan all along. 

Visit Reelvision's website here.

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