As the stunning images unfold in the new trailer for Blade Runner: 2049, the pulse of any movie-loving Angeleno quickens. Blade Runner, Ridley Scott’s mind-blowing original that stars Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard, outlived its ho-hum box office returns and rose to classic status. The 1982 sci-fi film is among the most defining works of art ever created about our city - no other modern film uses the backdrop of our city with as much as imagination and flair.
Blade Runner's futuristic megalopolis - set in a DayGlo-tinged noir dreamscape of Los Angeles in 2019 - is a thing of inspiring (and often troubling) beauty. Law enforcement and the city’s upper crust pilot their airborne spinner cars to avoid the traffic jams and lowlifes on the street, elegantly soaring past kaijū-scale electronic billboards. Punishing storms batter the city. And many of the citizenry may not even be human.
Short of flying car rentals, Los Angeles boasts more than enough Blade Runner sights to keep you busy while you wait for the sequel, which is in theaters this October. Here’s a guide to recreating the Blade Runner experience in L.A., from its real-deal locations to inspired-by settings and events. (Incidentally, they filmed the sequel in Budapest. So much for authenticity. Do Hungarians dream of electric sheep?)
If you’re looking to fill a whole day with movie-themed fun, buy a 1-day pass for Universal Studios Hollywood (starting at $105), which grants you access to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, themed rides such as The Simpsons and Jurassic Park, and access to the world-famous Studio Tour. Hosted on video by Jimmy Fallon, the tour takes you through four acres of the sprawling studio lot, including the largest set construction project in studio history, built with creative consultation from Steven Spielberg. The tour will take you through the plane crash scene from War of the Worlds, Desperate Housewives’ Wisteria Lane, the legendary Bates Motel of Psycho fame, and the set of Jaws. Studio tours are available daily during theme park hours.
100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City
Where to eat nearby: Karl Strauss Brewing Company, 1000 Universal Studios Blvd., Universal City, 818.753.2739