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See How the ‘Blade Runner 2049’ Team Created That Breathtaking Cameo

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Warner Bros.

If you haven’t seen Blade Runner 2049 yet (dude, what is your deal), you’ll want to avoid reading any further. The below post contains a MAJOR SPOILER for Denis Villeneuve’s sequel to Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic, which recaptured the spirit of its predecessor in more ways than one — particularly as it’s already become an under seen (and under-appreciated) piece of cinematic art. Beyond that, not only does Blade Runner 2049 recreate — and elevate — the gorgeously dreary atmosphere of Scott’s original, but it also recreated one of its most fantastic elements.

That would be Rachael, the replicant played to noir perfection by Sean Young. A new feature over at Entertainment Weekly reveals how Villeneuve and his effects team, led by supervisor John Nelson, brought Rachael — who is long dead by 2049 — back to life for one of the film’s most stunning moments. The “Rachael effect” took an entire year to create, and that painstaking effort is evident in the beautiful end result. (In my opinion, at least; I’ve heard complaints from other people that it’s a little too “uncanny valley-ish,” but I would urge you to see Blade Runner 2049 in a theater with a proper projection system.)

Playing the role of Rachael on set was actress Loren Peta, but Young was also on hand (her son worked as a production assistant on the film). Both actresses spent a full day in facial motion-capture gear, allowing the effects team to perfectly recreate Young’s features on Peta’s face — a fitting concept for a film that explores the humanity in technological artifice.

Head on over to EW for more images of this stunning transformation.

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