DZ-48: One-Shot – Blade Runner 2049 – Agency vs Choice

Can your characters be given choices and yet still be deprived of agency?

To kick off 2018, Chas and Stu take a deep dive into one of their favourite movies of 2017: Blade Runner 2049. However, they abstained from “Fox News-ing this shit” by being joined by the most accomplished screenwriter they know, C.S. McMullen (Blood List 2017, Black List 2017, also a lover of Blade Runner 2049).

For a film that is thematically about choice, Stu and Chas thought this would be an excellent opportunity to explore how characters can be dramatised through binary choices.  And yet, CS opened their eyes to the idea that characters can still be given choices without having agency. Without having choice in their choices. Not having choices that lead to different outcomes.

It is perhaps the lack of agency (rather than the lack of choice) that lead to some of the troubling depiction of women and minorities in Blade Runner 2049, which our intrepid hosts explore in detail.


Audio quotations used for educational purposes only. Timestamps indicated below. Chapter markers included in the mp3.

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