“Is Deckard a replicant?” If you’ve ever seen ‘Blade Runner’, this is a question you’ve asked yourself at least once. It’s also a matter that was left deliberately ambiguous, and to which the answer can depend on which of the film’s myriad cuts you decide to watch. Indeed, it’s one of the more famously unanswered questions in science fiction. This has left audiences to make up their own minds over the years, with even the people who made the film offering widely varying opinions, as director Ridley Scott is on record as considering Deckard to be a replicant, while Harrison Ford (who plays the character) has always believed him to be a human.

When ‘Blade Runner 2049’ was first announced and it was confirmed that Ford would return as Deckard, it was naturally assumed that the question of the character’s humanity would be addressed in some form. But it turns out that assumption may have been a bit premature. ‘Blade Runner 2049’ director Denis Villeneuve took a moment to address exactly that question in a recent interview with the French outlet Allocine. For the content of Villeneuve’s remarks, we’ll be turning to a paraphrased translation provided by The Playlist:

[Villeneuve] says it was very important to him not to break the tension of the mystery that lingers around Scott’s original movie, or solve all its riddles. You might think that Nexus 6 replicants only have a four-year lifespan, that the return of Ford in ‘Blade Runner 2049’ as Deckard answers the question regarding his humanity, but Villeneuve says “not necessarily”.

So there you have it. At the very least, Villeneuve is playing coy about it, which is probably the best approach to take ahead of the film’s release. Regardless of how (or if) the sequel deals with this and any other lingering questions from the original film, I can’t imagine the producers want to see that overshadow whatever ‘Blade Runner 2049’ might bring to the table.

Directed by Denis Villeneuve, ‘Blade Runner 2049’ is currently scheduled for release on October 6, 2017. The film’s cast includes Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista, Jared Leto, Ana de Armas, and Sylvia Hoeks.