Can Blade Runner be … replicated?
The idea of doing another film in the Blade Runner universe is a naturally provocative one — few sci-fi films are as revered, or hold up as well, as Ridley Scott’s 1982 cyberpunk-noir starring Harrison Ford as a cop hunting deadly humanoid robots. On one hand, who doesn‘t want more of a good thing? On the other, who wants too much of a good thing?
When Alcon Entertainment, the production powerhouse behind The Blind Side, announced plans last March for a follow-up to Blade Runner, the question was: Who would oversee this story? Today, Alcon confirms that Scott himself will direct it — lending the project far more credibility than if another filmmaker had taken the helm.
But the producers still aren’t saying whether it will be a prequel or a sequel, and it may end up being neither. Scott signed on to make the upcoming Prometheus, due next year, as a prequel to his 1979 classic Alien, but later backed off the notion it was part of that series, then backed off that, and most recently explained that it’s in that same fictional universe and leads into Alien, but is not strictly a prologue, er … or something like that.
So what will this movie be? Here’s what one producer exclusively tells EW about it …
“I’m not going to say there wouldn’t have been a Plan B, but the first plan was always to go to Ridley, to find out if he thought he could do something original in the context of a prequel or sequel,” says producer Andrew Kosove, co-founder of Alcon.
The makers of this new Blade Runner aren’t being coy — they have yet to hire a writer or settle on a concept, so it’s not clear to them whether this film would take place in the timeline before or after the previous one. “There’s no need to speculate,” he says. “When we have a prequel or sequel, or as with Prometheus, something that is simply ‘inspired by,’ we will be transparent about it. We will keep everybody up to date.” He laughs: “We’re not going to be sending out our treatment, but we will let people know.”
The first thing he says to reassure fans: “This is not a remake. We don’t have remake rights. This will be an original storyline inspired by Blade Runner, in the context of prequel or sequel.” So the original won’t be messed with. (Well, not messed with any more than the multiple versions of the film that have been tweaked over the years.)
Kosove says he understands why fans might be worried about how such a beloved classic might be handled in another film. These types of experiments don’t always turn out as well as their predecessors. “There is a risk when you take something like this on. Anyone who says otherwise would be dishonest,” the producer says. “There is risk, but the way we approach this is, how do you mitigate those risks? You do it by making sure you have the absolute greatest artistic talent associated with the project.”
That starts with Scott, he says. “And once we find out who the writer is going to be, hopefully that will be an equally impactful announcement. This might work, or it might not work, but at least I know the caliber of people we’re bringing on board.”
So what are your hopes and dreams for this Blade Runner film, Inside Movie readers? (Sounds like this is the time to make your voices heard.) Or are you just shedding tears in the rain?
On Twitter: @Breznican