Ridley Scott and Alcon Entertainment are now pursuing a sequel (perhaps in name only) to Blade Runner, the 1982 film which was received poorly upon initial release. This looks to follow Prometheus, Scott’s most recent project, and a spin-off of his 1979 film Alien. Little is known about the project in terms of the narrative, but Ridley Scott is the only person who could helm this material without complete skepticism.
What’s funny about this is that in 1982, Ridley Scott‘s Blade Runner flopped at the box office. It couldn’t compete with the feel-good world of Steven Spielberg‘s E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial, and wasn’t what Harrison Ford fans were looking for after two Star Wars entries and Raiders of the Lost Ark. But over the years the film’s reputation grew, and in 1992 it recieved a theatrical re-release of a “director’s cut” that Scott later said was never his director’s cut. But by then the cult had grown and a sequel book was written. In 2007′ the film got “final cut” release, and is now enshrined as a classic.
Since Replicants have a four year life span, and Ridley Scott now feels that Harrison Ford’s character is a Replicant (a question fans and the film’s cast and crew debate to this day), it’s unlikely there will be any returning cast members, which suggests (like Prometheus) it will take place in the world, and have smaller connections to the original than, say, cast members. Here’s the press release:
ALCON ENTERTAINMENT PARTNERING WITH RIDLEY SCOTT TO DIRECT AND PRODUCE NEW ‘BLADE RUNNER’ FOLLOW UP. BUD YORKIN AND CYNTHIA SIKES YORKIN ALSO TO PRODUCE.
LOS ANGELES, CA, AUGUST 18, 2011—Three-time Oscar-nominated director Ridley Scott is set to helm a follow up to his own ground-breaking 1982 science fiction classic “Blade Runner” for Warner Bros-based financing and production company Alcon Entertainment (“The Blind Side,” “The Book of Eli”).
Alcon co-founders and co-Chief Executive Officers Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove will produce with Bud Yorkin and Cynthia Sikes Yorkin, along with Ridley Scott. Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEO’s of Thunderbird Films, will serve as executive producers.
The filmmakers have not yet revealed whether the theatrical project will be a prequel or sequel to the renowned original.
Alcon and Yorkin recently announced that they are partnering to produce “Blade Runner” theatrical sequels and prequels, in addition to all television and interactive productions.
The original film, which has been singled out as the greatest science-fiction film of all time by a majority of genre publications, was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 1993 and is frequently taught in university courses. In 2007, it was named the 2nd most visually influential film of all time by the Visual Effects Society.
State Kosove and Johnson: “It would be a gross understatement to say that we are elated Ridley Scott will shepherd this iconic story into a new, exciting direction. We are huge fans of Ridley’s and of the original ‘Blade Runner.’ This is once in a lifetime project for us.”
Scott is represented by David Wirtschafter at WME and David Nochinson at Ziffren Brittenham.
Released by Warner Bros. almost 30 years ago, “Blade Runner” was adapted by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples from Philip K. Dick’s groundbreaking novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” and directed by Scott following his landmark “Alien.” The film was nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Visual Effects, and Best Art Direction). Following the filming of “Blade Runner,” the first of Philip K. Dick’s works to be adapted into a film, many other of Dick’s works were likewise adapted, including “Total Recall,” “A Scanner Darkly,” “Minority Report,” “Paycheck,” and the recent “The Adjustment Bureau,” among others.
Is a Legend spin-off next?