But is this a sequel or a prequel? A reboot or a remake? What?
We’ve known since March that Warner Bros.’ financing and production company Alcon Entertainment was working on securing a rights package (one that included rights specifically for prequels and sequels, not remakes) for Ridley Scott’s iconic sci-fi thriller “Blade Runner,” but news has been quiet since then. Not so today. Deadline reports that the film’s original director, Ridley Scott, is set to direct and produce a new “Blade Runner” film that “advances [the] seminal and groundbreaking science fiction film.”
The exclusive news doesn’t come with many details – it’s unknown if this next film will be a sequel or a prequel, whether any of the original cast will be involved, and how much it will reach back to the film’s source material, Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Considering that the first film was only very loosely based on that work, it’s safe to say that we probably won’t get too much more Dick in this new film. The only thing we do know is that it will not be a remake, at least as far as Alcon’s rights package guarantees that.
The original “Blade Runner” was released by Warner Bros. in 1982, and the Harrison Ford-starring film was adapted by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Visual Effects, and Best Art Direction). It also routinely tops “best of” lists and was, in 2007, “was named the 2nd most visually influential film of all time by the Visual Effects Society.” As Deadline notes, the film was not a blockbuster at the time of its release, but it has clearly gained a huge amount of respect in the intervening thirty years.
Scott has lately seen a bit of a career resurgence by returning to his classic films that established his fame and skills. Next up is “Prometheus,” a film that was once billed as prequel to Scott’s 1979 “Alien,” but which is now seen as a “cousin” to the original film. Scott’s latest films, such as “Robin Hood,” “Body of Lies,” and “American Gangster,” while all promising, didn’t quite live up to the director’s previous successes. If getting back into films like “Alien” and “Blade Runner” herald Scott’s return to groundbreaking sci-fi and visuals, I’m all in.