With Ridley Scott, new 'Blade Runner' gets a credibility stamp
When the Hollywood production company Alcon Entertainment acquired rights to the "Blade Runner" property back in March, its partners told 24 Frames that they'd love to have original director Ridley Scott pick up where he left off. The idea of the original director helming either a prequel or a sequel, Alcon principal Andrew Kosove said, "is something we think would be wonderful."
Now Alcon appears to have landed its man.
Reports surfaced this morning on the trade website Deadline, later confirmed by Alcon, that Scott will indeed develop the project as a director. A finished film is still a long way from coming to the multiplex; no screenwriters have even been hired. But the Scott news means that the movie will have a continuity and a credibility it wouldn't have had with pretty much anyone else.
The move does runs counter to a Hollywood mini-trend in which a young director who grew up with a 1980s movie puts his own spin on it — witness Joseph Kosinski and "Tron: Legacy" last year. But Scott, for his part, has been rummaging through his own august canon, recently directing the "Alien"-related follow-up, "Prometheus," which comes to theaters in June.
As part of its March deal for “Blade Runner,” Alcon can make either a prequel or a sequel — it definitively won't be a remake — to the 1982 cult classic, also acquiring the right to build off scenes in the original film as well as passages from Philip K. Dick's source novel, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"
In the original film, "replicants" (robots that are virtually indistinguishable from humans) return illegally to a dystopian Los Angeles, with Harrison Ford's Rick Deckard chasing down said replicants. The move was a box-office underperformer but found a second life on television and home video, particularly as a dystopian aesthetic became more cultural prominent.
Alcon principals believe that the three intervening decades have only made the property more ripe for a revisit.
"The 'Blade Runner' lore is kind of irresistible," Kosove told 24 Frames in March. "And the extraordinary pace of technological advancement since the movie came out means that there are a lot of opportunities to do something fresh."
— Steven Zeitchik
Photo. Harrison Ford in "Blade Runner." Credit: Warner Bros.