Well, this is happening. It seems. After years (and years) of idle speculation and rumor mongering, Blade Runner 2 is finally moving forward with it’s old star and a new director. Sadly, Sir Ridley Scott will not be sitting in the director’s chair for the long awaited follow-up to his 1982 film Blade Runner, but that film’s star, Harrison Ford, will be, completing a trifecta of encores to his classic roles including Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. As for who will be directing Ford in this new effort? In a surprise move, the producers have chosen the Academy Award-winning director Denis Villeneuve to tell Deckard’s next chapter.
The news hit the web late last night that Alcon Entertainment, the recent inheritors of the Blade Runner rights, had signed both Ford and Villeneuve for the endeavor. The screenplay, which will take place several decades after the original, was written by Hampton Fancher, co-screenwriter of Blade Runner, and Michael Green, co-screenwriter of Green Lantern. The original movie was based on the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
“We are honored that Harrison is joining us on this journey with Denis Villeneuve who is a singular talent, as we experienced personally on Prisoners,” said Alcon co-founders Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove in a statement. “Hampton and Michael, with Ridley Scott, have crafted a uniquely potent and faithful sequel to one of the most universally celebrated films of all time, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with this amazing, creative team.”
Lack of Scott’s direct involvement, although he co-wrote the story and will remain a producer, will probably be a relief to fans who were quite disappointed by the way Prometheus turned out. Combined with The Counselor and Exodus: Gods and Kings, and it seems as though Scott may have lost a little of his mojo, and thus maybe him not directing a Blade Runner follow-up is more the best.
Villeneuve, meanwhile, just released the one-two punch of Prisoners and Enemy, which were not universally-acclaimed, but were at least welcomed and embraced as challenging (in a good way) films. Combined with Villeneuve’s Oscar-winning Incendies and his very haunting French-Canadian film Polytechnique about the Montreal Massacre of 1989, and there’s several very good reason to get excited about seeing what Villeneuve can do with a big budget and the world of Blade Runner. It reminds me of the choice of Vincenzo Natali to make the movie version of William Gibson’s Neuromancer. Of course that film is stuck in perpetual development hell, so…
As for Blade Runner 2, it’s looking to start principal photography in the summer of 2016, presumably for release sometime in 2017. Just in time for the 35th anniversary of Blade Runner’s release in 1982. Finally, we will answer the question: Is Deckard a replicant? Stay tuned for more news as it develops.
Source: Coming Soon