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Milk the Franchise | October 21, 2017

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Blade Runner

DIRECTOR: Denis Villeneuve
BASED ON: On the novel by Philip K. Dick
STORY: Ridley Scott, Hampton Fancher
SCREENPLAY: Hampton Fancher, Michael Green
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Tia Gamble, Frank Guistra, Bill Carraro
PRODUCERS: Ridley Scott, Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Bud Yorkin, Cynthia Sikes Yorkin
CAST: Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Alcon Entertainment
DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Bros., Sony Pictures (International)

At one point, Ridley Scott was planning a sequel with the title Metropolis. Travis Wright (co-writer of Eagle Eye) and producer Bud Yorkin worked on a sequel for several years. Wright worked with co-writer John Glenn, who left the project in 2008. Glenn has stated the script explored the off-world colonies and the aftermath of Tyrell Corporation following the founders death in the original film.

In 2009, it was reported that Ridley Scott and his brother Tony Scott were working a prequel set before 2019. The planned 5-10 minute shorts, titled Purefold was being developed for the web and possibly television. The series was not closely attached to the main characters of the 1982 film due to rights issue. Less than a year later, production stopped due to lack of funding.

In 2011, Blade Runner producer Bud Yorkin was developing a second film, but it wasn’t clear if it was a sequel or a prequel Christopher Nolan had expressed interest in directing this second film, which went nowhere.

On August 18, 2011, it was announced that Ridley Scott would direct a new Blade Runner sequel without the original cast with filming to begin no earlier than 2013 and released sometime in 2014. Scott stated in October 2012 about the Blade Runner sequel,  “It’s not a rumor—it’s happening. With Harrison Ford? I don’t know yet. Is he too old? Well, he was a Nexus-6 so we don’t know how long he can live. And that’s all I’m going to say at this stage.”

In early 2015, it was confirmed that Harrison Ford will reprise his role as Deckard in the sequel, set decades after the original 2019 timeframe.

In September 2015, director Denis Villeneuve talked to Collider about the huge challenge in tackling this project: “It’s a huge challenge, because you don’t want to cut and paste, otherwise why [do it]? And at the same time you have to respect what was done, so you have to find the right equilibrium between being faithful to the first one and bringing something new at the same time that will make sense to the Blade Runner universe.”

He continued with his initial apprehension on directing Blade Runner 2: “It’s more than nervous, it’s a deep fear. I mean when I heard that Ridley Scott wanted to do another movie in the Blade Runner universe, at first my reaction was that it’s a fantastic idea, but it may be a very bad idea. I’m among the hardcore fans of Blade Runner. Blade Runner is one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s a movie that is linked with my love and passion for cinema. I’m coming from a small town in Quebec where, at that time, there was no internet and the way to be in contact with movies were those American fan magazines like Fantastic Films and Starlog and I still remember the shock, the impact of seeing the first frames, the first pictures coming out of Blade Runner. Me and my friends were in awe, so excited and the movie was such a strong cinematic experience. A new way of seeing sci-fi.”

While promoting The Martian, Scott discussed how the Blade Runner sequel would begin. “We decided to start the film off with the original starting block of the original film. We always loved the idea of a dystopian universe, and we start off at what I describe as a ‘factory farm’ – what would be a flat land with farming. Wyoming. Flat, not rolling – you can see for 20 miles. No fences, just plowed, dry dirt. Turn around and you see a massive tree, just dead, but the tree is being supported and kept alive by wires that are holding the tree up. It’s a bit like Grapes of Wrath, there’s dust, and the tree is still standing. By that tree is a traditional, Grapes of Wrath-type white cottage with a porch. Behind it at a distance of two miles, in the twilight, is this massive combine harvester that’s fertilizing this ground. You’ve got 16 Klieg lights on the front, and this combine is four times the size of this cottage. And now a spinner [a flying car] comes flying in, creating dust. Of course, traditionally chased by a dog that barks, the doors open, a guy gets out and there you’ve got Rick Deckard. He walks in the cottage, opens the door, sits down, smells stew, sits down and waits for the guy to pull up to the house to arrive. The guy’s seen him, so the guy pulls the combine behind the cottage and it towers three stories above it, and the man climbs down from a ladder – a big man. He steps onto the balcony and he goes to Harrison’s side. The cottage actually [creaks]; this guy’s got to be 350 pounds. I’m not going to say anything else – you’ll have to go see the movie.”


The Blade Runner Sequel and Replicant Revisionism