By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com February 4, 2012 at 1:00PM
One of the bigger news stories of last year was the report that, on the back of his sort-of-return to the "Alien" franchise for "Prometheus," which is set in the same universe, Ridley Scott was planning to go back to his other sci-fi classic, attaching himself to a new "Blade Runner" film, after Alcon Entertainment acquired the rights to the series. But it was unclear for some time what form the film would take; a direct sequel? A prequel? Or, like "Prometheus," a mostly original project riffing on the same world and concepts?
Well, hot on the heels of Scott saying last November that the film was "liable to be a sequel," we may have got a firmer answer, as Twitch is reporting that Harrison Ford, who played replicant-hunter Deckard in the 1982 original, is in the early stages of talks to return for the follow-up. The actor, who'll next star in Brian Helgeland's Jackie Robinson biopic "42," is coming off a long series of commercial flops, bar "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," so it makes sense that he'd be up for reprising one of his key roles (even if the film was something of a flop on release, and Ford described the released cut of the project as "a fucking nightmare.")
This does, however, contradict what Alcon Entertainment chief Andrew Kosove said last August; that "In no way do I speak for Ridley Scott but if you're asking me will this movie have anything to do with Harrison Ford, the answer is no. This is a total reinvention and in my mind that means doing everything fresh, including casting." Was he keeping his cards close to his chest? Or has the conception of the project changed as the development process has gone on?
It's also worth bearing in mind that while Twitch has a rock-solid reputation with scoops, it's been wrong about this project before, reporting that Scott Z Burns ("Contagion") was being eyed to write the film project, something that turned out to be incorrect. Still, we're sure sources are good on this, and we'll likely hear confirmation on this soon.
More importantly, is this a good idea? We can't say we think so; we liked the idea of the film being more of a "Prometheus"-type picture than a direct sequel, and seeing an aged Ford turn up again as Deckard would be a bit like seeing Sigourney Weaver in that film. Plus, it risks giving a defining answer to the longtime ambiguity over whether Deckard was a replicant or not (Scott says yes, Ford says no, and they'll presumably have to come to terms on that before the film gets going).
Also unclear; whether the film will be Scott's next, but with no screenwriter yet hired (Kosove told us before Christmas that one should be hired soon), and the director signing on to Cormac McCarthy's "The Counselor," we think that film will probably take precedent, although if Ford is being courted, it suggests things are moving ahead at some speed. More will become clear any day now, and Sean Young is presumably waiting for the phone to ring any... minute... now.