By now, you've probably heard that in Hollywood's never ending quest to sequelize, franchise and exploit any popular title they can, Alcon Entertainment has snagged the screen rights to "Blade Runner" from producer Bud Yorkin for future sequel/prequel projects. Ugh. Many questions loomed following the news yesterday but the biggest one of the all is: will Ridley Scott be involved in any capacity? It will be interesting to see the director's response and attitude toward the news (and we're sure he's not exactly thrilled that his baby has been put in somebody else's hands) but speaking with the LA Times, Alcon co-founder Andrew Kosove said the door is open.
"We haven't met Ridley," Kosove said. "but the thought of re-engaging with his artistic vision is very exciting, and [him directing] is something we think would be wonderful."
As we said yesterday, the only way this idea can work would be to involve Ridley Scott who certainly isn't stepping into the world of his past classics (please see "Prometheus"). But that said, even if he doesn't come on board, Kosove does have some ideas about how the films would take shape.
The original film was set in the "far distant" future of 2019 -- which is now just a stone's throw away (where are the flying cars, dammit!?) -- but producers say they plan to base a prequel in an "alternate universe" to avoid the fact that technology now isn't as awesome the movies made it seem decades ago. It's a good enough fix but really, it's just one element of a myriad of decisions that will need to be made in order to make any "Blade Runner" sequel/prequel even watchable by the most casual of fans. And the weight of responsibility and expectation is not lost on Alcon.
"A lot of filmmakers have borrowed from 'Blade Runner' in the intervening years, and we want to make sure we don't look like we're borrowing from the movies that borrowed from it," Kosove said. "Coming up with something original on our part is a real threshold issue....We know there are tremendous challenges here."
And it should be clarified -- Alcon didn't buy the remake rights, just sequel/prequel rights, so it's a small measure of comfort that the original film won't be totally mucked up. They would essentially be building off the story established in that film, and utilizing the characters for a fresh take. Alcon co-founder Broderick Johnson says "we never would want to remake it — but they do think there's a rich vein of material for a prequel or sequel, which they will be entitled to make."
But Kosove hits the nail on the head in terms of the difficulty in mounting this project saying, "The risk is not just getting a movie made but coming up with a story that really justifies coming back one to one of the great science-fiction stories." Exactly.
No screenwriters or directors are yet in place, but we're sure phone calls are starting to happen. Financing is in place and Warner Bros. are in line to distribute, and while we're sure everyone involved is seeing $$$ in their eyes, we actually hope they stick by their word and develop this thing properly rather than just turning it around for a quick buck. However, Hollywood has a great history of their words and actions being two completely different things.