Update: Producers for the film tell 24 Frames that realistically, the earliest this will shoot is 2013 as a writer still needs to be hired, a script to be written and a film to cast -- a process which will take 18 months at least. And oh yeah, don't expect Harrison Ford. "In no way do I speak for Ridley Scott," producer Andrew Kosove said. "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."
We did not, in a million years, see this one coming. Ridley Scott seems to be getting nostalgic these days: despite having dozens of projects he wants to make, he's looking to his back-catalog for potential films. Next year will see "Prometheus," a sequel/prequel/sidequel/upquel/downquel to his sci-fi classic "Alien" (one that all involved claim is a separate entity to the horror franchise, but seems to have some kind of connection regardless), and now, the director has lined up a follow-up to perhaps his most beloved film: The 1982 future noir "Blade Runner."
The film, based on Philip K. Dick's novel "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep," wasn't well-regarded on release, but has become widely seen as one of the classics of the sci-fi genre, and certainly competes with "Alien" for the title of Scott's magnum opus. Alcon Entertainment, producers of "The Blind Side," acquired the rights back in March, and were quoted as saying that, while they hadn't spoken to the original director, they were keen to, saying "We haven’t met Ridley but the thought of re-engaging with his artistic vision is very exciting, and [him directing] is something we think would be wonderful.”
And it looks like the company, based at Warner Bros, got their wish, as Deadline report that Scott has signed on to direct and produce another film in the "Blade Runner" universe, although it's unclear whether he's planning a sequel, a prequel, or, like "Prometheus," something else entirely. After "Cowboys & Aliens," Harrison Ford could certainly do with a return to one of his best-known roles, although anyone who's seen the Director's Cut of the original knows that there may be certain... limitations about that possibility. Also, Sean Young is still batshit crazy.
We've got mixed feelings about this: our general feeling about prequels/sequels isn't positive, particularly for a film that's so seminal, and has certain ambiguities that wouldn't necessarily be preserved by a follow-up. However, "Prometheus" is one of the more exciting prospects of 2012, and if Scott can take a similar approach -- making a film in the same universe, without necessarily picking up Deckard's story -- this could be hugely exciting. But that's all dependent on "Prometheus" working out, of course -- if it's botched, our excitement about a "Blade Runner" sequel will drop considerably.
There's no writer on board yet, so this is likely a way off: we imagine Scott will make one of the four hundred other projects -- films like "Red Riding," "Reykjavik" and good old "Monopoly" -- he has on his dance card in between the release of "Prometheus" next year, and the script for this being ready. But we could be wrong. We'll be nervously watching "Prometheus" unroll on June 8th, 2012, by which time we're sure much more will be known about Scott's other sci-fi sequel. And from there? "G.I. Jane 2: Retaliation?" "A Better Year?" "1493: Revenge Of Paradise?"