The sci-fi classic thought untouchable by everyone except the asshole who tried to write a sequel a couple years ago is about to get sent through Hollywood's franchise-making machine. According to an official release, Alcon Entertainment co-founders Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove are in final talks to acquire the rights to make as many prequels and sequels to Blade Runner as their idiot hearts desire. Oof.
The deal specifically excludes rights to remake the original--if that does anything to reassure you--but does cover film, television, and "ancillary franchise rights," all of which Johnson and Kosove plan to exploit to the fullest, jointly saying in a statement:
This is a major acquisition for our company, and a personal favorite film for both of us. We recognize the responsibility we have to do justice to the memory of the original with any prequel or sequel we produce. We have long-term goals for the franchise, and are exploring multi-platform concepts, not just limiting ourselves to one medium only.
Funny, Blade Runner is a personal favorite film for me, too, yet I never once thought that I should explore the events leading to it through online webisodes. But maybe they have reasons! Let's see what enlightening remarks they had to add from the set of their Queen Latifah comedy Joyful Noise...
"The 'Blade Runner' lore is kind of irresistible," Alcon co-founder Andrew Kosove told 24 Frames from Atlanta, where he and Johnson are on the set of their Queen Latifah comedy "Joyful Noise." "And the extraordinary pace of technological advancement since the movie came out means that there are a lot of opportunities to do something fresh."
The original was set in 2019, a year that seemed very far away in 1982 but that seems pretty close now. A prequel wouldn't allow for a setting too many years beyond our own. (The producers say they're not concerned because technology changes quickly and anyway, Johnson says, this would be set in an alternative universe.)
So, an alternate universe in which adding a CGI-riddled backstory to a Harrison Ford-starring sci-fi classic still sounds like a reasonable idea? GOTCHA!
An exception to the accepted idea to never make a Blade Runner prequel/sequel, though, might make sense if director Ridley Scott were willing to return (even if he would end up shoving Russell Crowe in the lead). Scott is in the midst of revisiting the world of Alien, so would he be up for a trip back to Blade Running?
"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."
Haven't bothered talking to him yet. Why would they? They don't need the man who shaped the gritty future that's made the original an enduring masterpiece. The producers of the Queen Latifah comedy Joyful Noise have a handle on this! Besides, everyone knows that if Ridley Scott is going to do any sequel to Blade Runner, he's going to make it a Monopoly movie.