Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner Future Unclear

For the last few months, iconic director Ridley Scott has been doing the rounds for his latest film. While doing so, he has decided to open up about his long-time-coming Blade Runner sequel. The good news is: it’s still right on track and will feature a familiar face. However, in terms of Scott’s face returning to direct, he is unsure as to whether he’ll return to the director’s chair, as last week he said he wasn’t going to, but in the past few days, he’s squashed those rumours.

Scott spoke to Variety recently while he was doing press junkets for his latest biblical epic, Exodus: Gods and Kings. He said that he won’t be directing the sequel and wasn’t particularly open in talking about it, however he was open to talking about someone who is definitely returning to the project. That ‘face’ is the original film’s hero: the titular android killing bounty hunter, Rick Deckard, played by Harrison Ford, “Harrison is very much part of this one.”

Harrison Ford has just finished shooting Star Wars: The Force Awakens, where he reprises another role in the form of the space hopping Han Solo. It may seem like Ford is just going down one nostalgia trip after another with these old roles, but the script has to be right, and that’s something Scott thinks is going to be a strong component of the film.

“We talked at length about what it could be, and came up with a pretty strong three-act storyline, and it all makes sense in terms of how it relates to the first one.” said Scott, whose screenwriters Hampton Fancher (Blade Runners original scribe) and Michael Green (writer of 2011s Green Lantern) have both performed a lot of tweaking of the script since the project was first announced back in 2011.

It may sound like Scott might be just paving over the cracks, and saying the script is strong to attract more attention to the project, while he doesn’t think it is that strong at all. However, even when Scott’s Alcon Entertainment production green lit the sequel, it was always rumoured that Scott was not going to be able to direct. As he hinted back in August this year that he’s “got a lot of ducks in a row.”

He certainly has, currently his ‘ducks’ are coming thick and fast. He is due to shoot his upcoming sci-fi thriller, The Martian, starring Matt Damon as an lone astronaut on Mars, which is due to start production early next year, with Blade Runner 2 shooting straight after that, then the Prometheus sequel following that. Scott is not going to drop The Martian so it comes down to a difficult choice whether to direct either the Prometheus sequel or Blade Runner 2. Plus, Scott has also got a TV mini-series in the pipeline for FX called, The Hot Zone. However, in the past few days, he’s completely changed his tune.

Harrison Ford in the original Blade Runner (1982).“it’s about finding him (Ford); he comes in in the third act.”

In an interview with Yahoo a couple of days ago, Scott was quick to pounce on the fact that everyone now thinks he is not directing the Blade Runner sequel, “I don’t know about (not directing it) yet,” he said. “The script is very, very good. Very good… here we are. It’s sitting there, ready to be made.”

It certainly sounds like his words were taken out of context the first time around, or perhaps the lure of returning to the universe that made him one of the finest science fiction directors around was too strong. I mean, if the script is that good, and the fact that Harrison Ford is returning, maybe the little voice inside of him is telling him to jump at this opportunity, especially as his recent films haven’t exactly been box office successes.

For anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of viewing the 1982 original, the plot centred on a blade runner, called Rick Deckard who is a futuristic type of bounty hunter that must pursue and try to terminate, or ‘retire’ four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator.

Rick Deckard finds himself confronted with a moral problem as he falls in love with a replicant who reminds him that replicants can have emotions to. So, Deckard plunges head first into a dark, neon lit, futuristic Los Angeles underbelly that explores themes of mortality and human mastery of genetic engineering.

You may have heard of this kind of plot before, but when the original novel was published in 1968, under the name of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? it was ahead of its time in terms of theme and overall vision of the future – so much ahead of its time that the themes it explored like those of mortality and genetic engineering, are still relevant today; meaning that the Blade Runner sequel could tackle those themes again, with possibly a new bounty hunter, but they could be explored in a unique way that echoes society’s fear of morality in today’s world. With the threat of nuclear wars and the Ebola virus, and the advanced technology which in the very near future could be possible, it seems that a Blade Runner sequel would work quite well now: unless, of course, the screenwriters make it like the novel’s sequel, written by K. W. Jeter in 1995.

The novel’s sequel, called Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human, was a similar plot to the first film, where Deckard has to track down a sixth replicant, while he was also being hunted by another Blade Runner. The book tried to address some of the film’s plot holes, but ultimately, fell flat.  I’m sure Michael Green and Hampton Fancher have got bigger and better ideas than a copy and paste plot.

In addition, if there is going to be a new director, that lucky person might have the chance to show their unique vision for science fiction, because, after all, Blade Runner is an artistically varied world which has not been seen on film much since the original. You have on the one hand this rural Los Angeles with hover cars and rich, art deco buildings, and on the other hand, a dingy, dark, poverty stricken, and seedy underbelly where crime occurs at the passing of every corner.

Be sure to let me know below whether you think Ridley Scott will direct it or not.