It was just reported that French-Canadian director Denis Villenuve (Enemy, Prisoners, Sicario) is said to be negotiations to replace Ridley Scott on Blade Runner 2. Harrison Ford is confirmed to reprise the role of Deckard, but isn’t the main protagonist of the film as the film is set decades later and Ford like;y won’t be showing-up until the third act.
Villenuve isn’t as well known as a director as Scott but has proven himself perfect for this kind of material via his films Prisoners, Enemy and the upcoming thriller Sicario. It’ll be interesting to see him play-around this science fiction sandbox since they did need a director who could recapture the noire tone of the original.
Scott was pursued for years to direct the film by Alcon, but ultimately will stay-on as a producer. Since Fox needed him to return for the final installment of the Prometheus saga with it’s sequel Paradise (old working title), which is said to start production sometime in September.
As a huge fan of the original film and seeing all the different cuts of the film. I have a couple of ideas of what direction I’d like to see this film go. If you haven’t seen The Final Cut version of Blade Runner I’d highly recommend checking it out.
The Off-World Colonies were teased in the original film but obviously the budget wasn’t there to explore that besides in brief exposition. In the colonies replicants are essentially slaves which are forced into all sorts of brutal forced servitude including mining, murder and prostitution. An uprising on the colonies has always been something I’ve been dying to see realized, but this of course all depends on what direction they are pursuing. I just hope the story isn’t Earth centric again since we’ve already seen this and technology has caught-up with the film’s scope.
There are actually three novel sequels to the original story by Philip K. Dick. The first one is Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human by K.W. Jeter, check out a bit of the book’s synopsis below. I don’t think they’d pursue this as a main plot because so much time has passed, but flashbacks wouldn’t be out of the question. The book reveals that replicants are based on actual humans.
After the events shown in the movie, Deckard has retired to an isolated shack outside the city. He has stolen the replicant Rachael in a Tyrell transport container, which slows down the replicant aging process to prevent lengthy transportation counting against their four-year lifespan, only releasing her for brief intervals.
Deckard is approached by a woman identical to Rachael, who explains she is Sarah Tyrell, human niece of Eldon Tyrell, heiress to the entire Tyrell Corporation and the human template (templant) for the Rachael replicant.
Sarah asks Deckard to hunt down the “missing” sixth replicant, as mentioned by Bryant in the movie.
The other two books also written by Jeter titled Blade Runner 3: Replicant Night and Blade Runner 4: Eye and Talon. Book three had Deckard leave Earth to travel to the distant off-world colonies that included one on Mars where Sarah Tyrell was located and the population was going insane by a lack of stimulation.
Having exhausted the avenues for Deckard the final novel focused on a female Blade Runner named Iris who is tasked to find Eldon’s synthetic Owl which holds some importance for the Tyrell Corporation. It’s revealed it contains a backup of Tyrell’s personality which could allow the company to resurrect Eldon as a replicant.
It’s been established by Ridley Scott via Prometheus that Eldon Tyrell was a mentor of Peter Weyland, meaning these two films are set within the same cinematic universe. I’ll be curious to see if Alcon and 20th Century Fox can play nice allowing some sort of crossover. Screenwriter Michael Green wrote both Blade Runner 2 and Prometheus 2, so it’s possible that’s already been included in the scripts. Perhaps, having Weyland Enterprises taking-over the Tyrell Corporation in the wake of his murder by Roy Batty in the original film, or having the remaining Tyrell replicants hiding-out at Weyland colonies.
In the fourth Blade Runner book they had established an off-world colony on Mars and in Prometheus they have Weyland building a colony on Mars. Funny enough, Ridley Scott’s next film The Martian is set on the red planet.
While Harrison Ford is confirmed as returning he’s said not to show-up until the third act, I’d love to see someone like Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler, Prisoners, Southpaw, Source Code) take the Deckard mantle. It doesn’t hurt that Jake previously worked with Villeneuve on Prisoners and Enemy. He’s also earned a lot of creditability from roles like Nightcrawler and his transformation for the upcoming boxing flick Southpaw.
Actresses I’d love to see considered for roles like Sarah Tyrell, Iris or new characters include Emma Stone, Rinko Kikuchi and Alexandra Daddario.
Another must have is having production artist Syd Mead (Aliens, Blade Runner, Tron) return, since he’s still working recently helping to create the world for Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium. Although, this will be set many decades from the original film it would be nice to see Syd get involved with the film.