When Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner was first released in 1982, it was hailed as a modern day “meh.” The film was only a moderate success following a disappointing opening weekend, and most audiences initially overlooked it—which isn’t all that surprising when you consider that it opened against Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, John Carpenter’s The Thing and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. Critics were also somewhat split on it, but most enjoyed it, and the film received several accolades come award season.
But accolades don’t pay the bills, and it was a few years before Blade Runner really began to gain the recognition and support that would eventually help define it as one of the seminal science-fiction movies ever made. And one person that never gave up on it was Scott, who over the years “Lucased” the movie, and had a hand in re-releasing several different versions. Thankfully, none of them featured the character of Deckard shooting first, but in total, there have been seven versions of the film–although it wasn’t until 1992’s Director’s Cut that Scott was consulted on the new versions.
Regardless of the cut of the film, Blade Runner has left its mark, so it was really only a matter of time before someone in Hollywood succeeded in resurrecting the franchise–many have tried to create a sequel to Blade Runner over the years, but they have all failed. Earlier this year, Alcon Entertainment secured the rights to the property. Those rights included the possibility of any prequels or sequels, as well as any new stories based on the movie, but prohibited the possibility of remaking the original film. There may be some loopholes regarding the possibility of re-adapting the original source material, Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, from which the movie was only very loosely based, but Alcon seemed content to develop films based on the original. But what would Blade Runner be without the involvement of Scott?
According to Deadline, Ridley Scott has signed on produce and direct a new Blade Runner film based on the original. It isn’t clear if the new movie will be a prequel or a sequel, but it will not be a remake. There is no script yet, and a new film could be years away, but Scott has confirmed his involvement.
It has been something of a nostalgic year for Scott, who is currently working on the film Prometheus, a new movie that is being called a “cousin” to Scott’s original Alien film. Prometheus is part prequel and part reimagining, but it still fits into the established Aliens universe, which may be the route the new Blade Runner film takes. Or not. It is still way too early to tell.
But regardless, now that Scott is involved, it is good news for fans of the original. Expect to hear more about the next Blade Runner following the completion of work on Prometheus, which is due in theaters on June 8, 2012.