While the internet has been ablaze with news of the Alien franchise continuing in hopefully the proper way, today brings a major development on the future of another Ridley Scott sci-fi franchise. After intermittent updates over the past few years, confirmation has now arrived that Denis Villeneuve (Enemy, Prisoners, Incendies) is in talks to direct a sequel to Blade Runner.
Thanks to a press release from Alcon Entertainment, we’re told that shooting will kick off next summer in 2016 from a script by original Blade Runner co-writer Hampton Fancher and Michael Green (Green Lantern). It’s also confirmed that Harrison Ford will return as Rick Deckard in a story taking place “several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original” a la The Force Awakens.
As for Villeneuve’s involvement, it’s hard to get more excited about a director who has shown he can create such a specific mood in films like Enemy, one of our favorite in the last half-decade. With Villeneuve shooting his last two films with cinematographer Roger Deakins, we’re crossing our fingers he comes on board as well. As we await more updates, check out the press release below and catch up some early short films from Villeneuve here.
DENIS VILLENEUVE IN NEGOTIATIONS TO DIRECT “BLADE RUNNER” SEQUEL
HARRISON FORD TO REPRISE ORIGINAL ROLE AS RICK DECKARD
RIDLEY SCOTT TO EXECUTIVE PRODUCE
LOS ANGELES, CA, FEBRUARY 26, 2015 — Harrison Ford will reprise his celebrated role of Rick Deckard in the sequel to Alcon Entertainment’s BLADE RUNNER and Academy Award nominee Denis Villeneuve to (Prisoners, Incendies) is in negotiations to direct, it was announced by Alcon co-founders and co-CEO’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson.
Film is scheduled to start principle photography in summer of 2016. Hampton Fancher (co-writer of the original) and Michael Green have written the original screenplay based on an idea by Fancher and Ridely Scott.
The story takes place several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original.
State Johnson and Kosove: “We are honored that Harrison is joining us on this journey with Denis Villeneuve, who is a singular talent, as we experienced personally on Prisoners. Hampton and Michael, with Ridley Scott, have crafted a uniquely potent and faithful sequel to one of the most universally celebrated films of all time, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with this amazing, creative team.”
Ford will next be seen in The Age of Adaline for Lionsgate and the highly anticipated upcoming Star Wars for Walt Disney Pictures. Recent releases include the Warner Bros./Legendary box office hit 42.
Villeneuve most recently directed the crime thriller Sicario, staring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and Benecio Del Toro for Black Label Media and Lionsgate. He also directed Canada’s Oscar nominated French language film Incendies, and Alcon Entertainment’s critically acclaimed Prisoners, staring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Alcon Entertainment acquired the film, television and ancillary franchise rights to BLADE RUNNER in 2011 from producer Bud Yorkin to produce prequels and sequels to the iconic science-fiction thriller. Yorkin will serve as a producer on the sequel along with Kosove and Johnson. Cynthia Sikes Yorkin will co-produce.
Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEO’s of Thunderbird Films, will serve as executive producers.
Among its many distinctions, BLADE RUNNER has been singled out as one of the greatest movies of all time by innumerable polls and media outlets, and overwhelmingly as the greatest science-fiction film of all time by a majority of genre publications.
Released by Warner Bros., BLADE RUNNER was adapted by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples from Philip K. Dick’s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” and was directed by Ridley Scott following his landmark Alien.” The film was nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Visual Effects, and Best Art Direction).
BLADE RUNNER was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 1993 and is frequently taught in university courses. In 2007, it was named the 2nd most visually influential film of all time by the Visual Effects Society.
ABOUT ALCON ENTERTAINMENT
Co-founders and co-CEO’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson founded Alcon Entertainment in 1997 with partner Frederick W. Smith, the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of FedEx. Warner Bros. distributes Alcon’s motion pictures via the companies’ long-term output distribution agreement.
Alcon has financed and produced, and/or co-financed/produced 29 films to date, including “My Dog Skip,” the Academy Award nominated Best Picture “The Blind Side,” which earned Sandra Bullock a Best Actress Oscar; “The Book of Eli,” starring Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman; “Insomnia,” starring Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Hilary Swank and directed by Chris Nolan; “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants;” “P.S. I Love You,” starring Hilary Swank; the critically acclaimed “Prisoners,” a dramatic thriller directed by Denis Villeneuve starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Melissa Leo, Terrance Howard and Paul Dano, and the family hit “Dolphin Tale 2,” a sequel to its original starring Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd and Kris Kristofferson. Alcon is currently in production on “Point Break,” a reimagining of the classic action movie filming on four continents starring Edgar Ramirez, Luke Bracey, and Ray Winstone. The Company is also developing a sequel to “Blade Runner” with Ridley Scott.
Alcon Television Group is currently producing a four-hour mini-series documentary for HBO about the life and times of Frank Sinatra, directed Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney; and “The Expanse,” a space thriller for Syfy Network.