Legendary filmmaker Ridley Scott has dropped the bombshell that he no longer plans to direct the long-awaited sequel to ‘Blade Runner’ - and also hints we shouldn’t expect to see too much of Harrison Ford in the film either.
The news that Scott, Ford and screenwriter Hampton Fancher were to at last revisit the 1981 science fiction classic - not long after revisited his other sci-fi classic, 1979’s ‘Alien,’ with 2012 prequel ‘Prometheus’ - was met with widespread excitement.
As such, many fans may be feeling let down as Scott reveals to Variety that he has relinquished directorial duties on the sequel to the story of the world-weary cop (Ford) charged with hunting down rogue replicants (artificial humans) in the then-far off year of 2019…
Though now revered as a masterpiece, Scott’s ambitious adaptation of Philip K Dick’s novel ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ was a critical and commercial flop on release - and an expensive one, budgeted at a then-astronomical $30 million.
In the years since, the film’s initial lukewarm response has often been attributed to edits imposed by Warner Bros, who insisted on adding an explanatory voiceover track and tacking on a happy ending. These were subsequently removed in Scott’s director’s cut, released to VHS in 1993.
Hampton Fancher went on to script a semi-sequel in ‘Soldier,’ which was filmed in 1998 by Paul WS Anderson with Kurt Russell in the lead - though the less said about that the better.
Of this official ‘Blade Runner’ follow-up, Scott says that he and Fancher “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.”
Of Ford’s role as Deckard - the replicant hunter who, it has long been speculated, may in fact be a replicant himself - Scott says, “Harrison is very much part of this one, but really it’s about finding him; he comes in in the third act.”
An astonishingly prolific filmmaker for a man approaching 77, Scott is currently promoting his new release ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings,’ whilst working on his next film, ‘The Martian.’
Scott will still produce the ‘Blade Runner’ sequel for Alcon Entertainment, and the film is still expected to shoot at some point in the next year - although no replacement director has been named.
Though Scott does not specify what he will shoot next, it seems likely to be the sequel to ‘Prometheus.’
Picture Credit: Warner Bros, WENN