It appears that a sequel (or prequel) to Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner could be on the way.
Alcon Entertainment has set plans to develop a franchise based on the original 1982 film and are in final negotiations to secure the rights for development as sequels, prequels, a television series, or all of the above (interestingly, the rights would not allow them to remake or reboot the original). The studio press release explains:
Warner Bros-based financing and production company Alcon Entertainment (The Blind Side, The Book of Eli) co-founders and co-Chief Executive Officers Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove, in the most significant property acquisition negotiations in the Companys 13-year history, are in final discussions to secure film, television and ancillary franchise rights to produce prequels and sequels to the iconic 1982 science-fiction thriller Blade Runner.
Alcon is negotiating to secure the rights from producer-director Bud Yorkin, who will serve as producer on Blade Runner along with Kosove and Johnson. Cynthia Sikes Yorkin will co-produce. Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEOs of Thunderbird Films, will serve as executive producers.
Alcons franchise rights would be all-inclusive, but exclude rights to remake the original. The Company, however, may produce projects based on situations introduced in the original film. The project would be distributed domestically by Warner Bros. International rights are yet to be determined.
Johnson and Kosove stated: We are honored and excited to be in business with Bud Yorkin. This is a major acquisition for our company, and a personal favorite film for both of us. We recognize the responsibility we have to do justice to the memory of the original with any prequel or sequel we produce. We have long-term goals for the franchise, and are exploring multi-platform concepts, not just limiting ourselves to one medium only.
Loosely based on the 1968 Philip K. Dick novel, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, the original film is heralded as seminal cinematic achievement. The novel actually received three “authorized” sequels, written by K.W. Jeter, a friend of Dick’s, entitled “The Edge of Human,” “Replicant Night” and “Eye and Talon.” David Peoples, the co-writer of the 1982 film, also stated his belief that his 1998 film, Soldier (directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and starring Kurt Russell) took place in the same canonical universe.
While attempts at a Blade Runner sequel have been made for decades, the latest iteration is likely on some level influenced by Scott’s return to his first science fiction universe, that of the 1979 film Alien, in the upcoming quasi-prequel, Prometheus.
At this early stage, there is no word of Scott’s potential involvement with the future of the Blade Runner property.