Thursday, 18 August 2011

Hollywood Babble On & On #785: Blade Runner 2?

Word has just hit the internet that producer Alcon Entertainment has contracted Ridley Scott to direct a sequel to his 1982 science fiction classic Blade Runner.

If you've lived in a cave for the last 30 years,
Blade Runner is an adaptation of Phillip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep, about a cop/bounty hunter hybrid named Rick Deckard whose job is to hunt down renegade androids or "replicants" who are running wild in a dark, smoky and almost always raining version of Los Angeles in the faraway year of 2019.

The original film was a
tour de force sparking decades of many imitations, deep meditations, and high expectations. It was also a massive commercial bomb during its initial theatrical release, only to have a second life in the then nascent medium of home video. A restored "Director's Cut" was released theatrically and to home video in the 1990s, and in recent years special DVDs of all the versions of the film were released to much rejoicing by Blade Runner fanatics.

So what will the follow up be like? Well, let's look at the pros and cons....


1. CREATIVE ROOM: One of the things that made the original Blade Runner great was that you got the sense that the universe it was set in went way beyond Deckard and his runaway replicants. There is room to grow, places to explore, and the possibilities of new stories set in this over crowded, over industrialized world that looks like film noir on irradiated steroids.

2. FAN BASE: A lot of people grew up using the original Blade Runner as the benchmark of quality science fiction cinema. It was visually stunning, with a complex narrative that was open to all sorts of interpretations. They'd love to see more of this enthralling dystopia.


1. FAN BASE: Those same fans, myself among them, are going to hold any sequel or follow up, of any kind, to Blade Runner to a standard that I fear might be impossible to meet. We can't help it, we just love that movie so damn much.

2. SPECIAL EFFECTS: Back when Blade Runner first exploded onto the screen the imagery was even more mind blowing than you can imagine. Not only were they impressive to look at, back then you knew that skilled craftsmen had to burn serious calories to create those images. Now, when you see some fantastical landscape your reaction is going to be more: "Oh, look, someone got some new software for their computer. They can render nose hairs now." Effects don't wow audiences anymore the way they used to.

3. FILMMAKERS: I hate to include Ridley Scott as a potential "con," but I don't have a choice. His output lately has been iffy at best. Look at his record for the 10 years since his war picture Black Hawk Down and American Gangster is the only film anyone actually liked. The rest were forgettable at best, atrocious at worst, and pretty much all of them cost way more than they were worth. I fear that this proposed sequel is going to end up costing $250-$300 million and be as miserable as Robin Hood.

4. STORY: As I said before, the Blade Runner universe has room beyond the movie for stories. The first question is, will the producers use that room, or will they just do a rehash of what went on before, only with exponentially more money being spent. The second question is: Which version will be the subject of the sequel? The theatrical cut, the director's cut, the international cut, the final cut, the janitor's cut.... which one dammit?

So while I won't condemn the idea of a follow up to Blade Runner, I am going to worry about it.


  1. It's interesting.

    I'm not a huge fan of the original movie but I did like it enough to buy it on DVD. I couldn't tell you, without walking to the next room and looking, which particular version of the movie I have.

    With that said, I bought the 25th anniversary edition of the book and didn't make it past the first chapter.

    And I'm a fairly rabid Science Fiction Fan.

    It is one of the very, very few examples of Book vs Movie where, in my opinion, the Movie wins.

  2. I read the book in the 6th grade. And I who liked the book as a separate entity all on it's own have to admit that to some people Phillip K. Dick can be an acquired taste.

    He was the master of the mind bending concept.

  3. Why not a ZARDOZ remake here is my dream cast.

    Zac Efron as Zed what teen girl would not want to see him in a red diaper bandoleer and hooker boots

    Demi Lovato as Conseula she needs to get back on screen after her treatment. I will get a erection just listening to her talk about the theory of erection.

    Linsday Lohan as a Avalow - She spends the entire film topless and stoned. Not much of a stretch for LiLo.

  4. jepressman20/8/11 3:47 am

    I suppose if Sir Ridley is intent on doing Blade Runner, the sequel, then how about a story set on one of those off worlds. You know that idea is mentioned in the movie. This future isn't exactly the gloomy one from Terminator or one of those armageddon pictures. Maybe it isn't pretty but it can be damn interesting.But please no cutsie guys with rippling abs and shiny white chicklets teeth.Also no latex outfits or metal suits or humans who can fly through the air with the greatest of ease.