Blade Runner Screenwriter Hampton Fancher to Develop Sequel with Ridley Scott
05.18.12 by BJSprecher
If 20th Century Fox's Prometheus is even half as intelligent, thrilling, and terrifying as the promotional materials suggest, than the end of acclaimed director Ridley Scott's 30-year hiatus from science fiction may well be considered a revival of, rather than simply a return to, the genre that he helped shape with landmark movies like Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982). We're less than one month away from knowing whether Prometheus lives up to the hype, but Warner Bros.-based production company Alcon Entertainment had enough faith in Scott's vision of the future that it snagged him to direct a new movie set in the Blade Runner universe shortly after acquiring the rights to the property last year.
Scott has been developing the new Blade Runner movie since taking the helm, but as recently as February of this year he was still unsure of whether or not it would be "a prequel or sequel" because there was no screenwriter and no script. Apparently, Scott's meetings with original Blade Runner screenwriter Hampton Fancher were fruitful because Alcon has announced that the new movie will be a sequel set "some years after the first film concluded" and Fancher will be the man to "develop the idea for the original screenplay" with Scott.
In the press release, Alcon co-founders and co-Chief Executive Officers Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove stated:
It is a perfect opportunity to reunite Ridley with Hampton on this new project, one in fact inspired by their own personal collaboration, a classic of cinema if there ever was one.
The original Blade Runner was adapted from the late Philip K. Dick's 1968 sci-fi novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and is set in a dystopic near future in which genetically engineered robots called replicants perform all of the dangerous or menial work humans either can't or don't care to do on off-world colonies. The replicants are banned from Earth so when a group of highly
dangerous replicants start tearing up L.A., Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is called in to find and "retire" them. Though not a commercial hit during its initial theatrical run, Blade Runner became a cult hit and is considered by many to be the pinnacle of the sci-fi genre. It also began Hollywood's obsession with Philip K. Dick, whose works have inspired such movies as A Scanner Darkly, Minority Report, The Adjustment Bureau, Total Recall, and the upcoming Total Recall remake.
The question of Ford's possible involvement in the new Blade Runner movie has popped up on numerous occasions, but Kosove said last year that the movie will be "a total reinvention," which "means doing everything fresh, including casting." Scott gave a less definitive answer a few months ago, saying that he's "not sure" Ford's character, Deckard, will "be a story point" in the new movie, but adding that "nothing" would please him more than if Ford was involved.