Sorry Harrison Ford: Blade Runner Sequel Will Feature Female Protagonist
05.19.12 by Ryan
Since word got out that Alcon Entertainment had secured the rights to director Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner there's lots of questions about the project. Would it be a "prequel or sequel"? That question was answered when Alcon officially announced that original Blade Runner screenwriter Hampton Fancher would work with Scott to "develop the idea" for an original screenplay of a sequel that would take place "some years after the first film concluded." Then there was the question of Harrison Ford returning as retired police officer Rick Deckard. Though Scott won't confirm or deny that he planned to bring back Ford, he did admit that "nothing would please me more" than to bring Ford back if Deckard was going to be used in the sequel . While it's still possible for Ford to appear in the movie, it looks like he wouldn't be the star.
In a recent interview with The Daily Beast, Scott revealed that, at the very least, Ford wouldn't be needed as the lead for the Blade Runner sequel.
Funny enough, I started my first meetings on the Blade Runner sequel last week. We have a very good take on it. And we’ll definitely be featuring a female protagonist.
In many ways, Scott's declaration shouldn't come as a surprise. The director has done much to popularize the use of female protagonists, from Sigourney Weaver in 1979's Alien to Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis in 1991's Thelma & Louise, which Scott admitted "epitomized" his use of female protagonists.
The evolution of taking the side of the woman, as far as my career’s concerned, is epitomized by Thelma & Louise. The budget was very slender — about $15 million — because nobody wanted to make it. I first came on as producer, and I was selling the notion to four or five male directors — this was made over 20 years ago, so there weren’t many female directors to do it — that the movie should be an epic about two women on their journey for freedom. One director who turned me down said, "I’ve got a problem with the women," and I said, "Well you’re meant to, you dope!" So I thought that I should direct it myself.
Scott's latest use of a female protagonist is in the June 8th release of Prometheus, and while Scott says that a female lead is "considered normal" in modern movies, it's still a consideration for studios.
It’s far more considered normal to have a female in the lead, and yet, studios will always look at the bottom line and the value of a female lead versus a male lead globally, because none of the budgets for these films are getting any smaller, so they have to take into account the bottom line from a business standpoint.
Clearly, for Alcon and Scott, a female protagonist meets the bottom line needs of a Blade Runner sequel. Sorry, Mr. Ford.