Producers of the long-awaited sequel to Blade Runner have confirmed its original star, the industrious Harrison Ford, is on board. Ford’s fame is built on a number of iconic roles from the 80s, including Indiana Jones, and he’s not afraid to reprise them when called upon.
The untitled follow-up will be directed by maverick Dennis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Enemy), a shrewd choice considering his back catalogue of compact, arresting thrillers. Villeneuve’s striking visual style will be well-received in a franchise that already boasts deeply atmospheric world-building.
Purportedly based on a story by Ridley Scott, the film is being written by Hampton Fancher, a co-writer of the original movie. He will be joined by Michael Green on script duties. At present, there is no release date.
The original Blade Runner was an adaptation of a short story called Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by sci-fi novelist, Phillip K Dick. Strangely, reality is catching up with Scott’s vision of the future.
Blade Runner, similarly to The Terminator, appears to be more relevant than ever, considering the likes of AI, the singularity, and purported threat of a robot-apocalypse, are hot topics across a number of fields in academia.
Although 32 years old, Blade Runner’s metropolis of Los Angeles in 2019 bears resemblance to current modern cities and city-states concentrated in South-East Asia (Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore). Even the linguistic and ethnic mish-mash of these hyper-modern locales reflects the end-game of globalisation in the original.
Similarly, the technocratic corporations of Silicone Valley mirror the Tyrell oligarchy of Blade Runner lore. Although a prophetic franchise, AI, the central thematic of the Blade Runner world, remains elusive in the real world. Only time and ingenuity will tell whether robots can learn to think outside the parameters of their programming.