In terms of science-fiction franchises, Blade Runner is getting the kind of second life we always dreamed about when the original movie came out almost 40(!) years ago. In the last few years, we’ve gotten updated stories in this universe with an animated series on the way as well. And it looks like things aren’t going to stop there. The Hollywood Reporter has it that Ridley Scott is in development on a Blade Runner live-action series and a significant amount of work has already been done on this new project. This news from filmmaker Ridley Scott confirms our exclusive report from nine months ago. We reported at that time that one of our trusted and proven inside sources had learned of a live-action series in the works. Now, Ridley Scott is finally opening up about the project.
While promoting his upcoming movie House of Gucci, Ridley Scott got into some other projects he was working on, the Blade Runner live-action series included. During the interview, Scott said that he and his team had already completed the script for the series pilot as well as the “bible” which is the overall template and outline for how a series is structured and how it will take shape. Scott also said that he thought it would break down as a 10-hour series meaning that 10 episodes were likely going to comprise the first run. This is a massively exciting prospect for IP that’s almost made for a new series, complimenting what we’ve gotten in the movie world.
There was no word from Scott on where this Blade Runner live-action series would land in terms of programming. The owner of the franchise is Alcon Entertainment which isn’t tied to a particular streaming service. The next show in the franchise, the animated Blade Runner: Black Lotus is set to land on the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block and obviously that doesn’t work for this new project. Alcon has done deals with other original content including putting The Expanse on Amazon Prime. It stands to reason there would be significant bidding for this new series.
Blade Runner getting a new live-action series follows a franchise resurgence over the last couple of years. The original film starring Harrison Ford came out all the way back in 1982, adapted from the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. It was a dark, dystopian, noir look at a future in which replicants are identical to humans and the titular blade runners are tasked with hunting down the rogue ones. The flick ended up as a cult classic and finally got a sequel in 2017 with Blade Runner 2049 which brought back Ford and added Ryan Gosling to the mix. The $259 million box office haul was disappointing considering the $180(ish) million budget.
Though it didn’t get a follow-up movie, Giant Freakin Robot had the exclusive that a Blade Runner 3 was in development. That might still be the case or this new project could have been the logical pivot if Ridley Scott and company realized they had a much bigger story on their hands. Considering the world they’ve built with the first two movies, along with the stunning visuals we’ve already seen in the first looks at Black Lotus, it appears the time is now to give the story even more life. A full series might just be the perfect thing for Blade Runner.