It took a great many years for 1982’s Blade Runner to get a follow-up. Today, we aren’t going to have quite as long of a wait. Blade Runner 2049 was released in theaters in 2017. Now, thanks to work from one of our trusted and proven inside sources, we’ve learned that Blade Runner 3 is in development.
At this time, the movie is still in the early stages, so we don’t yet have answers to the biggest questions. It sounds like the studio still has a lot of major decisions to make at this stage. What we do know is that the studio is actively moving forward, which is big news. After the box office disappointments for Blade Runner 2049, it was very unclear whether Blade Runner 3 would ever happen. The second movie was visually stunning and had the talents of Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling. The director, Denis Villeneuve, still has the industry’s confidence for big-budget films–as evidenced by his work on the upcoming Dune movie–so why shouldn’t the studio still also believe that Blade Runner 3 could be a big-budget winner?
Despite how iconic Blade Runner is, we don’t have all that many stories set in the world. Yet. Blade Runner: Black Lotus is an anime series on the way. The videos teasing the show so far have all been gorgeous looks at what the world can be. It’s the kind of thing that can help get audiences excited and ready for a Blade Runner 3 and raise questions about what the third movie will involve. Harrison Ford is now 79 years old. He’s currently filming Indiana Jones 5. Will he want to sign on for a third Blade Runner? Will they decide to leave the ending as it was for his character?
Another big question is what they’ll need to make Blade Runner 3 a financial success this time around. The first Blade Runner wasn’t exactly an out-of-the-park hit at the box office, despite the fact that it’s a beloved piece of modern science fiction starring Harrison Ford. It earned $41.5 million at the box office on a $30 million budget. The sequel, Blade Runner 2049, was released in theaters in 2017. The live-action visuals were stunning, but it, too, underperformed at the box office. On a budget estimated at $150 to $185 million, it earned back $260 million at the global box office. It’s been said that the studio needed it to make $400 million.
For many, this made Blade Runner 3 seem less likely. After all, the second film had that budget, and the combined star power of Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, which means the studio likely expected $600 million+. Producer Ridley Scott says he knows why it underperformed: it was too long. He shared that he would have cut 30 minutes from the film.
Ridley Scott directed the first film, produced the second, and said he knew why it failed. Will he decide to direct Blade Runner 3 and prove he can turn it into a box office success? He’s still on the field making science-fiction stories today.
Hopefully, there are a bunch of executives in a room right now, figuring out exactly who they need to call in order to make the best end result for Blade Runner 3 that they possibly can.