It was a solid year ago when Giant Freakin Robot exclusively reported that a live-action Blade Runner series was on the way. It took a long time for that news to be publicly confirmed, and we were anxiously waiting for more progress on this next step for the franchise. A few months ago, Giant Freakin Robot learned that Ridley Scott wants Harrison Ford in the live-action Blade Runner series. Now, we have an exciting update. A trusted and proven inside source has shared that Harrison Ford is in talks for Blade Runner 2099.
It’s a relief to hear that they’re finally, officially, in talks. Of course, Harrison Ford only just finished filming on Indiana Jones 5, so the actor has been busy, and Ridley Scott only announced the title of the project recently. Fans waiting for more Blade Runner news may measure the time differently than the busy people behind the scenes. While our source wasn’t able to confirm any more details, hearing that they’ve finally entered talks on this is great progress.
It would be fair to say that announced news on the official live-action series has been sparse, but there’s enough information to draw some pretty interesting conclusions. We know that a live-action series is happening. We know that prior to Harrison Ford entering these talks, Ridley Scott had already written the pilot episode and series bible for the new show. And we know that the live-action series is called Blade Runner 2099. Based on the sequel Blade Runner 2049, it is a safe bet that the number 2099 indicates the year the series will take place, as that’s what happened with 2049. Assuming that’s true, and knowing that the original movie took place in a fictional 2019, Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard will be seen in 2019, 2049, and then 50 years later in 2099. Is the man a replicant?
So far, the movies have not come out and said that Rick Deckard is a replicant. At one point, Harrison Ford asked Ridley Scott about this. He wanted a clear answer and didn’t get one. This frustrated Ford, as it did fans. Then, a few years ago, Ridley Scott was in an interview and just said straight out, “Yes, he’s a replicant.” Of course, to that, we have to say that it only counts if you show it on screen, Mr. Scott. Saying it in interviews does not make it canon–not really. And perhaps that’s part of his inspiration for making this new series. Putting Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard in the year 2099 should pretty well confirm that we’re talking about a character who is a replicant. Right?
We have aging issues here, obviously. If we continue to assume that Blade Runner 2099 indicates that the year is 2099, and we assume that Harrison Ford is going to be seen as Rick Deckard in 2099 and not in flashback scenes to prior years, then shouldn’t he be really really old? We’ve established that new model replicants can age. Maybe we’ll establish that Harrison Ford is aging differently? Maybe we’ll use CGI to mix things up a bit?
It’s very unclear how they’ll handle this, but it seems extremely likely that bringing Harrison Ford into 2099 means that the new series is going to deal heavily with the issue of Rick Deckard’s status as a replicant, which is pretty wild if you think about it. Sci-fi fans are fairly used to having these kinds of major questions go unanswered. The idea is for the audience to be able to discuss them forever, having fandom debates that can go on for years. Are we going to be excited when Ridley Scott answers this question once and for all? Or is it going to be a little disappointing to have the debate be over? Here’s hoping he raises more questions fans can dissect with this new installment.