There have been rumblings of Blade Runner 2 for years, but it hasn’t been until recently that things really got rolling on the long gestating sequel. That’s not to say it’s been a smooth ride. Ridley Scott, busy with The Martian and Prometheus 2, among other projects, said he wasn’t going to direct. And though star Harrison Ford has appeared enthusiastic, there’s always been the caveat of the script has to be write and it has to fit into his schedule. Now, however, the production has not only secured its star, but has also scored a potential coup, landing Academy Award nominated director Denis Villeneuve.
This isn’t even just some rumor that someone heard from one of their unnamed sources who overheard this tidbit at lunch. The news comes in the form of a press release, and while Ford is firmly in place, Villeneuve is not 100% on board yet, though he is apparently deep in negotiations and more or less concrete. They’re at least sure enough that he’ll sign on that they put out a press release.
Getting Ford back in the fold has been touch-and-go process. Outwardly at least, the 72-year-old actor, who of course recently reprised his role as Han Solo, has seemed game to do the same for Rick Deckard. It wasn’t until recently, however, that this seemed like more than just lip service as he met with Scott in 2013, and last May, Alcon Entertainment started talking to him in earnest. Scott will executive produce, and said, “I sent him [Ford] this [script] and he said it’s the best thing he’s ever read. It’s very relevant to what happened in the first one.”
The story will reportedly take place “several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original.” Hampton Fancher, screenwriter of the 1982 original, and Michael Green (Green Lantern) wrote the script based on an original idea by Fancher and Scott. One report that circulated a while back indicated that Ford’s Deckard character may not even appear in the story until well into the third act, but we’ll have to wait and see about that.
While Villeneuve doesn’t have much sci-fi experience to speak of, or experience working on this scale for that matter, he’s an intriguing choice to take the helm. The Canadian director’s two most recent films, Enemy and Prisoners, are both taut, tense mystery thrillers high on atmosphere and mood, which seems like a perfect fit for the world of Blade Runner. Enemy, the story of a man who sees an exact double of himself, especially is full of quirks and strangeness that also feel like a good match for this gritty, unusual future noir.
Blade Runner 2 will be an interesting project to watch unfold. Principal photography is scheduled to get started in the summer of 2016 with an eye on a 2017 release date.