“Blade Runner” emerged in 1982 as one of the most profound and influential science fiction films of all time. Thanks to a slew of revisions and subsequent releases, including the Director’s Cut and Final Cut, it’s been solidified as a cinema classic. News came last year of a sequel, and this Friday, Feb 27 we received confirmation that original star Harrison Ford will return for the future production.
This is immense news for the upcoming sequel. Ford portrayed protagonist Rick Deckard in the ’82 original. Based on visionary author Philip K. Dick’s novella Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, “Blade Runner” offered a thought-provoking view of technology, memory, and humanity, as wells a gorgeous post-apocalyptic world. While Ford steps back into the trench coat of Deckard, Ridley Scott will not return. Instead, Denis Villeneueve takes over as director. Scott however remains involved as executive producer.
Considering the prowess of the 1982 masterpiece, it’s hard to imagine a follow up matching the initial film. The proliferation of geniuses behind the sequel, however, creates promise. Hampton Fancher, who worked on the original “Blade Runner” script for the original film, collaborated with Scott for the sequel’s screenplay.
Aside from Harrision Ford’s confirmed appearance, as well as input from Ridley Scott and Hampton Fancher, there’s little news of further cast and characters. The continuation of the “Blade Runner” universe could follow Deckard and Rachael (Sean Young), or shift focus to a new story. Writer K. W. Jeter released a novel Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human in 1995, offering a possible plotline.
Sequels on the whole have a rocky history, particularly with regard to sci-fi specifically. “2010: The Year We Make Contact” for instance didn’t quite live up to its predecessor “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Yet certain notable franchises proved that sequels can be successful, and even surpass original entries. “Aliens” met critical acclaim, as did “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” Arguably the finest example of stupendous sequels, “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back” is widely considered stronger than the classic “Episode IV: A New Hope.”
There’s certainly a bevy of potential behind the future “Blade Runner” sequel, bolstered by Harrison Ford’s reprisal of his role as Rick Deckard, and creative input from Ridley Scott and Hampton Fancher. Nevertheless, it’s been over 30 years since the original film debuted. Even if the first cut of the yet unnamed “Blade Runner 2” won’t transcend the 1982 classic, take consolation in the possibility that we’ll get a string of revisions and re-edits. Psyched for another “Blade Runner,” dreading this sequel more than a dystopian universe? Comment below to join the conversation!