Have Your Say: May BLADE RUNNER 2 Turn Out Right?

Associate Editor, Features; Rotterdam, The Netherlands (@ardvark23)
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Have Your Say: May BLADE RUNNER 2 Turn Out Right?
Say of director Ridley Scott what you want, but decades ago the man made two science fiction films which turned out to be so great, so influential, that even today we can still everywhere see the waves they created. These two films were, of course, 1979's Alien and 1982's Blade Runner.

While Alien has had its share of sequels, cross-overs, and spin-offs (some of them awesome, many of them terrible), Blade Runner proved harder to turn into a franchise of sorts. For starters, the film wasn't the runaway financial success that Alien had been, with many critics and audiences giving it a lukewarm welcome upon its initial release.

But time has been incredibly kind to Blade Runner, or rather the film has wrestled time itself to the ground and beaten it to a pulp. It's hard to think of near-future dystopian worlds in film which haven't somehow been influenced by it. The creators of some of the most famous examples, like Akira and Ghost in the Shell, have openly acknowledged they were heavily inspired by Blade Runner.
And of course there is Paul W. S. Anderson Soldier, adapted from a Harlan Ellison story and famously rumored to take place in Blade Runner's universe.

Let's put that last one aside for a moment, for we now have a real honest-to-goodness sequel about to be shot: Blade Runner 2 is in production, with Canadian genius Denis Villeneuve as its director, and an increasingly killer cast attached.

Making a sequel so long after an iconic original seems a spectacularly bad idea, but George Miller proved last year with Mad Max: Fury Road that it's not impossible (just damn hard).
So... given the people involved, are we right in feeling cautiously optimistic? Or are we deluding ourselves?

Chime in, in the comments below, and HAVE YOUR SAY!
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Steve DennisApril 5, 2016 10:06 AM

I'm hoping it's better than Soldier.

Seriously though, this is going to live or die on it's script/story. Luckily, we have the screenwriter behind... Green Lantern? GREEN LANTERN?!

Ard VijnApril 5, 2016 11:11 AM

Ehm... yeah, there's that.

Ard VijnApril 5, 2016 11:12 AM

I'm hoping that instead of a rehash, we'll be getting something completely different yet obviously from the same mold.
Like Oshii's INNOCENCE, his follow-up to GHOST IN THE SHELL.

ManateeAdvocateApril 5, 2016 11:14 AM

Oh, now that is a wonderful example. If only we could be so fortunate.

ManateeAdvocateApril 5, 2016 11:15 AM

Yeah, it's a struggle to get excited or hopeful with that pedigree attached.

YojimboApril 5, 2016 1:58 PM

Let's hope he is more of a science fiction fan than a comic book fan.

bricriu .April 5, 2016 2:05 PM

is there going to be an octopus?

UilickMcGeeApril 5, 2016 3:41 PM

Blade Runner was such a fantastic mash of balls before brains, happy accidents and a very unique mix of talent, in front of and behind the camera. It's essentially our modern day equivalent of an epic poem. By all counts the film should have been a disaster. What we got instead was lightning in a bottle.

The movie went right to the core of what it is to be human, regardless of whether you are real or artificial. It was a grand cautionary tale of what we risk becoming, losing our world and ourselves in lives of onward despondent pursuits. All of us becoming Blade Runners and living for...nothing. Waiting for our time to die.

How do you follow that up? Why would you even want to?

kidlazarusApril 5, 2016 4:03 PM

Despite not being a PKD property, In an abstract way Denis Villeneuve's Enemy (based on Jose Saramago's the double) can already stake claim.

r0rschachApril 5, 2016 4:21 PM

"Why would you even want to?" is the perfect, one sentence answer to this sequel, and to all sequels to classic standalone films. Every single time fans fall all over themselves asking if maybe this next upcoming sequel/remake to a hallowed favorite will finally be the one that isn't a stain on the legacy of the original. By now we ought to know that there's a 95% chance it will be a meritless cash grab that we'll have utterly forgotten about within a year of release.

I think film fans should remember what it was about these classics that made us fall in love with them. A big part of what made them great was the originality, telling a story in a way that hadn't been done before. Rather than getting excited about these attempts to monetize our nostalgia, we should be looking to fresh voices with new takes on genre storytelling. You can see Midnight Special in theaters right now, I found that film way more exciting than someone attempting to ape the style of Blade Runner 35 years later.

cjohnstonApril 5, 2016 5:00 PM

WACKO - FANTASTIC film, that Is...

kidlazarusApril 5, 2016 5:03 PM

highly underappreciated. the hate heaped on Enemy boggles my mind.

cjohnstonApril 5, 2016 5:04 PM

pardon the brief expletive but,

~ DAMN STRAIGHT. ~

UilickMcGeeApril 5, 2016 5:05 PM

Name association; the assurance that you will make a profit by having those two words on your poster. Even if it's bilge, it'll be "Roll-up Roll-up, come see the amazing Bilge!".
Very cynical outlook, but that doesn't mean it's not true.
Otherwise, why aren't we out franchising new universes unto the public consciousness?

It's sad in many ways that a lot of those so quick to roll the dice on another Blade Runner are the same who cherish the original so much (or at least claim to). They're probably all skin-jobs...

cjohnstonApril 5, 2016 5:11 PM

..i can only see this heading in the + direction.

....Bautista just keeps getting Better and Better with his performances...
...Robin Wright has the Looks, the Brains, and (cue the slight eyebrow raise) the Brawn to own her role.. *The Congress and Adore = some of the BEST cinematic ambrosia you'll ever get..

....and (i'm calling the audible ahead of time here..)...
~ ~
~ Villeneuve + cast (up till now) --- for the win.
*as much as Blade Runner is/and was REAL Good; ....(as Blasphemous as this might be) i'd even put in print that this one (COULD) be Even Better than the original.

Todd BrownApril 5, 2016 5:23 PM

And the irony here is that the original film basically ended the Shaw Brothers.

UilickMcGeeApril 5, 2016 5:39 PM

I'll see your Shaw Brothers and raise you Alcon Entertainment!

Gopal NatarajanApril 5, 2016 7:01 PM

Hopefully they don't take the "Star Wars Ep.7" approach and just rehash the original movie with different characters.

Paul MApril 5, 2016 7:56 PM

Actually the Westwood video game from '97 deserves recognition as a sequel, what with many of the original voice cast in a story taking place simultaneous with the movie, perhaps a remastering is in order.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

As long as they don't force Harrison Ford to provide another narration explaining the plot for moviegoers who don't understand science fiction, I'll be happy.

If they do go for a narrator, I nominate Ben Stein.

dustin changApril 5, 2016 9:26 PM

This is what I hope too. Blade Runner being one of my absolute favorites of all time, any remake, reboot, sequel/prequel will only disappoint. The beauty of the original aside from the casts was its impeccable production design and art direction, all using miniature models. I hope Villeneuve and the new team won't heavily rely on CGI.

suckit15694April 5, 2016 10:23 PM

perfect !

stripeyApril 6, 2016 3:59 AM

Please, please, PLEASE don't fuck it up :'(

r0rschachApril 6, 2016 12:27 PM

Yeah, that was a great game. Such a rarity among games based on film properties, especially at the time.

deeApril 6, 2016 9:48 PM

What IS it with internet "journalists" these days? This is the second time in only half a day I've seen "facts" used in a story that were completely fabricated. It's the INTERNET for chrissake! The least you mooks could do is double-check on some wishy washy site like Wikipedia. "Soldier" was written by David Webb Peoples -- who wrote the adaptation of "!2 Monkeys" and the Oscar-winning script, "Unforgiven". Is there some homage in the Peoples script? Undoubtedly. Is it "based on Harlan Ellison's short story -- or his "Outer Limits" teleplay from that short story? No. The movie shares the same, innocuous, story title as Ellison's short story and his teleplay. That's it. I suspect the writer of this article was actually lazy enough to misremember, misconstrue, a TRUE story involving James Cameron, who admitted -- on tape -- to pilfering Ellison's "Solider" and "Demon With a Glass Hand" screenplays when writing "The Terminator" (Cameron lost, justifiably, in court for that).

Ard VijnApril 7, 2016 5:03 AM

Whoops, my mistake. When I read up on previous Blade Runner adaptations (like the videogame) I saw Anderson's Soldier movie mentioned, and that it was based on a Harlan Ellison story. "Cool, never knew that" I thought, and forgot to double-check if it was actually true before putting it in the article. Damn. I'll amend the text.

moebius_risingApril 19, 2016 2:34 AM

Hopefully someone on the internet doesn't rehash tired recycled and unpopular opinions like "Ep. 7 was rubbish". Because you are very much in the minority. Marginalized actually. (And about three months too late to the party)

Gopal NatarajanApril 19, 2016 6:54 PM

Awwww, did somewone's feewings get huwt?
The opinion that "SW:TFA" suffers from a shoddy retread script is pretty much in the majority; not marginalized in the least. Arguing otherwise just smacks of fanboi butthurt.

And as for being 2000-and-late, aren't you the one who's replying to a two week old post with a discredited opinion? Irony.