'Prisoners' Director in Talks to Helm 'Blade Runner 2' Starring Harrison Ford

Friday, 27 February 2015 08:43 Written by  iamrogue
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'Prisoners' Director in Talks to Helm 'Blade Runner 2' Starring Harrison Ford

A lot just happened on the Blade Runner sequel we never really believed would happen: Harrison Ford is locked down to return as Rick Deckard and Denis Villeneuve is in talks to direct the follow-up to a tried and true scifi classic.

French Canadian helmer Villeneuve first came to the attention of American audiences with 2010's Incendies, then absolutely knocked it out of the park on the dread-soaked, heavy Prisoners.  His second collaboration with Jake Gyllenhaal, Enemy, confirmed beyond a doubt that Villeneuve is the real deal.

Alcon Entertainment, which has been putting together this sequel to Ridley Scott's 1982 masterpiece for the last four years, announced the full involvement of both Ford and the negotiations with Villeneuve.

Originally, Scott himself was set to direct, but late last year the prolific 76-year-old auteur revealed that he's now just producing.

He's not directing, but Scott did develop the screenplay alongside Hampton Fancher, who co-wrote Blade Runner. From there, Green Lantern co-writer Michael Green contributed to the script. “We talked at length about what it could be, and came up with a pretty strong three-act storyline, and it all makes sense in terms of how it relates to the first one,” Scott said in November.

Having surfed an atomic blast in a refrigerator as Indiana Jones, Harrison Ford is going for the trifecta: he's getting behind the wheel of the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and he's going to, um, run blades in this as-yet untitled sequel.

“Harrison is very much part of this one, but really it’s about finding him; he comes in in the third act,” Scott explained.

Since Scott has subsequently gone on record and answered the previously-intriguing question of Deckard's humanity, we'll speculate that Blade Runner 2 follows a new Blade Runner as he attempts to hunt down and retire Ford's gruff skinjob, making Deckard the Kurtz to a younger character's Willard.

That's just speculation, however.  With a director and star in place, expect the pace on Blade Runner 2 to pick up substantially.  Producers Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove were waiting on Scott for quite a while, but now that they're dancing with a new director, this sequel to a sort-of Philip K. Dick adaptation ought to pick up steam quickly.

Here's the press release from Alcon Entertainement:

LOS ANGELES, CA, FEBRUARY 26, 2015 — Harrison Ford will reprise his celebrated role of Rick Deckard in the sequel to Alcon Entertainment’s BLADE RUNNER and Academy Award nominee Denis Villeneuve to (Prisoners, Incendies) is in negotiations to direct, it was announced by Alcon co-founders and co-CEO’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson.

Film is scheduled to start principle photography in summer of 2016. Hampton Fancher (co-writer of the original) and Michael Green have written the original screenplay based on an idea by Fancher and Ridely Scott.

The story takes place several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original.

State Johnson and Kosove: “We are honored that Harrison is joining us on this journey with Denis Villeneuve, who is a singular talent, as we experienced personally on Prisoners. Hampton and Michael, with Ridley Scott, have crafted a uniquely potent and faithful sequel to one of the most universally celebrated films of all time, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with this amazing, creative team.”

Ford will next be seen in The Age of Adaline for Lionsgate and the highly anticipated upcoming Star Wars for Walt Disney Pictures. Recent releases include the Warner Bros./Legendary box office hit 42.

Villeneuve most recently directed the crime thriller Sicario, staring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and Benecio Del Toro for Black Label Media and Lionsgate. He also directed Canada’s Oscar nominated French language film Incendies, and Alcon Entertainment’s critically acclaimed Prisoners, staring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Alcon Entertainment acquired the film, television and ancillary franchise rights to BLADE RUNNER in 2011 from producer Bud Yorkin to produce prequels and sequels to the iconic science-fiction thriller. Yorkin will serve as a producer on the sequel along with Kosove and Johnson. Cynthia Sikes Yorkin will co-produce.

Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEO’s of Thunderbird Films, will serve as executive producers.

Among its many distinctions, BLADE RUNNER has been singled out as one of the greatest movies of all time by innumerable polls and media outlets, and overwhelmingly as the greatest science-fiction film of all time by a majority of genre publications.

Released by Warner Bros., BLADE RUNNER was adapted by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples from Philip K. Dick’s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” and was directed by Ridley Scott following his landmark Alien.” The film was nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Visual Effects, and Best Art Direction).

BLADE RUNNER was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 1993 and is frequently taught in university courses. In 2007, it was named the 2nd most visually influential film of all time by the Visual Effects Society.

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