Anyone who doubts the lasting power of Ridley Scott's early work need only look at the headlines this week to see how everything old seems to be new again.
Neill Blomkamp made headlines for being the first major studio filmmaker to ever win a job via Instagram, and he's been making fans crazy by talking about his approach to the upcoming “Alien” sequel. Does it ignore “Alien3” and “Alien: Resurrection” completely? Does it exists in some side universe? Where does “Prometheus 2,” which everyone swears is still happening, fit into those plans?
The information is a lot more concrete when it comes to the “Blade Runner” sequel, thanks to a press release just now that confirms that Harrison Ford will reprise his role as Rick Deckard, a move that will confound and confuse at least one of my kids, and director Denis Villenueve is in negotiations now to direct. If they're putting out a press release, they're expecting those negotiations to close, and so I think it's a pretty safe bet Villenueve is the guy who will be calling the shots when they shoot the script by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green.
Then again, they're not starting principal photography until summer of 2016, and that is an eternity from now in Hollywood terms. I hope Villenueve is the guy. I really liked his work on both “Prisoners” and “Enemy,” and I think it's clear he's not some surface-level guy. Even when he's working with a bigger budget and with movie stars, he seems like he's after something real and something dark, and he might turn out to be a truly inspired choice to try to bring the world of “Blade Runner” back to life. It's a world that has changed, though, since this one is set “several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original.”
I'm still not sure what to make of this. “Blade Runner” is such a delicate thing. This isn't a typical blockbuster you follow up so you can make a few more toys. This is a sober, adult science-fiction film about ideas. I'm not sure you can make another one, and I'm not sure they'd even want to try. Still, I've heard some good things about this script, and it's a heck of a choice for a director. I'm going to cross my fingers and hope for the very best here.
And if it doesn't work? We can't fault them for ambition.
Villenueve's new film “Sicario” is set for release on September 18, 2015.