Alcon Entertainment just announced that the release date for the untitled sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 Blade Runner will be January 12, which is the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. As previously announced, it will star Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, reprising his role as Rick Deckard. Denis Villeneuve is directing. Warner Bros. has domestic rights while Sony Pictures Releasing International is handling overseas.
The only other title dated for the 2018 MLK frame is Paramount’s animated sequel Sherlock Gnomes. Given that film’s play for families, there shouldn’t be any stiff rivalry here with Blade Runner.
The sequel is written by Hampton Fancher, who co-wrote the original, and Michael Green and is based on a story by Fancher and Ridley Scott. The story picks up several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original. Principal photography is scheduled for July. Multi-Oscar nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins, who worked with Villeneuve on Prisoners and Sicario, is lensing.
Although Blade Runner was a notable release during the summer of 1982, its run at the box office was dwarfed by the success of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial in the market. Nonetheless, Blade Runner via the MTV generation gained legions of fans, with Scott re-releasing different director’s cut in the United States and U.K.
In regards to working on the sequel, Scott told Mike Fleming recently in an interview, “Alcon bought the title, and asked if I had any ideas. I did. So fundamentally it’s my essay about what happens and what the film is about. I was going to get writers, but decided to call up my old buddy Hampton Fancher because he walks the walk and talks the talk, albeit in these awful sandals. We came up with a nice tight target. He said he wouldn’t write the screenplay, but wrote a short novel. This was one of the writers I had the best experience with, on the original Blade Runner, meeting him every day, polishing the script. We’d solve one problem and there would be another. It drove him crazy but what happened is that what started off as a small contained play inside an apartment, and into an epic. The new one, we’ve got a very good director in Denis Villenueve. He has taken my script, from Hampton and Michael Green, and that’s what he’ll make. I can’t direct them all, and I have to do Prometheus.”
Alcon Entertainment acquired the film, television and ancillary franchise rights to Blade Runner in 2011 from the late producer Bud Yorkin and Cynthia Sikes Yorkin to produce prequels and sequels to the iconic sci-fi thriller. Sikes Yorkin will produce along with Johnson and Kosove. Bud Yorkin will receive producer credit. Scott will serve as EP. Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEO’s of Thunderbird Films, will also serve as EPs along with Bill Carraro.