The big movie announcement of the week involved a little 30-year-old movie called Blade Runner. But the news wasn't that we'd get a follow-up to the sci-fi flop-turned-classic. That's been reported before and anyway would be obligatory given Hollywood's standards and practices. Rather, the real revelation was that Ridley Scott would return to the property to direct the follow-up, whether it be a sequel or prequel or stand-alone side-story spin-off thing-y. Further details have indicated that original star Harrison Ford will not be involved, which should be relief to those believing his character is a replicant, or at least appreciate the ambiguity involving his humanity.
Immediately I tweeted reasonable speculation that Scott is just revisiting all his old films and that a Legend follow-up is next. Because he's currently working on that Alien prequel, Prometheus. Movies.com editor Erik Davis joked about the possibility of a Black Rain prequel. William Goss went further to presume he'll be remaking Prometheus next. Joking aside, though, fans of the original film (in its many variations) are passionate about the hire of Scott. And I think the negative remarks are heavily outweighing the postive. Never mind whether a Blade Runner follow-up or eventual remake will happen. It will. But is the original, 73-year-old filmmaker the right one to helm the next episode?
Check out what's being said around the web:
It’s one thing for Ridley Scott to revisit Blade Runner from the ground up—he hasn’t even started a script yet. Even if Scott didn’t write the original Philip K. Dick story or the brilliant script by David Peoples (who also wrote Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven), his vision is all over that movie. I can’t wait to see what he does with it. - Anne Thompson, Thompson on Hollywood
The most positive aspect is that Scott apparently has a real fire in the belly for the project. He’s been fiddling with the original — director’s cuts, etc… — since the beginning of home video, which is a good sign the creative energy and inspiration are in plentiful supply. Furthermore, Scott can do any picture he wants. He’s not some “auteur” on the downslide and desperate for a return to the glory days of yore. Translation: he’s doing this for all the right reasons: passion, love, creative energy…Yep, this feels right. - John Nolte, Big Hollywood
If you had seen the same footage we saw at Comic-Con from Prometheus, you'd be as excited about Ridley Scott's return to sci-fi as I am. I think he's finally found the perfect genre for him to return to, at least for now, and I'm excited to actually see what this new Blade Runner movie is all about. - Alex Billington, FirstShowing.net
Regardless of how this one plays out, you have to respect Scott's willingness to play with some of his most precious pieces of work one more time. In a world where reboots, prequels and sequels to films that don't always need or deserve reboots, prequels and sequels are the norm, Scott's seemingly prepared to get behind the wheel and take these projects into the air, potential fiery wreck be damned. That takes some serious cajones, if you ask me. - Josh Wigler, MTV Movies Blog
The Blade Runner universe has all the trappings of a universe that could be expanded in many interesting and provocative ways, both as a blockbuster and a thought-provoking science fiction opus. Scott is looking to do this as differently as possible, but that doesn’t mean all the future installments have to be like that and once you throw in the older characters, that opens far more doors than you probably imagine. - Jonathan Sullivan, The Film Stage (from a list of suggested ways Scott could go).
With Scott involved, we’re more hopeful that something good can now come of this, though still waiting to see what happens. - James White, Empire
@angelsbrouhaha: Scott Ridley to direct new Blade Runner, finally something to get excited about!
@Phaelon74: Ridley Scott is going to make Blade Runner 2 - Awesome!!
@jac2photo: Omg! Ridley Scott is set to make blade runner 2! I'm so excited!
As much as I love Ridley Scott, he did turn what should have been a very “original” and “fresh” Nottingham into the fairly standard Robin Hood. He is also a particularly up-and-down filmmaker, so while I am hopeful about Prometheus, that would theoretically put this Blade Runner thing on the downside of that scale. - Rob Payne, Pajiba
Could there be anything more desperate-sounding than a director announcing an intention to direct some kind of sequel or companion piece to a cult film he made decades earlier? The presumption is that Ridley Scott's Son of Blade Runner will probably get made because the money is there, and not because anyone has a super-brilliant idea for a sequel. - Jeffrey Wells, Hollywood Elsewhere
If Scott's planning to return to the world of the movie, I'm afraid of him creating something which will not just rob that first movie of any and all ambiguity, but which will make me wonder if what I saw in the original film was ever really there at all. He can't erase the original from existence, but he can absolutely destroy my interest in the narrative, and I'm afraid that when it comes to "Blade Runner," he's the last person I want to see playing around with that property [...] I don't want Ridley Scott to return to "Blade Runner" for a prequel or a sequel or a requel or a reboot or a remagining or, frankly, anything. I just don't want him to do it. I don't want to see it. I don't want to cover it. I don't want to know it's out there. - Drew McWeeny, HitFix
Even with Scott's ability to gather a committee of top shelf craftsmen to come together for whatever the final product will be - Sequel, Prequel, or Reboot - it is no longer 1983, and Scott has not put out a really good genre film in a long, long time [...] If we are going to give this property to an aging director, lets kick it towards Paul Verhoeven, who you just know would do something interesting with it. - Kurt Halfyard, Twitch
I'm sure you guys would love to hear my fair-minded, even-keeled assessment of this announcement, but I'm afraid I'm a little busy at the moment as I have to go get a shotgun, some ammunition, and the home addresses of Ridley Scott and every single employee of Alcon Entertainment. - Rob Bricken, Topless Robot
Considering Scott is currently working on a movie set within the world of his other beloved, decades-old, atmospheric sci-fi film (Alien, guys), I suppose his decision to return shouldn't come off as too much of a surprise, but still: when did this a-hole become such a George Lucas? - Mark, I Watch Stuff
Reassuring to those who would rather Blade Runner just be left alone: We’re talking about serial committer Ridley Scott here, whose name being attached to a project is almost a seal of guarantee that it won’t ever actually get done. - Sean O'Neal, The A.V. Club
@davidehrlich: Ridley Scott or not, i suspect that any new BLADE RUNNER installment is gonna be a mere Replicant.
@Nicky_Harvey: If Ridley Scott can't be stopped from letting Blade Runner be, someone MUST at least prevent him from putting Russell bloody Crowe in it.
Now chime in with your thoughts. Is it better or worse for the Blade Runner follow-up to be directed by Ridley Scott?
Follow Christopher Campbell on Twitter: @thefilmcynic