- 28 January 2009
- By John Howell
I missed this story when it broke late last year, but apparently Travis Wright, one of the writers behind the thriller Eagle Eye starring Shia LaBeouf, has been working on a sequel to Ridley Scott's SF classic Blade Runner for some time and is enthusiastically pushing to make it happen.
Travis and his former writing partner, John Glenn, had worked on developing a sequel in 2005, but it never got off the ground. While the pair didn't complete a finished script, they wrote several approaches for producer Bud Yorkin. Bud Yorkin is one of Blade Runner's original executive producers and holds the rights to possible sequels.
While John Glenn and Travis Wright are no longer working together, Travis told Slashfilm he intends to write a script "with or without anyone's blessings. Whether anyone ever reads it or even cares remains to be seen".
Travis emphasised that there was no studio attached to the project, and "no deal is in place", but he is determined to see it through and remains convinced that he'll succeed.
Some of the script proposals explored the nature of the off-world colonies, what happens to the Tyrell Corporation in the wake of its founder's death, and what would become of Rachel.
I wonder if Travis has spoken to Ridley yet? Ridley Scott was recently appealing for scripts to help realise his dream of creating a Blade Runner sequel and promised to consider all submissions. Moviehole reported that at Comic-Con in 2007 Ridley said "If you have any scripts, you know where to send them."
Talk of a possible sequel has been going on steadily since Blade Runner gained cult status in the 90s. In an interview with Newsday in 1992, discussing a Blade Runner sequel, Scott revealed, "I'd really like to do that, I think Blade Runner made some very interesting suggestions to the origins of Harrison Ford's character, addressing the idea of immortality. I think it would be a very intelligent sequel."
According to the official Blade Runner FAQ and Wikipedia, Ridley Scott apparently toyed with the idea of a sequel to be titled Metropolis, but the project fell through due to rights issues.
In the late 90s, Screenwriter Stuart Hazeldine, one of the writers of Nicholas Cage's new science fiction thriller Knowing, wrote a proposed sequel entitled Blade Runner Down, based on K. W. Jeter's first Blade Runner novel, Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human. This too never got off the ground. In 1999 Hazeldine said:
"Warner Bros. don't have sequel rights, only a first-look at making a sequel. The rights reside with original producer Bud Yorkin. When my script went out 'the town' loved it and offered me loads of jobs. Harrison's manager liked it but wouldn't give it to him unless a studio offer was behind it, and the only people in town who didn't 'get' my script were the majority of execs at Warner Bros. and Bud Yorkin himself. What can I say? Other studios would love a crack, but it's these guys who hold all the cards right now. Harrison hasn't read my script and may never read it."
The only definitive sequel to Blade Runner (officially approved by Philip K. Dick's estate) is the novel written by Philip K Dick's friend, K. W. Jeter, Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human, a continuation of both Scott's Blade Runner movie and Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. The novel attempted to resolve the differences between the movie and the novel and was followed by Blade Runner 3: Replicant Night in 1996 and Blade Runner 4: Eye and Talon in 2000.
While a sequel to Blade Runner may finally get off the ground, it's hard to imagine Ridley Scott will have time to be involved. He's already stated that his next two big budget science fiction movies will be an adaptation of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World with Leonardo DiCaprio as well as an adaptation of Joe Haldeman's The Forever War. I doubt he'll be jumping on board any time soon.
However, Ridley Scott released Blade Runner: The Final Cut last year, his definitive edit of Blade Runner, so perhaps now is a perfect time to continue the story in film.
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