Blade Runner Sequel Has a New Director and Confirms Harrison Ford

By  · Published on February 27th, 2015

Warner Bros.

If you thought the Blade Runner sequel would never actually exist, you were wrong. If you thought Harrison Ford would never return to the world of replicants and artificial animals, you again were wrong. And finally, if you thought Denis Villeneuve would never just make a tentpole movie Hollywood threw at him, well you were very, very, very wrong there, too.

The French Canadian director of recent Jake Gyllenhaal vehicles Enemy and Prisoners and the foreign-language Oscar nominee Incendies has been tapped to direct Blade Runner 2: Electric Sheepaloo (or whatever it’ll be called). Ford, who is all about revisiting old characters these days (okay, just Han Solo and now Rick Deckard) has been confirmed for the follow-up to the 1982 sci-fi classic, which will take place decades later.

I probably shouldn’t confess to this, but I’ve still somehow not seen any features directed by Villeneuve, whose next movie, Sicario, is due in September. But I have seen some of his shorts, including 1994’s REW-FFWD (watch it here) and 2008’s Next Floor (that one is here), which are all I need to believe this is a suitable guy for the gig helming a follow-up to one of my top films of all time.

Revisiting part of REW-FFWD, the short now even reminds me of the Voight-Kampff test in Blade Runner, and a line from Villeneuve’s film, “Stop your cinema. Wake Up,” is like something Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) might have said (followed by “Time to die.”). REW-FFWD features an unseen protagonist whose POV is what we see on screen. I’m now fantasizing that the new Blade Runner could be shot like the gimmicky first-person-perspective detective film Lady in the Lake to continue the film noir influence.

That will never happen, but then I never thought any Blade Runner sequel would happen. Ridley Scott, who directed the original, is back to produce, and also returning is screenwriter Hampton Fancher. He’s joined this time by Michael Green, who unfortunately is best known for writing Green Lantern and some of this year’s Oscar ceremony.

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.