Blade Runner 2 conjures up a combination of excitement, curiosity, and dismay for many fans of Ridley Scott’s original net-noir masterpiece. The 30-plus year wait for a sequel to the celebrated film will be over shortly, though. The Scott Free produced, Denis Villeneuve (Sicario) directed film is scheduled to begin filming sometime in July. Original Blade Runner star Harrison Ford (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) will reprise his role as Richard Deckard, with newcomers Ryan Gosling, Robin Wright, and Dave Bautista rounding out the known cast.
Production company Alcon Entertainment released a statement indicating the sequel’s opening day “has been moved up from January 12, 218 to October 6, 2017.” Until recently, October 6 was being reserved for a “mystery” film at Warner Bros. Recent indications were that the studio planned to release the Tomb Raider movie reboot (potentially starring Daisy Ridley) on that date. But apparently the Blade Runner sequel either served Warner Bros.’ needs for that day or was reshuffled to cover changes in release dates of their other productions.
It is interesting to note that WB competitor Fox has reserved October 6 for an untitled X-Men movie, which is likely their production- beleaguered Gambit picture. Studios typically avoid releasing major films on the same date as their competitor’s blockbusters, so as to not limit the potential box office of their own films. However, Warner Bros. might be counting on slightly different audience for the hard sci-fi/noir Blade Runner 2, as opposed to the comic-book outing Gambit. It’s also possible Warner Bros. is willing to take a chance on their long-percolating sequel outshining the slow-developing X-Men production.
Gambit, which features Channing Tatum and is a part of the X-Men cinematic universe, will likely be a major box office contender upon its release. However, Warner Bros. is also rolling out the big guns for its sequel effort. Accomplished actors Gosling, Wright, and of course, Harrison Ford will be hard to pass up, even for general audiences. The studio is also hedging their bets on curiosity. While some devotees to the original Blade Runner were disconcerted by the prospect of a sequel, the possibility of revisiting that gorgeously constructed future world might prove too tempting to resist. With Scott producing and original screenwriter Hampton Fancher recreating the distinct universe, Warner Bros. could have a winner on their hands.
Assuming the studio plays its cards right, the untitled Blade Runner sequel could breathe new life into Philip K. Dick’s classic dystopia. A revival is exactly what Warner Bros. is shooting for, since they seem to be eyeing a shared universe featuring “sequels and prequels” and a potential TV series.
Blade Runner 2 is now scheduled to hit theaters on October 6, 2017.
Source: Alcon Entertainment