Warner Bros. Acquires the Rights to ‘Blade Runner’ Prequels & Sequels

Published 3 years ago by , Updated May 22nd, 2011 at 7:58 pm,

blade runner prequel sequel Warner Bros. Acquires the Rights to Blade Runner Prequels & Sequels

Alien may not be the only Ridley Scott science fiction film from the late 1970s/early 1980s that will be getting a new franchise installment.

Today, Warner Bros. has announced that their Alcon Entertainment subsidiary has acquired the rights to Scott’s iconic tale of the (now) not-too-distant future of 2019′s dystopian Los Angeles in Blade Runner - based on the Philip K. Dick novel, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”

The original film, which starred Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, and Edward James Olmos, told the story of retired “Blade Runner,” Rick Deckard (Ford) who is asked to return to work – killing aka “retiring” biologically engineered humanoids, called “Replicants,” who have illegally immigrated back to Earth – instead of continuing to serve as slaves off-world.

According to the Warner Bros. press release, Alcon Entertainment, a Warner Bros-based financing and production company, whose prior credits include The Blind Side and The Book of Eli, have officially secured the “film, television and ancillary franchise rights” to future Blade Runner projects: sequels or prequels (but not a remake).

Regarding the agreement, Alcon Entertainment co-founders and co-Chief Executive Officers Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove stated:

“We are honored and excited to be in business with Bud Yorkin. This is a major acquisition for our company, and a personal favorite film for both of us. We recognize the responsibility we have to do justice to the memory of the original with any prequel or sequel we produce. We have long-term goals for the franchise, and are exploring multi-platform concepts, not just limiting ourselves to one medium only.”

As mentioned previously, the rights come with a few limitations:

  • The franchise rights are all-inclusive – but do not allow for a remake of the original film.
  • However, Alcon is allowed to “produce projects based on situations introduced in the original film.”

Warner Bros. would be distributing any projects under the agreement, domestically – though the international rights have yet to be set in stone.

The sci-fi concept of philosophical and emotional “biologically engineered humanoids” featured in Blade Runner have no doubt inspired many of our favorite sci-fi films and TV series of the last twenty-five years – including the modern-remake of Battlestar Galactica as well as other sci-fi adaptations like I, Robot.

Blade Runner Harrison Ford1 Warner Bros. Acquires the Rights to Blade Runner Prequels & Sequels

While a Blade Runner sequel would probably be the better of the two options (prequel or sequel), allowing a new filmmaker to expand on the universe and add their own stamp on the franchise, given Hollywood’s obsession with prequels, it’s more likely we’ll see an earlier story about Blade Runners – when business was booming. Though, a sequel could allow for the continuation of Rick Deckard’s story – as well as the return of Harrison Ford.

As far as the medium, while a competent Blade Runner TV series could have incredible potential, given Alcon’s prior focus on films – I’m guessing we’ll see the Blade Runner franchise on the big screen first.

Follow us on Twitter @benkendrick and @screenrant and let us know if you’d rather see Alcon Entertainment focus on a Blade Runner prequel or sequel?

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TAGS: blade runner

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  1. I would prefer them to just leave the film alone. although you’re right: it would be very interesting to see a prequel. I’m just glad a remake is off the table.

    • I agree, thy should just leave it alone…

  2. Dude…Leave it alone already. Damn Hollywood

  3. Hollywood is devoid of new ideas thanks to their system of inherited jobs and nepotism. It’s time for new talent with new executive with innovative fresh ideas. The Spider-Man reboot is a farce.

  4. What’s next? A remake of Spaceballs? Enough is enough.

    • I kind of got nauseous just READING that

  5. The no remake clause is not a “limitation” as stated in the article. That’s downright exceptional in today’s remake-happy Hollywood!

    There needs to be similar rules applied to other sci-fi classics (2001: A Space Odyssey immediately comes to mind).

  6. Blade Runner is my favorite movie and hearing this fills me with happiness and terror at the same time. Personally, I think a sequel would ruin it, especially because of the argument over the ending of the film. However, a prequel might be cool. Especially seeing how the replicants first came to be and seeing the Blade Runners in their prime. Just as long as they don’t try to change the look and feel of the world Scott established in the first film (and keep the noir tone), I’ll be pretty happy to see someone like Karl Urban playing a young Deckard.

  7. Nothing is safe anymore..

  8. haven’t seen blade runner, anyone care to fill me in.

  9. Yea, go netflix it lol.

  10. I’m just off to hurl myself from a high building.

    • Here’s a better thought, hurl everyone at WB who think this is a good idea of the building instead, save yourself!

      • You’re right, there ARE options!

  11. The day they remake Terminator 2….

  12. ugh,
    just
    ugh.

  13. The only bright spot in this is they are not allowed to reboot the franchise. A very smart move and one that more people selling their rights should be doing to keep these abominations from being made.

    A sequel interests me more because they could conceivably bring back BOTH Ford and Olmos which could be very cool. How a sequel would keep within the context of original story I haven’t a clue but it could work if done right.

    There is even the remote possibility of bringing back Hauer but he would have to be CGI like Flynn in Tron2 (only realistic this time ;) Hauer could still do the voice.

  14. Prepare for a PG-13 prequel starring some young 20-something actor.

    Vic

    • Exactly Vic! With too much CGI and Star Wars Prequel nausea potential

      • they could do it major justice are you kidding? imagine if thi was nolans project after tdkr he has the style and talent to pull it off. paul bettany for roy or mabe the new film should focus on the replicant on the first days of its life learning how to handle emotions to the battles in space to its death
        Nicolas Winding Refn the director of bronson and vahalla rising would probably be perfect for this film
        what do you think vic??

        • Oh for goodness sake! Nolan. Nolan. Nolan Nolan. Can you people actually think of anyone else?!

          • yeah they should get Scott to come back and do any version that they do

            • i suggested nolan for his irie long scenes like in momento that plays a big part in the atomsphere and art to the blade runner film im tallking about somone that can capture that mood. and yea i did mabe you should read the comment before showing your ignorance. Nicolas Winding Refn what he did with vahalla rising was amazing just it was awsome i think my idea would be amazing not the paul bettany part. even though with the right director he could be one bada55 replicant.(did awsome in master and commander) or mads mikkelsen would be an awsome replicant. either way you know that would be an EPIC blade runner film. dont hate

              • Sorry. I could barely understand that.

                • thats cause your british!

                  • And what? Are you so illterate that you can’t figure out how to read a paragrph without commas or periods? Do I absolutley need to capatalize every word for you to understand?
                    no i can but i dont have to i type quick and get what im thinking out you know why? cause im not an anal ignorant that needs to judge and speak proper on the internet. sorry im not proper british enough for you to respect my opinion.. but hey? who would want to be..

                    • It’s not a matter of not respecting your opinion, you are entitled to it as mcuh as I am entitled to mine. But what does me being British have to do with it?

                    • I believe he used that as an “insult”. Hopefully his replies will get deleted, for the simple reason of name calling. He cant seem to get his thoughts straight without calling you ignorant lol.

                    • In defense of DSB, spelling, grammar, and punctuations go a long way in an internet world.
                      I do “get” that quickly putting to writing what your thoughts are may leave room for improvement in the spelling and grammar part but it often times comes out as misunderstood. I have read a lot of your posts and you do have interesting things to say but not stopping to think and compose what you right just might end up sounding crass.

  15. hehe, soon as i saw the title i knew there’d be mass fanboy outrage

  16. there are many a great movie that a sequel was a properly forgotten mistake: Chinatown, The Last Picture Show, 2001: A Space Odessey. Too long after the Original which never needed a sequel/prequel in the first place

    • Actually 2010 A Space Odyssey was an superb show and worked very well within the original movie.

  17. Oh this is complete and total BS!!!!

    Blade Runner is probably the best science fiction film of all time, it doesnt need a sequel and it doesnt need a prequel, why must every film have one? WHy can’t films just be stand alone?

    JUST LEAVE BLADE RUNNER ALONE!!!

    Ford won’t come back, so there’s no point. Despite being a massive classic, the film flopped at the box office, so why bother?

    Remakes,reboots,sequels and prequels. Originality left the building a long time ago in Hollywood.

    • never gonna happen films are franchises and like most franchises they are remade or remodled cars, video games( mario sonic metroid etc) movies and even ketchup. what they stopped making ketchup? most badass movies are going to get rebooted remade and continue now that we have all these special effects. might as well stop whining

      • So you’re happy to have sub par sequels and prequels? To have awful remakes of your favourite films?

        Because I’m not.

        And don’t ever tell me to stop whining.

        • And don’t call him surely!!

      • There is a no remake clause as stated above in the terms of how the rights were aquired. Blade Runner Does not need any further work done to it, after it or before it. Simple as that.

  18. Blade Runner is one of the greatest sci-fi films, and one of those reasons was that it didn’t have endless rubbish sequels. There’s no way Ford would do a sequel so i guess that’s a good thing. If they are going to make films I’d give the job to Alex Proyas Dark City is one of the best sci-fi films ever and had the look and feel of Blade Runner

  19. Blade Runner, and Ridley Scott are both over-rated, imo. So I really wouldn’t care if they made a sequel or prequel.

    • Ghost,

      Oh, come one… have you seen the director’s cut version that doesn’t have the Harrison Ford voiceover? Awesome film.

      Vic

      • Vic, you’re talking to a guy that believes some of the Godzilla movies actually have good acting in them…no surprise there on his words.

        • Hey there are a few that do, look at the original Japanese version. Great acting, great film. But LM, you dont need to be saying that lol Blade Runner is an awesome film and Scott is a great director.

          • Well, I disagree. But that’s just me. :)

            • That film is a horror film, it has no campyness or chessyness in it like the later 60′s films do unless you watch the American cut that has Raymond Bur in it

      • It was awesome to see that 10th Anniversary edition in the theaters. Sequels or prequels can be lost like tears in the rain. Not a good idea.

  20. Ok first of there are 3 sequels to Blade runner , in novel form, two of which are ok , but overall they are only ok. They actually fit better with the original source material while tying the movie in with the original novel DADOES. The books where written by DICK’S friend K.W.Jeter and all novels where authotrized by Dick

    • Those books were supposed to be both a sequel to the film and a sequel to the original book, and they totally contradict the film, characters that are dead are miraculously alive again, and they are very pedestrian in the writing style.

    • Just because they were “authorized” by Dick as you say doesn’t mean they’re any good and would be suitable for film adaptations.

  21. Im curious and interested in the prequel maybe but not the Sequel! Just leave my all time fave Sci-fi film alone.

  22. I see a lot of Angst over a prequel or sequel and my wonder is, why?? If they dont toucht he original then the other movies can’t tarnish the original movie.

    I’ll use the movie Highlander as an example. The first movie was brilliant, and can never be redone with the same energy and flair. The sequels were crap and very badly done, but they did not diminish my affection for the original. In fact they may have increased my respect for the first movie since no one has been able to capture the magic it had.

    • Yeah, well, I disagree there. Here’s another example.

      The Matrix. The sequels are so bad that it makes me like the original film less.
      You really wonder why? Blade Runner is a true masterpiece of cinema, it doesnt need a sequel or a prequel, why can’t it just be left alone as a stand alone film?

      • I agree that it doesn’t “need” either a sequel or prequel but then again most movies don’t. A sequel has usually been an attempt to milk a successful single movie for all its worth, nothing more.

        That being said, if it is going to happen at least try to find the possible good that may come of it.

        I also disagree that Matrix Reloaded was a bad show. For me I thought it even surpassed the original in some places. I’m not going to say it didn’t have its problems however but still a thoroughly worthwhile watch.

  23. I agree with you 100 percent Sam!!!

  24. If cuss words didnt get blocked i would put what i said when i saw and read this. So I’m only gonna say this….

    *DONT TOUCH THIS FILM HOLLYWOOD!!!*

    There is no need for a sequel, prequel, reboot, remake, rehash, spritual successor, etc the film is bloody brilliant and great.

  25. @”Vic, you’re talking to a guy that believes some of the Godzilla movies actually have good acting in them…no surprise there on his words.”

    LMAO!! I keep forgetting people get bashed for not agreeing with the majority here. What a joke. Sorry that I don’t take someone, who thinks the orignal Clash of the Titans movie is actually a “classic” (and can’t even give a reason as to why), seriously.

    • I got your back, LM. The Godzilla films are some of the best movies ever made.

  26. “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I’ve watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those … moments will be lost in time, like tears…in rain.
    Time to die”

    No sequel. No prequel. Nothing will ever come close.

    • I disagree, a Blade Runner sequel or prequel could be great. Just because the original was great does not mean that they would tarnish it. There are amazing sequels and prequels that have been produced as well as many bad that have left the orignial great untainted. Saying that nothing could come close is a very naive statement but I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion but I would be one of the many waiting in line for the midnight showing of either.

  27. The Bladerunner “franchise”. I always saw it as a stand alone film.

    Won’t be seeing the 3D prequel.

  28. He’s an F-ing Replicant and thus would not reach his natural age now

    I think Blade Runner is one film to brilliant as a standalone to whore out

    Please don’t

    • Ford’s character isnt a replicant…

      • Seth,

        Depends on which version of the movie you saw. 8)

        Vic

        • ok I’m confused now cause i have seen 3 versions and in all of them he wasnt a replicant….which one has it that he is?

          • I have director’s cut of the film where at the end the police detective leaves a tiny origami unicorn in Decker’s apartment. Throughout the film Decker was having dreams about a unicorn that he didn’t share with anyone – yet the detective left that behind. It was the equivalent of the scene where Decker tells the girl details about her non-existent childhood.

            Vic

      • Of course DECKARD is a replicant. The unicorn insert as part of his implanted memory, known to Gaff and everyone (presumably) in the higher ranks of the police department. THAT’S WHY HE PUT THE ORIGAMI UNICORN ON THE FLOOR at the end of the movie as Deckard and Rachael are going into the elevator. He also toyed with the piano as a kind of reflection of ‘whether he had some residual piano playing/tune memory that he wasn’t fully aware of.

        PREQUEL?SEQUEL? An awesome challenge, for sure. If Ridley does it, fine. Other attempts, I’m afraid, would not have the same depth of translation that he brought to the original. The story has several ‘floor’ themes that could be amplified and extended using the original as either a starting or a destination story base. In any case, the franchise is a powerful one, not to be treated casually.

  29. If they do make a sequel/prequel, they better be giving away free Blade Runner style Umbrella’s for me to watch it…

    http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/gear/d163/

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