The Ridley Scott-directed Moses epic Exodus: Gods and Kings opens in theaters next month and the filmmaker's next project, the Matt Damon space survival drama/thriller The Martian, is set to arrive in theaters in Fall 2015. Scott's been helping to develop two sequels to his own sci-fi movies, in the shapes of Prometheus 2 and Blade Runner 2; now, though, we know for certain which one is not going to be his followup to The Martian.
Both the Prometheus and Blade Runner sequel scripts have been finished; or so Scott has said, at different points over the past few months. He most recently indicated that Blade Runner 2 will begin filming in 2015, and it looks as though that remains the plan... except that Scott is now producing only, handing off directing responsibilities to someone else.
Variety, in a new article examining both Gods and Kings and Scott's legacy as a filmmaker, has revealed that Scott is still planning to produce Blade Runner 2 through his Scott Free banner (alongside Alcon Entertainment), and is eying an unspecific 2015 start date "with someone else directing." The Variety article doesn't explain why Scott is passing on helming the Blade Runner sequel; part of the reason might be that Scott is set on shooting Prometheus 2 next year - and would rather that Blade Runner 2 happen sooner under someone else's guiding hand, rather that postpone it any longer.
It might also be that Scott's passion lies more with Prometheus 2 than Blade Runner 2 right now, as evidenced by Scott's recent comments about his plans for introducing a new alien monster in the former of those two sci-fi projects. If true, then it's for the better that Scott focus on the Prometheus sequel after he finishes The Martian, and let someone else - maybe a younger filmmaker eager to play in Blade Runner's sci-fi/noir sandbox - handle Blade Runner 2 instead. (Remember what happened when that crazy kid James Cameron took on the Alien sequel instead of Scott?)
[MILD SPOILERS for Blade Runner 2 ahead!]
Blade Runner 2's initial screenplay draft was co-developed by Scott and the original film's writer, Hampton Fancher, before Michael Green (Green Lantern) was reportedly hired to revise the script. Few story details have been revealed for the project thus far, though it's said to feature a female protagonist and includes a role for Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard (?). Scott, speaking to Variety, offered a bit more insight on the Blade Runner 2 narrative.
“We talked at length about what it could be, and came up with a pretty strong three-act storyline, and it all makes sense in terms of how it relates to the first one. Harrison is very much part of this one, but really it’s about finding him; he comes in in the third act.”
Interestingly enough, rumor has it that the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens - a project that, similar to Blade Runner 2, is a direct sequel to a film made back in the early 1980s - also involves a young protagonist searching for a key character who's part of a previous era in that franchise... a character other than Ford's, in the case of Star Wars, though. It's not a whole lot to go off, but having Deckard from Blade Runner being a long-lost legend of sorts could lead somewhere interesting, story-wise, especially with a different filmmaker calling the shots on the project.
We'll bring you more information on Blade Runner 2 when we have it.