Blade Runner 2049 screenwriter Hampton Fancher has revealed the original idea that he came up with for a Blade Runner sequel. Hampton co-wrote both Blade Runner 2049 and the original Blade Runner film (which was directed by Ridley Scott in 1982) – itself, a loose adaptation of the sci-fi novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by American author Philip K. Dick.
Starring Ryan Gosling as the enigmatic Officer K, Blade Runner 2049 follows K as he seeks out original Blade Runner protagonist Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), in order to unearth a long-buried secret that has the potential to bring about the collapse of K’s already-fragile world. Director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival) is calling the shots on Blade Runner 2049 – a sequel that is very different than the one Fancher pitched to Scott a few decades along, not too long after the original Blade Runner was released in theaters.
Speaking to Collider, Fancher explained that one of his original ideas for a Blade Runner followup tapped into the Cold War-era mindset that the original film was crafted with:
“When we finished the first one, within a year we were talking about a second one. Ridley called, I was in New York and I went out to LA, and we batted stories around. Nothing came of it because of legal problems. I guess, because I was reading in the newspapers, I thought Deckard had come to bad circumstances – he was nowhere – and he got assigned a Blade Runner job in Moscow, and it was all Russian, and cold, and snow…John le Carré, you know? That’s what I was thinking of. I remember telling Ridley that, ‘Harrison in Moscow,’ Just that’s a good thing, right?”
It would have been an interesting turn of events to see Deckard transplanted in a Soviet Union-inspired Russia, following the events of the original Blade Runner. As it stands, fans will have Fancher’s work on Blade Runner 2049 to contend with later this October, and for that everyone who still holds Scott’s original movie in high regard can be thankful.
Scott’s Blade Runner is still a high-mark in the realm of science-fiction, and as such Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 will have quite the legacy to live up to. And with returning franchise star Ford returning to the role of Rick Deckard, only time will tell how the long-awaited sci-fi sequel fares, when it makes its way into theaters this fall.
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