Ridley Scott has taken a page out of George Lucas’ book by expanding the Alien franchise beyond the original films, and it looks like he’s interested in potentially doing the same with the Blade Runner series. It has been 35 years since Scott’s original Blade Runner film, starring Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard, hit theaters, and long-gestating sequel Blade Runner: 2049 is scheduled to release later this year. Denis Villeneuve’s film features not only the return of Ford’s character but the inclusion of new characters as well, such as Ryan Gosling’s Officer K.
Blade Runner 2049 is the latest film in a series of movie sequels releasing several years – sometimes decades – after their original installments debuted. In fact, the film marks the third character Ford has reprised after more than two decades, the previous two being Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Han Solo in Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens. Although the story has thus far revolved around Ford’s Deckard, the world of Blade Runner is unique and rich enough that the story could expand beyond the confines of Los Angeles, and that’s something Scott may want to explore.
Scott has spoken with IGN just days ahead of Blade Runner‘s 35th anniversary this weekend — Sunday, June 25 — and he has revealed his interest in potentially expanding the Blade Runner series beyond Villeneuve’s upcoming sequel, Blade Runner: 2049, just like he has been doing with the Alien franchise, specifically with Prometheus in 2012, and its sequel, Alien: Covenant, earlier this year.
“Yes. I think that, you know what, George has always proved that. Of course there’s always something. George Lucas. You know, and the way he’s handled Star Wars has been spectacular. It’s what I’ve been trying to do to really evolve Alien, because in those days I wasn’t into making sequels, but now suddenly you realize, ‘Well, that’s stupid.’ I’ll use the word ‘duh’ again, right? You’d better get into sequels, duh. So, that’s in a way what I’ve been doing.”
This isn’t the first time that Scott has expressed intrigue with how George Lucas formulated and expanded the Star Wars franchise beyond his original 1977 film; it’s something that many movie studios have attempted to replicate, though most have failed. The difference between what Lucas did with Star Wars and what many studios are doing nowadays with shared universes is that Star Wars‘ core saga centered on the same particular characters and elements. That’s something Scott has been trying to do with his Alien series in recent years; however, he hasn’t been as successful as he might have hoped.
It’s not that far-fetched, though, to consider expanding Blade Runner beyond the upcoming sequel. Scott and the rest of the filmmakers could explore many different avenues; whether people want to see that happen, though, is another thing entirely. World-building isn’t easy, and franchising iconic properties such as Blade Runner without clear intent may not be the wisest thing to do. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens once Blade Runner: 2049 hits theaters later this year.
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