The world of Blade Runner is about to be explored like never before. Building off of the recent release of Blade Runner 2049, Alcon Media Group and Titan Publishing Group have joined forces to produce a number of comics and other illustrated novels and books set in the dystopian world inspired by the writings of Philip K. Dick.
Both companies are renowned for their work in their respective fields. Alcon Media Group has produced over 30 films since 1997, including Blade Runner 2049 and The Book of Eli. Their television division produces the popular science-fiction series The Expanse. Titan Publishing Group is one of the world's most respected publishing houses for tie-in books to movies, games and television series. They are perhaps best known as the current license holder for the Doctor Who comic book line, but the company handles all manner of licensed properties and original works.
A joint statement by Titan’s co-founders Nick Landau and Vivian Cheung and Alcon co-founders and co-CEOs Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove formally announced the companies' partnership. The partners plan to produce a variety of fiction and non-fiction print media, starting with a line of comic books and graphic novels set in the world of Blade Runner. Plans are also underway for a series of non-fiction books focused on the technical aspects of the production of the original films.
Kosove and Johnson stated:
"In partnering with the exceptional Titan Comics and Titan Books, we’re confident that the world of Blade Runner will continue to organically grow in a way that refuses to sacrifice the quality, tone and high standards of this beloved property."
Landau and Cheung added:
"We are extremely excited to be publishing Blade Runner comics and illustrated books. The Blade Runner universe has barely been explored; there is so much more there. It’s an honour to be bringing this world to life in new ways for a new audience – and to reveal tales from that universe that you’ve never seen before."
While it is fair to say that the world of Blade Runner has barely been explored, this is not the first effort made to build upon the world of the original film. A series of three sequel novels, written by Philip K. Dick's friend and fellow author K.W. Jetter, were licensed in the mid 1990s to continue the story of Rick Deckard from the first film. The reactions to these novels was mixed, however, and their story is now contradicted by the events of Blade Runner 2049. A 1997 Blade Runner adventure game, set concurrent to the events of the movie with the player taking the role of a rookie Blade Runner tracking his own group of rogue Replicants, was far better received and is now regarded as one of the best video game adaptations of a film ever made.
It also bears mentioning that comic publisher BOOM! Studios licensed an official graphic novel adaptation of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - the short story that served as the basis of Blade Runner - and serialized an eight-part prequel to the original short story. However, Blade Runner is considered its own entity and the joint-project between Alcon Media Group and Titan Publishing Group marks the first time comic books will be written specifically for the Blade Runner universe. Regardless, fans of the original movie, Blade Runner 2049 and Philip K. Dick's writing are bound to enjoy the fruits of this partnership given the track record of both companies.
Source: Alcon Media Group & Titan Publishing Group