Since the (unexpected) announcement that Ridley Scott would be returning to the Blade Runner universe, there's been a fair amount of speculation as to what exactly the new project would encompass - and whether it will be a direct sequel to Scott's original 1982 film or a spinoff (a la Scott's upcoming Alien semi-prequel, Prometheus).
Scott opened up recently about his Blade Runner project, dropping a few tidbits about where it is in the development process, whether the film will be set before or after the events of its predecessor, and if any of the original film's cast or central characters would be returning.
The "big" news that Scott has to offer Speakeasy is that his upcoming Blade Runner project is "liable to be a sequel." In other words, the project will take place sometime in the aftermath of the 1982 film. Even if it evolves during pre-production as much as Prometheus did, its sequel status (presumably) will not change.
However, Alcon Entertainment heads Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove previously indicated that neither Harrison Ford nor the Rick Deckard character would be returning in Scott's new Blade Runner flick - and Scott also confirmed as much, mentioning that the project would not involve either "the past cast" or Deckard.
That is to say: Scott appears to be using the term "sequel" loosely here, with regards to the connection between Blade Runner and this new related piece of sci-fi cinema.
Previous reports suggested that Scott Z. Burns was all but set to script Scott's new installment in the Blade Runner franchise. While that may be (unofficially) true, the word from the director himself is that he's "close to finding a writer that might be able to help me deliver [the story]." Whether or not said scriber will end up being Burns, or someone else entirely, remains to be seen.
One last thing - Scott briefly offered his own take on the original Blade Runner, saying:
“Even though people think it’s a cool Philip Marlowe film with Deckard played by Harrison Ford, the film is very much about humanity.”
So long as Scott and his eventual writing collaborator don't lose track of that idea while crafting the next Blade Runner flick - one brought to life via the assistance of modern filmmaking technology (ex. CGI, 3D visuals, etc.) - the results this second time around should be decent, if nothing else.
We will continue to keep you posted on the status of Scott's new Blade Runner project as the story develops.