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Send in the Clones: The "Blade Runner" Sequel

Send in the Clones: The

By Robert Isenberg

So it wasn't enough to make a quasi-prequel to Alien. Ridley Scott, one of the most visionary filmmakers in Hollywood, is making a sequel to Blade Runner. In a recent interview in Britain's The Independent, Scott shows his true colors—competitive, vulgar, and perfectionist. And now he's trying to top his own best film.

Let's talk about what Blade Runner is: it's a 1982 movie based on the Philip K. Dick novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. But it's not just a book-to-screen movie. It's a dystopian masterpiece, and it takes a lot of liberties with its source material. Scott creates a vivid, gritty future world (in the then-distant year of 2019), where Los Angeles is a dark, rainy, claustrophobic maze of skyscrapers and alleyways (imagine Detroit getting dumped all over Tokyo). In the story, Harrison Ford is Rick Deckard, a film noir-inspired detective who tracks down "replicants" (bioengineered people) and kills them.

It's not exactly PC—to create a slave-race, make them do your worst jobs, and when they escape from their mining colonies, you blow their brains out with super-pistols. But that's what Blade Runner is about, and it's one of the moodiest what-it-means-to-be-human movies ever made.

Not everything about Blade Runner stands the test of time. It's a little slow, and some parts are really confusing. There are two different versions (the much-hated theatrical release and the really weird director's cut), and the music sounds more Yanni than cyberpunk. But this is the Ridley Scott flick that uppity film snobs take seriously. And they should. It's not just a great sci-fi. It's a great movie, period.

The line that makes the movie: "It's too bad she won't live. But then again, who does?" Like, wow. Can Scott really top that?

So Sir Ridley's plans beg some questions:

  1. Considering how Prometheus went, is this even a good idea?
  2. What is Blade Runner 2 (or whatever they call it) going to be about? If Harrison Ford is barely going to be in it, who'll lead the next generation of replicant-hunters? (And please, please don't say Shia LaBeouf).
  3. Is Scott just going to CGI the heck out of this thing? After the CGI'd monkeys in Crystal Skull and the CGI'd everything in Star Wars: Episodes I-III, we're starting to dread old directors with new tricks.
  4. After the Battlestar Galactica series, what more is there to say about extraterrestrials who look and sound exactly like human beings?
  5. Not that Blade Runner was too true to the original book, but is Scott just going to, like, make this up from scratch? Or is he going to cull his material from the three Philip K. Dick sequels?

We'll just have to see.

What other classic sci-fis should get sequels?

Tags: movies, sci fi, prometheus, blade runner

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