After yesterday’s… unexptected announcment that Ridley Scott has signed on to direct a new Blade Runner project, more details are now emerign on how the project came about.
The LA Times provides some background on producer Andrew Kosove’s efforts to snag the legendary filmmaker.
“Here’s how it went down. As Kosove and his partners were locking down rights to the movie about replicants in 2019 Los Angeles along with the Philip K. Dick novel on which it was based, they called an executive at Scott Free, Ridley and Tony Scott’s production company. The Alcon people simply wanted to see if Ridley would sit down with them.
The filmmaker agreed, and shortly after the rights deal closed in March, Kosove and his partner Broderick Johnson flew to London to meet with the director.
Over the course of one meeting, they hashed out how a new film would look, how it could avoid seeming too similar to the many movies that have since paid homage to the original, and how different the new film should be from the original itself. They eventually decided it should stand as separately as possible.”
So, it would seem that Scott is taking an approach similar to that of Prometheus; not a direct sequel or prequel as such, but more a ‘companion piece’, inhabiting the same cinematic universe as Blade Runner.
In terms of schedule, while the film is on what might be classed as a fast-track in Hollywood terms, Kosove reckons that with the amount of work needed – getting a script that everyone is happy with, casting and a no doubt heroic bout of pre-production design work – the film is unlikely to begin filming before early 2013, giving us a release sometime in 2014 at the earliest.
As for the big question of Harrison Ford’s involvement, according to Kosove:
“In no way do I speak for Ridley Scott, but if you’re asking me will this movie have anything to do with Harrison Ford, the answer is no. This is a total reinvention, and in my mind that means doing everything fresh, including casting”
Finally, Kosove addresses fan concerns on returning to such a well-loved film:
“When we made the first announcement there was a lot of skepticism, understandably. And now with Ridley coming back there’s a greater level of comfort. And once we have the writer, I think fans will feel even more comfortable. We want people to know that we’re very serious about doing this in an artistic way. This isn’t just commercial fodder”
Well, Kosove is certainly making all the right noises here, and, as with Prometheus, I don’t think Scott would risk his reputation on this project if he didn’t think it was worth doing. Time will tell of course, but for now at least it seems like this could turn out to be another worthy return to past glories for Scott