Ridley Scott is reportedly “moving forward aggresively in development” of a new Blade Runner project, and there should be announcement as to the specifics of the project in the opening months of the New Year, including who the screenwriter will be.
As the rumors begin to pick up steam, and the media outlets like Indiewire begin to really run with the story, I thought it might be a good time to put together a little rundown of why I think it’s basically a horrible idea to revisit the one of the great masterpieces of noir filmmaking in cinematic history, if only to make reservations for all tomorrow’s “I told you so’s.”
So I did it. And I didn’t even have to invoke Philip K. Dick’s name.
5. Phantom Menace much?
Let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way. It might be hard to believe this now, but there was a time that you could mention Star Wars to a person of my generation (born mid-1970’s), and they would smile a little bit thinking about how awesome an experience it was to see those first three amazing movies in theaters. Then the special edition VHS tapes came out. Then the rereleases with the walking Jabba and the shoot-out-provoking Greedo.
I think that we can safely assume that Ridley Scott has some awareness as to the fate of the Star Wars franchise. And I’m sure that he also must be aware that George Lucas took the reins for all three godawful prequels that were foisted upon the ticket-buying public at the turn of the millenium. The question is, did he learn anything from those ill-regarded projects? You know, other than the fact that there are billions of dollars to be made in mediocre sci-fi cinema?
Beware, Ridley. You can’t go back to high school.
4. The Chronology Issue.
Blade Runner takes place in Los Angeles in 2019. That’s a little more than seven years from now, though you could make the argument that L.A. is not too terribly far removed from Scott’s vision from 1982. I’d be there with you.
Only not really. No P.A. systems on the blimps. No flying cars (although this would add a new wrinkle to the fine art of drive-by shootings). No 10,000 foot skyscrapers piercing the night sky above the City of Angels. And with the costs of real estate development in Southern California, I’m betting against the first one going up in the next seven years.
3. Too Close To Home.
Production design issues aside, one thing that they hit pretty close to the mark was the advanced state of biotechnology at this point in what was then the future. Hybrid amalgamations of man and machine? What’s the big deal? What, you’ve never seen Ryan Seacrest?
2. I don’t wanna see a Blade Runner movie without Rick Deckard as the focal point, and I don’t wanna see anyone play Rick Deckard but Harrison Ford, and Harrison Ford is too fucking old to play even an old version of Rick Deckard.
So shove it. And you can keep Josh Hartnett while you’re at it, Ridley. I’m way the fuck ahead of you.
Seriously, bounty hunters need to have the physical wherewithal to keep up with their prey. How the fuck is a sixty-whatever-year-old man supposed to keep up with a robot stripper on a crowded dystopian L.A. street? And with a loaded gun, too? That’s just irresponsible.
1. Seriously, is nothing sacred? I mean, like, NOTHING?
You don’t often come across a film possessing the tone of Blade Runner, of the scope of Blade Runner, with the sprawling intellect of Blade Runner, that is unanimously adored by almost everyone who sees it. My wife loves Blade Runner. My old man loves Blade Runner. Even the people that have gripes about all the different versions of Blade Runner love all the different versions of Blade Runner.
It’s one of the only sci-fi movies ever made that legitimately belongs in the Top Ten Most Bestestest movies ever made. Genre be damned. Ever.
So what the hell you gonna do to top that, Ridley? I’d really like to know.