Alcon secure Blade Runner sequel or prequel rights – I say no!


'Time To Die' - a great picture of Roy Batty by Anjinanhut

'Time To Die' - a great picture of Roy Batty by Anjinanhut

WHEN I first heard about the plans for a Blade Runner sequel / prequel / who the hell knows-quel, I felt like I was taking part in some bizarre version of the original film’s Voight-Kampff test.

You know, where Blade Runners ask questions designed to provoke an emotional response and so reveal whether the test subject was a replicant or not.

In this case, if your reaction was blind fury followed by stunned disbelief then you can relax – you’re perfectly normal.

In fact, I think it is the people who want to return to the Blade Runner universe we should be worried about – the movie moguls in charge of the Tyrell Corpor … erm, I mean Alcon Entertainment.

They have bought partial rights to Blade Runner – not to remake it, but to revisit the universe and perhaps make a sequel or prequel, or use scenes as ‘jumping off points’.

An Alcon spokesman said: “The Blade Runner lore is kind of irresistible… And the extraordinary pace of technological advancement since the movie came out means that there are a lot of opportunities to do something fresh.

“The risk is not just getting a movie made but coming up with a story that really justifies coming back to one of the great science-fiction stories.”

At least they have realised the main problem and also the central irony of their idea – trying to base what will inevitably be inferior work on a film which was about (in part) killing off faulty copies.

We are talking about Blade Runner here, one of the greatest science fiction films of all time, in fact one of the greatest films full stop.

If anyone in the film industry wanted to make another movie in that world or if we – the film-going public – had been clamouring for it, I think one would have been made in the last 30 years or so since the original came out.

As it is we have had different versions of the original material, but with some artistic merit behind them in terms of being truer to Ridley Scott‘s original vision and involving the original people.

By contrast, these chancers havent even spoken to Ridley Scott.

On top of that, if I was going to pick who I wanted to make a new film in the Blade Runner universe out of everyone working in the movie business now, then I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be the company with The Blind Side, the Wicker Man remake and The Passion of the Christ on their resume (Although Book Of Eli was good).

But my final reason for hating this idea so much is nothing to do with what I saw on screen in Blade Runner or any of the subsequent versions. It was what I didn’t see.

When Roy Batty talked about attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion and C Beams glittering in the dark, it painted a picture in my mind of an amazing, deadly, spectacular and mysterious universe, that was sitting offworld, just waiting to be discovered.

In the years since then, I’ve thought about that stuff alot. I mean really alot. I even blogged about it as one of my great sci-fi moments.

What that means is that even though technology has advanced and movie-makers can do alot more now as the Alcon spokesman said, whatever they come up with will be nowhere near as good as what I have seen again and again in my head.

I’m left with an image of Alcon as the new JF Sebastian – well intentioned but out of their depth, surrounded by inferior spin offs of original brilliance, that they thought would be great but are now stuck with.

Word to the wise – file this one in the radioactive do not touch folder, and see what Sandra Bullock is doing next instead.

By the way, the Deviant Art website for the person who came up with the Roy Batty picture is here – well worth a look.

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