New ‘Blade Runner’ Film Announcement Leaves Fans Conflicted

On August 18, the Los Angeles Times reported that Ridley Scott is on board to direct a new film for Alcon, which will be the second film in the “Blade Runner” franchise. Many fans of the original 1982 cult classic are deeply conflicted about this announcement. True, moviegoers could do a whole lot worse than having Scott, the director of the original “Blade Runner,” helm the next installment. Scott, who was 40 when he made his feature directorial debut in 1978 with “The Duellists,” is nearing three quarters of a century old, and there’s definite value to having his stamp on the franchise as it moves forward in whatever form it takes.

But for many the 1982 original (which is number 97 on the American Film Institute’s list of the top 100 films of all time) is perfection that can’t be equaled, even knowing the second film will not be a prequel or a sequel, but a film taking place in the same future world of humans and replicants. The original “Blade Runner” did much to set the standard in science fiction filmmaking. Nobody knows whether Harrison Ford or Sean Young will be returning, or what difference it would make if they do. Among discussions I’ve participated in among fans of the original film, the names that keep popping up are Clive Owen and Emily Blunt as people we’d like to see in similar roles to Ford’s and Young’s.

Many fans of the original will have to go see the new one out of curiosity, but the standard for pleasing us will be impossibly high. Take, for example, the second and third “Matrix” films as examples of sequels that should not have been made because the original, on its own, was just too good to be messed with any further. Until more information is known about the new “Blade Runner” film, fans will be thinking about the best and the worst ways this new movie could play out.

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