Ridley Scott might be in the autumn of his filmmaking career, but that doesn’t mean he’s not keen to relive his glory days back on the big screen. The seminal auteur, who cut his teeth on sci-fi genre staples such as 1979’s Alien and 1982’s Blade Runner, has already kickstarted the former franchise in last year’s divisive prequel, Prometheus. While lately, most chatter surrounding his upcoming slate has involved that film’s sequel, it’s the long-gestating second part of the 1982 sci-fi noir, Blade Runner 2, that fans are clamouring to know more about.
Doing the rounds to promote his upcoming Biblical epic, Exodus: Gods And Kings, Scott revealed a glut of previously-unknown plans for the android saga. The last time he spoke out about the sequel was in reference to its script, which he said was not only finished, but “damn good.” Excitement around the various tidbits he’s thrown out led most to assume he’d be back to helm the pic. During these early development stages, Scott has collaborated with original writer Hampton Fancher and let slip to Variety (via The Playlist) that while he has been deeply involved in the story, he will not direct it.
“We talked at length about what it could be, and came up with a pretty strong three-act storyline, and it all makes sense in terms of how it relates to the first one… Harrison is very much part of this one, but really it’s about finding him; he comes in in the third act.”
It was already common knowledge that Harrison Ford, who played Detective Rick Deckard in the first outing, would likely return to reprise his role. Now it seems his screen time might not be as sizeable as we originally thought, as he’s only set to appear late on in the movie.
While it might come as a blow to learn that Scott is out of the director’s chair, this offers a huge opportunity to an as-yet unknown talent. Last year, when it was announced that Green Lantern‘s Michael Green was writing the script (which may or may not still be the case) there was a flurry of mixed feelings. Someone non-canon working on Blade Runner 2? How dare they! But negative chatter surrounding that issue has since died down.
Either way, the most exciting part of today’s revelation is that the sequel is moving forward and we could see it as early as 2016. For fans of Scott, you can see Exodus: Gods and Kings when it hits cinemas on December 12th, and The Martian on November 25th, 2015.