Screenwriter Travis Wright has addressed the rumours about the Blade Runner sequel being in development, rumours he himself started at the Creative Screenwriting special screening of his critically panned summer blockbuster Eagle Eye the other week. At the event, Wright told the audience at the Q&A that he and John Glenn, who co-wrote Eagle Eye, were working on a script for a Blade Runner sequel together with the original film’s producer Bud Yorkin.
John Glenn was quick to respond, saying he was no longer involved and quelling fan outrage by explaining that the sequel “never got too far off the ground because the movie is so perfect, so the more we thought about it, the more uneasy we became with the idea.” Class act, Glenn. Slashfilm’s Peter Sciretta broke the story.
Now, however, we are back to your regularly scheduled signs of the apocalypse. Wright himself contacted Slashfilm and apparently, even though the script was never written, he and Glenn had been paid to come up with one and Wright still intends to write it at some point. He is still talking to Yorkin, but there is nothing official about the whole thing. The rest of Wright’s email is an attempt to explain what a huge fan he is – in cliches and varying degrees of drivel, even capitalizing Science Fiction – complete with mini biography and list of projects he has worked on. Too much information, none of it necessary.
(Seriously, who cares that he dated Christian Bale’s wife when his current release is getting only 28 percent of positive reviews and the critical consensus is that “Eagle Eye is a preposterously plotted thriller that borrows heavily from other superior films.” Very reassuring, considering that he wrote the upcoming remake of Walter Hill’s The Warriors.)
As far as any specific ideas for Blade Runner are concerned, Wright says: “My only intention as a writer, in pursuing this project, is to help explore some of the questions Blade Runner raises that were the fodder for endless debate among my friends for two decades now.
What does it mean to be human? That’s the central question in life and the paramount question in Science Fiction. More pointedly: Is or isn’t Deckard a replicant? What happens to Rachel? What are the off world colonies like? What happens to replicants once Tyrell is killed by one of his creations? These are some of the questions we explored with Bud Yorkin for a few years and I believe are a great basis for a story many fans like me are dying to see.”
This sounds more like a studio spin-off trying to cash in on the Blade Runner name and turn it into a franchise than it does like a solid base for a sequel. The Deckard question was answered once and for all in The Final Cut and the implications of him being a replicant were outlined pretty neatly. The last Blade Runner release left nothing calling for further rehashing, explanations, continuations, answers, visual improvements or anyone else’s ‘visions.’
And yet apparently these are still a possibility. Not a surprise, considering that Blade Runner is one of the last major works of science fiction left unscathed by the recent inflation of classic remakes.
With McG being trusted with Terminator, the future of Star Trek in the hands of J.J. Abrams, a man who has proved time and again that he has no interest in using the genre for anything other than cheating his way out of the basic rules of storytelling, and television shows that exploit genre elements (Lost, Fringe, Heroes) getting better treatment from the networks than those that explore them (The Sarah Connor Chronicles), the trends are indeed working in Wright’s favour.