You couldn’t really ask for two better talents to be behind the upcoming “Blade Runner” sequel. Denis Villeneuve has show a tremendous skill for taking what seem like routine genre pictures on the surface, and turning them inside out, finding deeper layers of meaning within them. Meanwhile, he has found a collaborator in revered cinematographer Roger Deakins who, after shooting two pictures with the director (“Prisoners,” “Sicario“), will embark on a third with the followup to the sci-fi classic. However, Deakins wants to make clear their effort will be distinct, and not a carbon copy of the original.
“We’re just treating the new one as what it is; it’s an entirely separate movie that will stand by itself,” he told ScreenCrush. “I mean obviously it has elements that connect it to the original. But it’s going to stand alone by itself as a movie. And I’m not going to do shafts of light coming through a window with rain just for the sake of doing shafts of light and rain — although it was really superb the way it was done. No, you have to think about the script and approach it anew.”
However, Deakins does admit he paused a moment before jumping in. “I mean, I did think twice about it. Because you think ‘Oh yeah, Blade Runner, the original is so wonderful.’ And I thought ‘This script is not the old script. It’s not a remake. It’s another take on the story. It’s another story and a progression.’ And I thought ‘There’s so few good science-fiction films out there. Of all the science-fiction films, this deserves another.’ I mean they made about 20 ‘Planet of the Apes,’ and they still haven’t made one as good as the original. They only ever made one ‘Blade Runner,’ so I think we can do another one,” he stated.
And while we’re we’re excited for Villeneuve and Deakins to be behind this endeavor, if you’ve been wondering why Ridley Scott has passed the torch, he explained his reasons to Deadline. “Alcon [Entertainment] bought the title, and asked if I had any ideas. I did. So fundamentally it’s my essay about what happens and what the film is about,” he said. “I was going to get writers, but decided to call up my old buddy Hampton Fancher because he walks the walk and talks the talk, albeit in these awful sandals. We came up with a nice tight target. He said he wouldn’t write the screenplay, but wrote a short novel. This was one of the writers I had the best experience with, on the original ‘Blade Runner,’ meeting him every day, polishing the script. We’d solve one problem and there would be another. It drove him crazy but what happened is that what started off as a small contained play inside an apartment, and into an epic. The new one, we’ve got a very good director in Denis Villenueve. He has taken my script, from Hampton and Michael Green, and that’s what he’ll make. I can’t direct them all, and I have to do ‘Prometheus.’ “
So, Scott’s imprint on will be on the “Blade Runner” sequel to some degree, but it looks like he’s putting his faith on Villeneuve and Deakins to bring it to life and make it work. And that’s a gamble we’re willing to take.