Blade Runner 2 is officially happening – and Harrison Ford is returning as Rick Deckard.
The sequel to 1982’s cult sci-fi classic, which has been rumoured for years, will also see Ryan Gosling feature in the cast of Sicario director Denis Villeneuve’s film.
Ridley Scott, who directed the first film, is producing and worked on the script with original writer Hampton Fancher and Michael Green.
The storyline will take place “several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original,” according to a statement from production firm Alcon Entertainment. Big Hollywood hitters Sony Pictures and Warner Bros are also involved in the eagerly-awaited project.
“We know of few projects with greater international potential than the long dreamed of sequel to Blade Runner,” said Sony chairman Tom Rothman. “Working on a Blade Runner film also fulfils a long-time personal ambition, as I deeply love and admire the original.”
Blade Runner marks a second return to an iconic science-fiction role for Harrison Ford. His much-loved Star Wars character Han Solo was a key figure in The Force Awakens, and fans will be keen to see how Deckard has progressed over the course of the decades.
One question Villeneuve will have to address is the notion that Ford’s character Deckard is a replicant. Ford has frequently suggested that the character is human, while Scott definitively said in 2014 that he’s a replicant.
“When he picks up that unicorn and looks at it, that means he is a replicant,” said Scott, seemingly dashing Ford’s beliefs.
Blade Runner, set in a dystopian Los Angeles in 2019, was a costly flop on its initial release in 1982 and received a lukewarm reception from critics.
Two different cuts of the film – 1992’s Director’s Cut and 2007’s The Final Cut – radically changed the ending, removed the original’s clunky Harrison Ford voiceover and helped kick the film on to classic status.
Blade Runner 2 will begin filming this July for an expected release date in 2017.