Over the past 24 hours my Twitter feed has been abuzz with reactions to the announcement that Alcon Entertainment was close to signing a deal to make more Blade Runner movies. Capitalizing on the wave on controversy, i09 sat down with Alcon executives Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson, and Bud Yorkin to ask them more about their plans for turning this cult classic into a modern franchise.
When asked why they wanted to go after the rights to Blade Runner Johnson said, “We’re intellectually fascinated and ready to explore the themes that the movie invokes and the underlying material. At the end of the day those are the things that make great movies. Those and characters, it’s an opportunity of a life time to try and explore this further.” Kosove added, “I think that there’s a unique aspect of Blade Runner, and it is absolutely right to be re-address now at this time in human history. That is the concept of what it means to be a human being. What does it mean to be human, to have empathy, to have feelings?”
Those comments seem to answer one of the big questions about another Blade Runner: will it be about Replicants? Bud Yorkin goes further and confirms, “We are going to have Replicants, obviously. That’s part of what we started with originally. We’re certainly going to have Replicants involved.” Kosove, the talkative one, expanded a bit on where their interest in Replicants comes from, “I was in the Dallas airport a couple weeks ago, and there was a robot who was going through the airport cleaning. But it was also having conversations with people that were fluid conversations. It was quite extraordinary, and at that point I knew that we were on the verge of getting involved with this [Blade Runner film], and I thought about how fast the world is advancing and how possible Philip K. Dick’s ideas were, and how much material was there to mine for the project, either the prequel or sequel.” So, when all is said and done, we will have a Roomba to either thank or blame for whatever Blade Runner project these guys come up with.
And what kind of project will it be? It’s been reported that they have the rights to sequels or prequels, but not to a straight remake. Kosove said, “I don’t think a prequel is out of the question, and at the same time we’re open to a sequel. Alcon’s process for the last number of years has always been about the quality of filmmakers that we’ve had the privilege of working with, and being open to ideas and creating an open environment. We’re open to hearing ideas and then we’ll make a determination as to what direction we’re going to go.”
When talking about quality filmmakers, one must mention the director of the original Blade Runner, Ridley Scott. When asked to speak to his involvement, Kosove said, “ … we won’t say if we’ve reached out to Ridley Scott or not, but what we will say is that Ridley Scott’s blessing to what we’re doing is very important to Alcon.” Kosove was less shy in talking about who his dream director for the job would be, “Chris Nolan who we did Insomnia [with] would be in the pie in the sky for us. To be clear I think what Chris Nolan did … I think the methodology that Chris Nolan brought to Batman is precisely what we aspire to whomever the filmmaker is, whether Ridley comes back and joins us or it’s someone else. It’s precisely what we aspire to with Blade Runner, that’s the template for us.”
These guys seem to be very careful about what they’re saying. They keep reassuring us that they’re all about story, that they want to be respectful to the original, and that they want to get great people involved. Even if it is all just PR stuff, it’s still kind of refreshing to have a production company at least address fan concerns rather than ignore them completely. Kosove wants Blade Runner fans to give them a chance, and he leaves you with this final plea, “Alcon is not owned by Warner Bros. None of this is being paid by WB. We are a wholly independent financial and production company … what I can tell you for certain today is that we will not go about this process in some form of large group think where 15 executives are going to sit around a table micromanaging the creative talent. Broderick and I will meet with writers and directors and we will figure out what direction we want to go and what story we believe in.”
What do you think? Good enough for you, or should they keep their hands off something sacred?