Sony Pictures Releasing International will distribute Alcon Entertainment's follow-up to Ridley Scott's 1982 masterpiece Blade Runner in all overseas territories in all media. Warner Bros. Pictures is distributing in North America and Canada through its output agreement with Alcon, it was announced by Alcon co-founders and co-CEO's Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson. The studios have still not set a release date for the Untitled Blade Runner Project quite yet, but the official announcement did confirm that production is set to begin in July 2016.
Denis Villeneuve is directing the Untitled Blade Runner Project starring Ryan Gosling (The Big Short) and Harrison Ford (Star Wars) who is reprising his role as Rick Deckard. Hampton Fancher (co-writer of the original) and Michael Green have written the original screenplay based on an idea by Fancher and Ridley Scott. The story takes place several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original.
Alcon Entertainment acquired the film, television and ancillary franchise rights to Blade Runner in 2011 from the late producer Bud Yorkin and Cynthia Sikes Yorkin to produce prequels and sequels to the iconic science-fiction thriller. Cynthia Sikes Yorkin will produce along with Kosove and Johnson. Bud Yorkin will receive producer credit.
Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEO's of Thunderbird Films, will serve as executive producers. Ridley Scott will also executive produce. The film marks Denis Villeneuve's third collaboration with 13-time Oscar nominee Roger Deakins, who will serve as cinematographer, following Alcon's Prisoners and the hit drug-trafficking drama Sicario, which brought Deakins his latest Oscar nomination. Principal photography on Villenueve's new Blade Runner film is scheduled to begin in July 2016. Here's what Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson had to say in a joint statement.
"We are excited to work with Tom Rothman, Michael Lynton and the entire Sony team on this very special project as well as maintaining our important and long-standing relationship with our domestic partner Warner Bros. Pictures."
Among its many distinctions, Blade Runner has been singled out as one of the greatest movies of all time by innumerable polls and media outlets, and overwhelmingly as the greatest science-fiction film of all time by a majority of genre publications. Released in 1982 by Warner Bros. Pictures, Blade Runnerwas adapted by Hampton Fancher and David Webb Peoples from Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and was directed by Ridley Scott, following his landmark film, Alien. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Visual Effects, and Best Art Direction) and is now regarded by media and cineastes as one of the greatest movies of all time and the defining vision of the cyberpunk genre. Here's what Tom Rothman had to say in his statement.
"At Sony, we have made a strong commitment to the international marketplace. We know of few projects with greater international potential than the long dreamed of sequel to Blade Runner, especially given the all-star creative team Andrew and Broderick have assembled. We are deeply grateful to everyone at Alcon, Denis and Ridley for entrusting us with such a gift. Working on a Blade Runner film also fulfills a long-time personal ambition, as I deeply love and admire the original."
In 1993, Blade Runner was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 1993 and is frequently taught in university courses. In 2007, it was named the 2nd most visually influential film of all time by the Visual Effects Society.