Blade Runner web series heralds film?
While the news stories are running about the Blade Runner web series lead critics to talk about the intent to move film-makers to explore a new channel of creativity – new being web, where we've been seeing web series for a very long time – I wonder if there's something else happening here.
I wonder if this is a move to pull the audience away from the beloved and classic Blade Runner to a place somewhere in the same universe to allow new films to be made without raising the hackles of the fans.
The story tells us that Ridley Scott, Tony Scott and his son Luke Scott, are developing a web series called Purefold. This will be set in the same universe as Blade Runner just before the time in the film.
None of the characters from the film will appear, and the five to ten minute shorts will explore the world that was created and the ongoing questions of what it means to be human, so the same thematic questions from the film, but none of the characters or story line, essentially none of the copyrighted material since they do not own the rights to the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Now while this sounds fine and you might accept this without question, and for the record I don't have an issue with this and think it's a great idea, I don't see a lot of mileage in it except for a number of possibilities.
To let Luke Scott lose in the creative world and see what he can create, giving him the freedom without huge studio control on a big budget film, or the one I'm more inclined to believe in, that they are making a distinct gap between the universe of Blade Runner and the film.
Imagine that the team made a Blade Runner sequel right now, can you comprehend the fan backlash that they would take and the mountain they would have to climb in order to make something comparable to that film?
What about if they just made a film based on the universe it occupies right now? Well the problem there is that we would all see that as the typical Hollywood sequel, prequel, etc. activity and it still wouldn't be that distanced from Blade Runner would it?
So perhaps this web series is to gauge audience responses to the possibility of another film based in the Blade Runner universe and, at the same time, provide a distance between Blade Runner and a possible new set of cinematic stories?
What do you think? Am I reading too much into this and they really are just trying out something new with the intention of dumping it after the web series is over?