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Ridley talks more of Bladerunner sequel

BladeRunner.jpgRidley Scott has been talking more about the planned sequel to Blade Runner, although lets be fair it isn't a direct sequel but is going to be more in the vein of their view of the Alien prequel Prometheus, it's in the same universe and borrowing elements but it's not a direct sequel. Mind you if they say that about Prometheus and the trailers show us the many connections maybe it's not that far off a sequel after all?

Scott has been talking about the star of the film and revealing that he'd like an old one to return, a return that means either a rethinking of some major plot points from the first film, or a new twist to the old story.

What am I talking about? Well Ridley Scott has revealed that although the star of the Blade Runner sequel won't be Harrison Ford, something we realised a while ago despite attempted rumours, and was confirmed when we heard that the sequel would feature a female protagonist, he does like the idea of the actor returning for a short role.

"I don't think it'll be Harry [starring]. But I've got to have him in it somewhere. That'd be amusing."

Well that quote from The Independent through The Guardian could mean anything couldn't it? Anything from a cameo role walking by in the background to something more meaty, but if it does mean something more than a film fan's reference in the background what does it mean for the original Blade Runner?

Now I know this may be taking spoilers too far but let me warn all those who haven't seen Blade Runner that I'm about to talk about the huge reveal, or perhaps not reveal, at the end of the film and that if you haven't seen the film yet then there are three things you should do next.

Firstly stop reading this after the third point, secondly watch the film now, and lastly return to this exact point once you've finished watching the film.

Right, now for the spoiler which I can't believe really needs to be a spoiler, but new film fans are arriving all the time aren't they?

So at the end of Blade Runner we're left to decide for ourselves if Deckard is a replicant or not, I've always thought he was, after all it makes the story more interesting and thought provoking. However if this sequel features Deckard returning, and an aged Deckard at that then he wasn't a replicant was he? Or he was a new style of replicant that broke the rules as they were only intended to live a few years.

Does this mean the ending of the original would be in question? Would Deckard actually be human or would he be a new type of replicant granted a full life? Perhaps none of this would matter and the idea is just to cameo him as a nice reference for fans of the original? Right now we don't know, and neither does Scott for the script hasn't been written yet.

However if Scott's thinking it, you can be guaranteed that the writers will have to be listening to it.



If Deckard's hat appeared in the sequel, for less than 10 seconds, it would still trigger 80 million internet forum debates for the next 30 smeggin replicant counting years.

My theory? Deckard is a Dalek. Oh come on, any chicken-head can see that!


Allow me to elaborate: First, I don't care what Ridley Scott says because he doesn't know, any more than Quentin Tarantino knows what's in that glowing briefcase. And Tarantino has a better chance of knowing that (in other words, I would listen to his answer) because he, um, wrote the movie script, whereas Ridley Scott is merely the (brilliant, visionary) director of Blade Runner. It's like trying to figure out the Queen Alien's life cycle, and asking Ridley Scott. He DOESN'T KNOW, because James Cameron (unlike Ridley Scott) actually wrote the script to his movie and can begin to answer the question. Here's where I should bring in Susan Sontag and her idea of "the Intentional Fallacy" but I won't bother. Except I just did, so here goes: the artist is not an authority on his own work. He or she is merely an authority on the creation of the work.

But never mind all that. This is the stupidest idea in the history of sci-fi speculations, for the following reasons:

1) Replicants are illegal on Earth, so Deckard wouldn't be allowed there.

2) Deckard works as a Blade Runner, which means he spends his working days surrounded by an entire police force dedicated to revealing, chasing and retiring Replicants. And they never noticed him? What are they, completely incompetent? (Remember that all they'd have to do is detect him and shoot him; no trial necessary.)

3) Replicants only live four years, and yet Bryant and Gaf clearly have memories of Deckard that are older than that. (There's some wiggle room on this one, but not much. "I need you, Dec. I need the old Blade Runner; I need your magic.")

4) Let me return to point one. Having four "skin jobs" in Los Angeles -- just HAVING THEM THERE -- is such a police emergency that Deckard is called out of retirement to solve it. But nobody cares about Deckard walking around? The only Replicant legitimately walking around on Earth is Rachel, an experimental model (in that she's got the new Nexus VI memory implants and DOESN'T KNOW IT). I'm sure Tyrell gets some kind of special dispensation allowing him to keep Rachel on Earth. Never mind the bullshit about how she doesn't have the four-year-lifespan, either: that's part of the studio-added narration and isn't really part of the story.

5) Replicants have superhuman strength. (Even Pris; she practically kills him with her bare hands, and she's just Daryll Hannah while he's Harrison Ford a year after developing his "Indy" physique.)

6) His eyes don't glow. Nobody's eyes fucking glow in this movie; it's called cinematography and Ridley Scott and Jordan Cronenweth are very good at it.

7) I re-iterate the extreme stupidness of hiring a non-self-aware Replicant to kill Replicants. How is this anywhere close to a good plan? Are you telling me there wouldn't be background checks, Voigt-Kampf tests, data going back MORE THAN FOUR YEARS?

8) Let's ignore everything I just said and pretend he is a Replicant after all. (It's some kind of "deep plotting" in which surface details of the photography carry more weight than the entire screenplay.) Is this supposed to "mean" something? It doesn't do anything to the story except screw it up -- unless you're stuck at the same tenth-grade level of literacy in which you think the end of "The Player" is profound because all you know how to do is detect when something is refering to itself; e.g. first-level irony. But since first-level irony is just about the weakest form of meaning you can find in art (although it's the easiest to detect and "analyize") this reduces Blade Runner to some kind of symbolic parable, when it's really far more than that. If David Bowman turned out to be a computer himself, would 2001 suddenly "mean" more? More like the opposite.

9) I re-iterate that Ridley Scott doesn't know the answer. Come to think of it, he says some awfully dumb things on the Alien commentary track, too.

Wow JPX, you're miffed! Okay, here's what I'm going to do, I'm going to look at your comments with a contrary viewpoint. I'm not saying this is what I believe; I'm just going to have a crack at a rebuttal.

Here's a theory, they've deliberately made Replicants and designed them to hunt down other Replicants because they are so dangerous and humans are killed right left and centre by them without issue. Perhaps there's a string of Replicants created with the sole purpose of destroying Replicants? It's much safer and less costly in terms of Police lives. If that were the case:

1: They maybe are, but the ones created for the task of hunting them might be allowed and it could be that they can't be detected, or are accepted as who they are by the authorities.

2: See the whole theory above.

3: Perhaps he's a new model made to live longer. Perhaps the others are really aware he's one of these new Replicants.

4: Rachel. Exactly, Deckard could be the same model as Rachel and allowed to be on Earth and accepted as human to do this very job.

5: Well he could have normal strength in his guise as being as close to human as possible, but then if they were creating Replicants as Blade Runners then it would make sense to make them as strong. I'm struggling on that one.

6: This could be a trait of his model, designed to be as human as possible to be able to do the job he's designed for.

7: You assume that the authorities would not know about him and his job, or that if a higher agency comes in and sets up the Blade Runner everyone else would just use him. It's like if MI5 came into help the local police with a job, the police don't do background checks, they accept who they are after MI5 acknowledge they work for them.

8: I understand what you're saying but it doesn't change the fact that the Director could film it differently and with different intentions than the script had, it happens a lot and going back and reading some scripts for films reveals a different view or understanding of the subject, and if that change demeans or ruins the film for you well that's a shame but it doesn't mean that this isn't what the director did.

This set-up builds on the question of what it is to be human, to be aware and alive, and it can be argued that it is heightened by leaving the audience with the unknown of what Deckard is. If he was a Replicant the fact that he believes utterly he's human is a more intriguing thought than just Replicants who believe they have the right to be treated as humans.

9: He doesn't know the answer, but then he's never said he does...has he? I thought he always said it's in the mind of the audience.

(Shall I duck?)

I think JPX just made my point.

What do you call a 'Blade Runner' fan with a life?


Ouch, not a fan then Mark?

I like 'Blade Runner'. I LOVE 'Brazil'.

Gillium didn't need a studio cut, directors cut, 20th anniversary cut, blue-ray cut, final friggin cut with extra cg unicorns! Terry just made a masterpiece first time out. Sorted.

That's very true Mark. I don't think I can even begin to argue a different view to that one.


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