But is this a sequel or a prequel? A reboot or a remake? What?
We’ve known since March that Warner Bros.’ financing and production company Alcon Entertainment was working on securing a rights package (one that included rights specifically for prequels and sequels, not remakes) for Ridley Scott’s iconic sci-fi thriller “Blade Runner,” but news has been quiet since then. Not so today. Deadline reports that the film’s original director, Ridley Scott, is set to direct and produce a new “Blade Runner” film that “advances [the] seminal and groundbreaking science fiction film.”
The exclusive news doesn’t come with many details – it’s unknown if this next film will be a sequel or a prequel, whether any of the original cast will be involved, and how much it will reach back to the film’s source material, Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Considering that the first film was only very loosely based on that work, it’s safe to say that we probably won’t get too much more Dick in this new film. The only thing we do know is that it will not be a remake, at least as far as Alcon’s rights package guarantees that.
The original “Blade Runner” was released by Warner Bros. in 1982, and the Harrison Ford-starring film was adapted by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Visual Effects, and Best Art Direction). It also routinely tops "best of" lists and was, in 2007, "was named the 2nd most visually influential film of all time by the Visual Effects Society." As Deadline notes, the film was not a blockbuster at the time of its release, but it has clearly gained a huge amount of respect in the intervening thirty years.
Film is already Woody Allen's highest grossing U.S. hit
If you somehow missed Woody Allen's spring gem, "Midnight in Paris," Sony Pictures Classics is giving you a second chance. SPC will re-expand the film to an upwards of 600 additional theaters, giving the surprise hit show times at over 1,000 theaters. The Hollywood Reporter reports that the expansion will kick in to gear next Friday, August 26. This will serve as the film's second wide release, pushing it back into the realm of its previous largest release (1,038 theaters). The film has been in release since May 20, but it's kept up steady business, currently ranking as Box Office Mojo's sixteenth best weekend theater average moneymaker.
The film has made nearly $50 million at the American box office, giving auteur Allen his biggest U.S. take in his long and varied career. With the expanded release, SPC will also amp up marketing, pushing out a new TV campaign that asks audiences who previously saw and loved the film to "take a friend to Paris." New marketing and an expanded showing schedule hint at SPC's plans for angling the film as an Oscar contender, a not wholly crazy idea for the project.
The film stars Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen, Adrien Brody, Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates, and Tom Hiddleston in an utterly delightful and unexpectedly charming tale. Wilson is the standard Allen surrogate, a writer whose ultimate dreams of living out a happy (but penniless) existence in Paris are at odds with the ambitions of his fiancee (McAdams). The two take a trip to the City of Lights, and Wilson discovers that his literary and artistic heroes (even the dead ones) just may support his dreams. If you have not yet seen the film and don't know what direction Wilson's character's wonderings and wanderings take him, don't spoil the film for yourself, check it out. It's one of summer's true crowd-pleasers.