Amazon has confirmed it's moving forward with a live-action Blade Runner TV series for its Prime Video streaming service. Named Blade Runner 2099, the project was first revealed to be in development back in February but now a full series order has been given the green light.
Ridley Scott, director of the original Blade Runner movie released in 1982, will serve as an executive producer, but there’s no suggestion at this time that Denis Villeneuve, director of 2017’s Blade Runner 2049, will be involved in the project. Anyway, he’s probably too busy working on Dune 2 to return to the bleak world of Blade Runner.
Michael Green, a co-writer for Blade Runner 2049, will also be executive producing — so at least some of the talent behind the critically-acclaimed science-fiction sequel has been thrown into the mix. Fresh blood is also being incorporated with Silka Luisa set to take on the role of showrunner. Luisa is most well known for her work on Shining Girls on Apple TV Plus and Halo for Paramount Plus.
“The original ‘Blade Runner,’ directed by Ridley Scott, is considered one of the greatest and most influential science-fiction movies of all time, and we’re excited to introduce Blade Runner 2099 to our global Prime Video customers,” said Vernon Sanders, head of global television at Amazon Studios, in a statement (courtesy of Variety).
Alcon Entertainment co-founders Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson also commented on the news: “We are delighted to continue our working relationship with our friends at Amazon. And we are beyond excited to continue to extend the Blade Runner canon into a new realm with the provocative storyline that Silka has created.”
There are no plot details yet, but based on the title we can safely assume the show will take place 50 years after Blade Runner 2049. It’s also worth noting Blade Runner 2099 isn’t technically the first time the franchise has graced the small screen; animated series Blade Runner Black Lotus debuted on Adult Swim in November 2021 and concluded its 13-episode run back in February of this year. However, 2099 will be the first live-action Blade Runner TV project.
Will Rick Deckard return for Blade Runner 2099?
With a setting assumed to be 50 years in the future, it would be reasonable to suggest that Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard will sit out Blade Runner 2099. However, a recent report from Giant Freakin Robot suggests that may not be the case.
The site claims that a “trusted and proven inside source has shared that Harrison Ford is now in talks for Blade Runner 2099.” It’s hard to determine the accuracy of this rumor, but on the surface, Ford’s return seems far from guaranteed.
The actor has recently been filming Indiana Jones 5 and has talked about being finished with the roles after this sequel. Considering Deckard’s complete character arc in Blade Runner 2049 it’s entirely possible he feels the same way about reprising another of this iconic roles. Perhaps Ford will be persuaded to make a cameo or small supporting appearance, but definitely don’t expect him to be the leading man.
The possibility of Ryan Gosling’s Officer K, the lead character in Blade Runner 2049, featuring has also been speculated upon, but this seems even more unlikely. For starters, 2049 was a box office disappointment, so the creatives behind this new series probably aren’t looking to tie into the sequel too closely. Furthermore, Gosling seldom does TV work and its hard to see what appeal reprising the role would have for the actor other than a potentially sizable payday.
Overall, we definitely hope that Blade Runner 2099 has ties to the two movies that came before it, and being set in the same universe ensures it almost certainly will, but at the same time in order for this TV show to succeed it will likely need to stand on its own. If Ford does return let’s just hope his presence doesn’t overshadow the new stories and characters that 2099 will be looking to introduce.