The Blade Runner Sequel Was Almost A Very Different Movie

Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner

It's become more common for blockbuster movies to receive sequels decades later. Tron: Legacy came out 28 years after Tron's release, Mad Max: Fury Road followed 30 years after Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, and this fall, Blade Runner 2049 will arrive 35 years after its predecessor was screened in theaters (and only two years before when Blade Runner is set). However, just because it took well past three decades for us to revisit the world of Replicants on the big screen doesn't mean that there wasn't consideration about releasing a sequel much sooner after the first movie. Had that happened, Blade Runner co-writer Hampton Fancher was thinking about relocating Rick Deckard to Russia for his next adventure. Fancher explained:

I guess, because I was reading in the newspapers, I thought Deckard had come to bad circumstances--he was nowhere--and he got assigned a Blade Runner job in Moscow, and it was all Russian, and cold, and snow ... John le Carré, you know? That's what I was thinking of. I remember telling Ridley that, "Harrison in Moscow!" Just that's a good thing, right? And he said ::shrugs:: and nothing came of it.

During an interview with Collider, Hampton Fancher, who also co-wrote Blade Runner 2049, talked about how within the year following Blade Runner's completion, he and director Ridley Scott started kicking around ideas for a sequel, one of which was moving from the dystopic United States to the equally depressing Russia. Nothing ever surfaced from an immediate follow-up, though, because of "legal problems." Still, since Blade Runner came out when the Soviet Union was still looming large, it would have been interesting to see how the Cold War feud between the U.S. and the Soviet Union had progressed decades into the future of this neo-noir world. Not to mention that thrusting Rick Deckard into a Russian-based Spy Who Came in from the Cold-type of story would have been a good way to show if the situation with the Replicants was any different in (at the time) the world's other biggest superpower compared to the United States.

Official development on a Blade Runner sequel wouldn't start until 1999, but it wasn't until the beginning of this decade that the project that would eventually become Blade Runner 2049 started to be formulated. With so much time having passed since the first movie, there was no choice but to move forward three decades away from 2019, but as we've seen in the Blade Runner 2049 trailers, the world has only gotten worse since we last saw Rick Deckard. In addition to Harrison Ford reprising Deckard and Edward James Olmos returning as Gaff, the sequel's cast will feature Ryan Gosling as LAPD Officer K, Jared Leto as Neander Wallace, Ana de Armas as Joi, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Dave Bautista, Lennie James, Barkad Abdi and Dave Dastmalchian.

Blade Runner 2049 will be released in theaters on October 7, and in the meantime, check out our 2017 movie guide to find out what other cinematic offerings are coming later this year.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.