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As evidenced by many examples in the past, sequel titles regularly pose a challenge for movie studios -- but Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049 has a rather elegant and logical name. After all, Ridley Scott's Blade Runner was set in the year 2019, and the new film tells a story set 30 years later. It definitely gets a big thumbs-up from us, but that's now more true than ever because we've learned that the project was nearly called Blade Runner: Androids Dream.
This revelation was recently made to the folks over at Monsters and Critics, who recently had the chance to speak with Alcon Entertainment executives/Blade Runner 2049 producer Andrew Kosove. For those who don't get the reference, the title is a reference to the franchise's original source material -- Phillip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep -- but it's also incredibly vague are surely would have come across as a total non-sequitur to anyone not familiar with the sequel or its history (and considering that Blade Runner is by definition a cult film, that's a lot of people).
In the interview, Andrew Kosove acknowledged that the goal was always to have Blade Runner in the title, and attach something to it to indicate a sequel -- though it doesn't sound like Blade Runner 2 was an option on the table. Kosove admits that he actually liked the name Blade Runner: Android Dreams, but at the end of the day sensed that it was "a little leading." He added:
I think [Alcon partner] Broderick [Johnson] and I ultimately felt that simpler was better. The fact that the original movie and the original first frame of the film is Los Angeles 2019, and since our story takes place 30 years hence, we thought it was very simple and clean just to call it Blade Runner 2049 as opposed to a lot of these other titles being kicked around.
Even before Blade Runner: Android Dreams was being tossed around, the project had some even weirder development titles - though they probably were never actually thought to be used for the theatrical release. Speaking with Monsters & Critics, screenwriter Michael Green noted that the original draft of the sequel script by Hampton Fancher (the scribe behind the original Blade Runner) dropped into his hands with the name Acid Zoo. From there it wound up oddly taking on some New York-inspired names like Queensboro and Triborough -- despite the fact that the Blade Runner mythology famously takes place on the opposite coast in Los Angeles.