The late ’70s/early ’80s were spawning a different kind of sci-fi than we’re served up today. A brainier, “hard” sci-fi, less action-oriented tentpole and more drama with a slight fantastical twist.
Director Ridley Scott was one of the pioneers of these unique cinematic experiences, with his two entries, Alien and Blade Runner (and on some level, 1985’s Legend), breathing life into a genre mostly geared towards pulpy, goofy adventure stories. He took sci-fi seriously and, through the magic of performance, camera work and design, whipped up to classics.
Thankfully, Scott’s been bitten by the sci-fi bug again. Thirty years later, the director is returning to the world of sci-fi—his sci-fi—with a pseudo-Alien sequel starring Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba and more, entitled Prometheus. And it doesn’t stop there.
While Prometheus inches towards completion, Scott has announced that he will revive his other science fiction staple, teaming up with producers to bring Blade Runner back into the spotlight. What “revival” means is unknown—a sequel? A prequel? A reboot? A new story set in the same world? Nobody knows, but if Prometheus is any indication, the director is focused on adapting his old fashioned style to new Hollywood, using nostalgia as fuel to re-introduce to a world to his older films.
But back when Blade Runner premiered in 1982, it wasn’t financial success, nor was it praised any high-octane experiences. Through and through the film is a walky, talky film noir, a style that might not fly with today’s audiences (and that barely clicked back then). What will Scott sacrifice to bring this picture to life? Does it matter?
For Blade Runner fans, this is simultaneously great and terrible news. Returning to the film’s glowing city world, complete with hover cars and androids, sounds like a blast. Turning it into a modern blockbuster…less so. But what’s important to remember is that the original visionary is back, in charge, and with clout to boot. The producers of the Blade Runner revival are fans too and may see an advantage in making their film different then modern fare.
That is to say, human.