We knew that Ridley Scott wasn't planning on directing the sequel to his 1982 masterpiece Blade Runner, and now it's official. According to The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, Denis Villeneuve is in talks to direct Harrison Ford in the new film. If you don't know Villeneuve's name, you should: he's the filmmaker behind both Prisoners and Enemy, two films from 2013 that demonstrated a keen ability to generate tension, not to mention eliciting incredibly strong performances from his actors.
The as-of-yet untitled sequel to Blade Runner is said to take place several decades after Rick Deckard and Roy Batty battled it out in the original film, and while Scott won't be directing his presence should be felt. He's producing the film and came up with the story alongside original co-writer Hampton Fancher (Fancher is writing the new installment alongside Green Lantern and Smallville writer Michael Green). The Alcon Entertainment project is scheduled to begin shooting in summer of 2016.
Shooting is scheduled to begin in summer of 2016
Harrison Ford will be returning to reprise his role as the titular replicant hunter, though according to statements Scott made last November the actor won't be the lead. "Harrison is very much part of this one, but really it's about finding him," he told Variety at the time. "He comes in in the third act." That leaves open the question of just exactly who that lead will be — and depending on the story, one could easily imagine the director teaming up with frequent collaborator Jake Gyllenhaal, particularly given the actor's recent penchant for dark, noir-infused roles.
But in the meantime he's putting the finishing touches on his upcoming thriller Sicario, scheduled for release this September. To get an idea of what kind of style Villeneuve might bring to Blade Runner, you can check out the trailer for Enemy below.