“Blade Runner 2099” Series Coming to Amazon
Amazon has officially ordered a Blade Runner 2049 sequel series. This is huge news for the legion of Blade Runner fans, sci-fi fans, and Ridley Scott and Denis Villeneuve fans. The new series, Blade Runner 2099, will be set (as the title makes clear) 50 years after Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049, although plot details will be a tightly held secret—for now.
The series has been in the works for a little while now. Ridley Scott first announced that he was working on a sequel series back in November 2021. The showrunner will be Silka Luisa (Shining Girls, Halo), with Scott executive producing. Blade Runner 2049 co-writer Michael Green will also executive produce and will be joined by, among others, writer Tom Spezialy (Watchmen, The Leftovers), who will be joining the writer’s room.
“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 for Amazon Studios, in a statement. “We are honored to be able to present this continuation of the Blade Runner franchise and are confident that by teaming up with Ridley, Alcon Entertainment, Scott Free Productions, and the remarkably talented Silka Luisa, Blade Runner 2099 will uphold the intellect, themes, and spirit of its film predecessors.”
The original Blade Runner, based on Philip D. Dick’s 1968 novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” has become one of the most influential sci-fi films of all time. Harrison Ford played Rick Deckard, an exhausted cop tasked with hunting down replicants gone rogue (the job comes with the unimprovable title of “Blade Runner.”) Scott’s vision of a soaking, cyberpunk, hologram-haunted Los Angeles has inspired generations of filmmakers ever since. (A major hat tip to the film’s production designer, the late Lawrence Paull, who helped Scott realize his vision.) The look and feel of the original Blade Runner, along with its iconic score by Vangelis, has become so seeped into the broader cultural imagination it’s hard to imagine that when it debuted, the critical reception was mixed. Over time, however, the film has taken its place as one of the greatest in the sci-fi genre.
This is what made Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 so remarkable—it worked as both a sequel to Scott’s groundbreaking film and on its own terms. Ryan Gosling played K, a replicant working for the LAPD as a Blade Runner hunting down the world’s remaining replicants, most of whom had gone into hiding long ago. Set 3o years after the events depicted in Blade Runner, Villeneuve’s sequel played with not only the themes of the original but wove Deckard’s story, and the love he had for Rachel (Sean Young), into 2049‘s action, with Ford returning as the grizzled, hunted former Blade Runner.
Blade Runner 2099 will no doubt continue these storylines, but considering it’s set a full 50 years after Villeneuve’s film, you can expect entirely new characters, plot points, and environments. Amazon has now proven itself successful working on a massively scaled genre series with the current success of its most ambitious project to date, Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Blade Runner 2099 will provide the streamer with another major opportunity to continue the story of an already hugely popular franchise, with a fan base no less fervent than those who love Lord of the Rings.
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Featured image: L-r: Anna de Armas as Joi, and Ryan Gosling as K in ‘Blade Runner 2049.’ Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures.