A limited-run live-action television series based on the “Blade Runner” universe has been given the green light on Amazon Prime.
Legendary filmmaker Ridley Scott, who directed the original “Blade Runner,” will serve as executive producer on the new show. Based on the title of the series, the series will take place 50 years after the last episode, the epic sequel to the film “Blade Runner 2049” brought to the big screen by Denis Villeneuve in October 2017.
You may remember that the first news about it appeared in February, but now the project has officially moved into pre-production.
Silka Luisa wrote the script and will act as showrunner. Luisa wrote “Shining Girls”, currently on Apple TV+ and she was overseeing the production of the underrated “Halo” for Paramount Plus. “Blade Runner” has a fervent fan base and if you remember, from the moment (opens in a new tab) Harrison Ford was confirmed for the sequel in early 2015, fans of the 1982 film were understandably worried. Almost every sci-fi buff and their dog worried that he wouldn’t be worthy of the first film and would end up looking like “Demolition Man” rather than the cerebral cinematic sensation that was the original.
And then look what happened: the sequel turned out to be at least as good as the first film. So while Luisa may not be as well-known as others, luckily we’ve all had doubts that turned out to be wrong in the past. Plus, look at the investment Amazon is making in “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” — a jaw-dropping, crushing $456 million over a single eight-episode season. That equates to around $57 million per episode. That’s about six times the budget of “Star Trek: Discovery.”
So the potential is simply dizzying.
It will be especially interesting to see what the world looks like in 2099, according to the “Blade Runner” universe. We’ve already seen a significant difference between Los Angeles 2019 and 2049, with a considerably more dystopian and weather-ravaged world appearing in the latter.
Related: New trailer and release date for “Blade Runner: Black Lotus”
Michael Green, who co-wrote the screenplay for “Blade Runner 2049,” is also currently associated with that project in a non-script executive producer role.
According to Warner Brothers, the series of events (opens in a new tab) in the “Blade Runner” universe between the two films goes as follows:
2019 – After a bloody mutiny by a Nexus 6 combat team in an off-world colony, replicants are outlawed on Earth, on pain of death. A prototype replicant, Rachael, and Officer Rick Deckard, a Blade runner, escape Los Angeles together.
2020 – Following the death of founder Eldon Tyrell, the Tyrell Corporation is releasing a new line of Nexus 8 replicants to market for off-world use. Unlike previous Nexus models, which were built with a 4-year lifespan, the Nexus 8s have an unlimited lifespan, as well as eye implants for easy identification.
2022 – The power cut. An EMP of unknown origin explodes somewhere on the west coast. Cities are closed for weeks. Electronic data is corrupted or destroyed in most of the United States. Financial and commercial markets are collapsing all over the world. The food supply becomes disastrous. Theories have spread about the cause of the blackout, but none are proven. The most popular blame replicants.
2023 — Prohibition of replicants. The governing authorities legislate an indefinite “ban” on the production of replicants. Nexus 6 models are now all out of service due to their scheduled 4-year lifespan. Surviving Nexus 8 models should be retired. Those who can, hide.
2025 — Idealistic scientist Niander Wallace is at the forefront of advances in genetically modified foods and sharing his patents for free, marking the end of a global crisis. His company, the Wallace Corporation, expands across the world and into off-world colonies.
2028 — Wallace acquires the remains of the bankrupt Tyrell Corporation.
2030s – Wallace improves Tyrells genetic engineering and memory implantation methods to make replicants obedient and controllable.
2036 — The prohibition is repealed. Wallace reintroduces a new line of “perfected” replicants, the Nexus 9.
Early 2040s – The LAPD is committing additional resources to bolster its existing Blade Runner unit, tasked with locating illegal replicants and removing them.
2049 — When we return to Los Angeles, 30 years after the original film, climate change has caused sea levels to rise dramatically. A massive seawall has been built to protect the city from the Pacific Ocean and San Diego is no little more than a municipal waste treatment plant. Los Angeles is even more uninhabitable than before and filled with poverty and disease. The humans, who weren’t well enough to leave for the off-world colonies, are left behind. There is no fresh food, and the locals survive on Wallace’s genetically modified food products sold from vending machines in street markets.
“The original ‘Blade Runner’, directed by Ridley Scott, is considered one of the greatest and most influential science fiction films of all time, and we are thrilled to bring ‘Blade Runner 2099’ to our global Prime Video customers,” said Vernon Sanders, Head of Global Television, Amazon Studios in a statement. (opens in a new tab).
“We are honored to be able to present this sequel to the ‘Blade Runner’ franchise, and are confident that by partnering with Ridley, Alcon Entertainment, Scott Free Productions and the remarkably talented Silka Luisa, ‘Blade Runner 2099’ will maintain the intellect, themes and spirit of its cinematic predecessors.”
According to the deadline (opens in a new tab)Alcon Entertainment co-founder and co-CEO Andrew Kosove revealed that the company has two people on the show’s team fully dedicated to maintaining the timeline and continuity of the franchise.
This is assumed to automatically include the events of the animated series “Black Runner: Black Lotus,” which was also produced by Alcon, along with Adult Swim and Crunchyroll, not to mention the comics and role-playing games.