Amongst the throngs of big-budget epics that were released in 2017, Blade Runner 2049 deserves special recognition. In a fair world, Roger Deakins would have already been confirmed to win his first Oscar for his cinematography on Denis Villeneuve‘s wondrous sequel, especially considering that the very fact that Deakins has never won is an inexcusable crime. It also sports some stunning set-pieces, such as the climactic fight in a flooding car, and David Bautista‘s best performance to date. Fans of the original Blade Runner were (mostly) enthralled and there was a contingency of people who did not care for the original that were over the moon for Villeneuve’s movie. And yet, it will likely go down as a flop due to middling domestic box office returns, despite a relatively strong showing internationally where it made nearly double what it made in the states.
All of this has thrown the question of a third Blade Runner movie into tumult, but there’s one person who is already prepared for the third movie, namely Ridley Scott. During a recent interview with Digital Spy about his latest movie, the troubled All the Money in the World, Scott said that he has an idea for another sequel set in the world of Blade Runner that he is ready to develop for Warner Bros. at a moment’s notice. Here’s what he said to Digital Spy about the possibility of another Blade Runner movie being made:
“I hope so, I think there is another story. I’ve got another one ready to evolve and be developed, so there is certainly one to be done for sure.”
On one hand, I’m sure Scott does have an idea for the third movie. The man does not want for script ideas, even if many of those very concepts come out half-baked and politically timid. On the other hand, this all stinks of peacocking. Scott has been tooting his own horn quite a lot as of late. He had one of the funniest quotes of 2017 when he called himself “too dangerous” for a Star Wars movie. (That’s right. The man behind A Good Year, Matchstick Men, and likely an upcoming Disney movie about Merlin thinks he’s David fucking Cronenberg.) And though he’s not wrong in criticizing the length of Blade Runner 2049, it’s also a weak and safe analytical argument when there are plenty of bigger issues with Villeneuve’s movie.
This quote strikes me as Scott’s way of extending an olive branch to Warner Bros., to say that if they want to move ahead with a third film, he’s both the natural choice and already prepared to get to work despite having a number of projects currently in limbo. To be fair, Scott’s return to the Alien franchise has yielded at least one very good movie, Alien: Covenant. Ironically, however, Alien: Covenant faced a similar issue with bringing in and maintaining an audience at the box office, and made notably less than Blade Runner 2049 domestically. Scott may have a good idea for where the Blade Runner universe should head next but there’s no proof whatsoever that his ideas have the power to reinvigorate franchises that less and less people are interested in revisiting.