Scott Z. Burns Is Ridley Scott’s Rumored “Top Choice” to Write New BLADE RUNNER Movie [UPDATED]

     September 24, 2011


Scott Z. Burns has become my favorite new screenwriter, coming off a pair of killer scripts in The Informant! and Contagion.  The success has set him on the path of the blockbuster remake— currently, Burns is reuniting with Steven Soderbergh for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and working on the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea script for David Fincher.  A new report suggests Burns will soon be summoned by another high profile director to write for yet another big property: Twitch hears Burns is the top choice of director Ridley Scott—as well as studio backers Alcon and Warner Bros—to write the new Blade Runner movie.

Not much is known about the story or the exact nature of the new Blade Runner.  A recent Alcon press release calls it a “follow up,” but admits, “The filmmakers have not yet revealed whether the theatrical project will be a prequel or sequel to the renowned original.”  I’ll wait until we know more before I get too excited.  But if Burns gets involved, I am more interested than I was yesterday.  Read the synopsis for the original 1982 Blade Runner after the jump.

Update: Steve here.  While I’d like this story to be true, I’m hearing it’s not. I don’t have 100% confirmation, but I’m pretty sure. More as we hear it.

Harrison Ford stars as Rick Deckard, a retired cop in Los Angeles circa 2019. L.A. has become a pan-cultural dystopia of corporate advertising, pollution and flying automobiles, as well as replicants, human-like androids with short life spans built by the Tyrell Corporation for use in dangerous off-world colonization. Deckard’s former job in the police department was as a talented blade runner, a euphemism for detectives that hunt down and assassinate rogue replicants. Called before his one-time superior (M. Emmett Walsh), Deckard is forced back into active duty. [Fandango]


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  • ti

    please, no.

  • SL

    What? He wrote a wonderful script for Contagion. If that was the reason he was hired, then that’s great.

  • Pete

    One of the best screenwriters around.

  • Strong Enough

    how the hell do you live off of screenwriting? i know scripts sell but its years between the informat and contagion. what he do? eat ramon noodles in a studio for years?

    • Franklin

      Many screenwriters work other, full-time jobs outside the film industry. Getting a script optioned, sold, produced is essentially no different than being paid for a one-time contracting gig, for most screenwriters who manage to break in the biz.

      • Strong Enough

        yea i was thinking the samething. am guessing TV writers are different just those change writers every season

      • IKnowEverything

        Uh, yes but not really. Feature film screenwriters who are successfully able to “break in” are usually paid upwards of 500,000 for their scripts, if not more (1 million is not uncomon). That money can last them quite a while, even after taxes and representation fees, not to mention that those writers usually land their next job pretty quickly, provided they are good at what they do and want the work. And to better answer your question, a lot of writers are also script doctors, going around and performing uncredited touch ups or fixes on other studio scripts. This can make them quite a lot of money in between their own projects.

    • ElGorcho

      Strong enough, it’s only been like 2 years since the informant. I think the guy’s made some pretty nice cash between those two films over the last two years. I wouldn’t worry too much about him, probably made more with those to films then you’ll make in a lifetime.

    • ElGorcho

      Strong enough, it’s only been two years since the informant was released. I’d say between those two films over the last two years he’s made some pretty good cash. I wouldn’t feel too sorry about the guy.

  • dukeofyork

    Is there any reason for this movie to be made? No

    If you had asked me 3 months ago how i would have responded to the idea of a sequel to Blade Runner I would have told you I was checking myself into a depression clinic as we spoke.

    However, if you are going to make a completely unnecessary and pointless sequel to one of the best movies ever made…. yeah this is how you do it.

    Gotta say every nugget of new information I here about this sequel is even better than the last. I’m still suspicious but I gotta say I am more optimistic about this project with each passing day.

  • Keyes

    They should adopt the current Bourne franchise approach by making a stand-alone, spin-off film from Blade Runner (1982) which expands the universe of the original film and follows a new (human) hero protagonist. Perhaps it will pave the way for Harrison Ford to return as Rick Deckard down the road. They should make the meaning of life one of the film’s themes again and hopefully Vangelis will return to do the soundtrack.

  • Elitist Prick

    I’m wondering whether or not this film’s impending production depends upon how the Alien prequel-esque movie/Prometheus shapes up. If the buzz is that it might become Ridley Scott’s version of Godfather III (legendary director’s disappointing return to the franchise that made him famous), then the studio might find a way to shut down production, or at least change direction. If the Alien movie becomes a hit, then maybe that becomes the green light for Scott to do his thing.

    And Keyes, as much as I would love a reunion of Ford and Scott, I don’t think For would be down for that at all. He’s almost 70 and incredibly rich and Blade Runner is often thought of as one of the most difficult movie-making experiences of his career. I doubt he’d return and I doubt Scott would want him to, as he’s a notoriously cantankerous director and probably doesn’t want to reteam with an actor with… opinions. Still, for the right amount of money, I’m sure everyone would embrace with hugs and love and make replicant magic together.

    Note: Despite the snarkiness of the above post, let me just state that Ridley Scott is one of my favorite directors, Alien and Blade Runner are two films I unabashedly love, and Harrison Ford is the man of my heterosexual lifemate dreams.

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  • NO

    Is everybody in Hollywood so retarded that they can’t come up with original thoughts anymore? Seriously, Blade Runner is quite possibly the greatest Sci-Fi movie ever created, and now they are going to ruin it like they did Star Wars and Indiana Jones. I’m beginning to wonder who in Hollywood Harrison Ford pissed off that they want to ruin all of the amazing movies he’s starred in.

  • nawtnt

    I think Blade Runner 2 should be a sequel as fans wouldn’t like a remake of the first Blade Runner movie so I think the sequel should have a new main lead, a lots of new charcaters and have it based in the universie like in LA, 2020.

    Now that Ridley Scott is returning to direct, I think this might work out well.

  • Dale

    No matter what schmoe they get to write this thing, they are going to ruin it. Expect all sorts of cheeky references to the first film that make no sense except as a nod to the fanboys, the way: “No offense… None taken.” Showed up in five additional “Alien” and “SVP” movies, as if that was just the cleverest thing anyone had ever thought of. WE GET IT ALREADY! Yeah, yeah. “Come with me if you want to live…” We get it. You saw the first “Terminator.” Great. How clever to work that iconic line into the sequel, even though it is totally non-sensical and dumb to pull everyone out of the movie. Go write for “Family Guy.” Jerks.

  • Northern Star

    Can those Hollywood hacks leave nothing alone, is it not bad enough they ruined ‘Star Wars’ with the prequels, ruined ‘The Matrix’ with the sequels (not to mention the other related crap that went with them), ruined ‘Dirty Harry’ with cartoonish sequels, not to mention ran Indiana Jones, ‘Star Trek’, and ‘The X-Files’ into the ground… can they not even leave ‘Blade Runner’ alone, man, the movie industry is really depressing these days…

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