Warner Bros-based Alcon Entertainment (the financing and production company behind The Blind Side and The Book of Eli) are in final discussions to secure film, television and ancillary franchise rights to produce prequels and sequels to Ridley Scott‘s iconic 1982 science-fiction film Blade Runner. Not many details are known about the situation, but we have been told the following:
Alcon’s franchise rights would be all-inclusive, but exclude rights to remake the original. The Company, however, may produce projects based on situations introduced in the original film. The project would be distributed domestically by Warner Bros. International rights are yet to be determined.
So don’t expect to see a remake of the original movie. It is also unclear if they have any screenplay or treatments for possible projects. You might recall that Eagle Eye screenwriters Travis Wright and John Glenn were paid to explore a potential secret sequel from 2003-2005 and wrote several Blade Runner sequel approaches working with Bud Yorkin, who will produce the upcoming Alcon/WB projects.
Read the full press release after the jump.
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As much as the /Filmcast crew and I want one, we might not ever get a sequel to How To Train Your Dragon. Although, that movie is proving to have legs at the box office, dropping only 14% in its third weekend of release. I guess that might be enough for Hollywood to think they’ve figured out the next great thing – people must love Dragons. And as soon as the mainstream crowds get tired of the aliens phase, they’ll need something to fill the void.
Eagle Eye scribe Travis Wright has been hired to pen an adaptation of Here, There Be Dragons and The Search for the Red Dragon, the first two books in James A. Owen‘s popular young-adult fantasy book series The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica. The Gotham Group is producing the first two feature adaptations with Rick Porras, co-producer of The Lord of the Rings trilogy (which makes sense if you read more into this adaptation).
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This weekend I received an e-mail from /Film reader Tanner C. informing me that one of the screenwriters of Eagle Eye was working on a screenplay for Blade Runner 2. I spent the weekend trying to get confirmation, and thanks to my friend Frosty at Collider who was able to get in touch with a second person who was also at the event, I was able to confirm that the following was actually said. But before you throw a hissy fit. let me fill you in on all the details and assure you that nothing is being developed by the studio itself, or with the studio’s involvement. Here is the original email:
“I recently attended a Q&A session with one of the writers of ‘Eagle Eye’ after a free screening organized by the magazine Creative Screenwriting. During the Q&A, the writer said that he and whomever it was that helped him co-write the ‘Eagle Eye’ screenplay were in the process of writing a sequel to Blade Runner, and had already contacted the producers of the original, etc., etc. This is probably a load of empty words/wishful thinking on his part, but I for one am appalled by just the notion of a Blade Runner sequel, and thought you’d be as well, so I thought perhaps you’d like to look into this yourself and perhaps use your soapbox to get some fanboys a little pissed, as well. If not, then at least you have a scoop.”
Okay first of all, lets make sure we know who exactly we’re talking about. The screenwriters in question are not Alex Kurtzman or Roberto Orci, but instead Eagle Eye co-writer Travis Wright (who was at the event) and his Eagle Eye co-writer John Glenn. (Update: John Glenn has confirmed that he is no longer involved in the project)
Wright produced a 2005 animated movie which spoofed disaster films, called Disaster! The Movie. While at UCLA, Wright won the Jack Nicholson prize in screenwriting for his WWII drama Hunting the Wolf. At one point Wright and Glenn were attached to write a remake of The Warriors for Tony Scott/Paramount and Louis Leterrier’s remake of Clash of the Titans.
Wright revealed at the Creative Screenwriting event that they have been working on various treatments for a Blade Runner sequel over the last couple years. And there is also the claim that recently the duo have been working with Blade Runner co-executive producer Bud Yorkin on the project. It should be noted that Yorkin likely doesn’t control the rights to a Blade Runner sequel, and all of this is being developed outside of the studio.
But this isn’t just some small side project, Travis also claims that they are already working with a pre-visualization team on some of the hunter action sequences for their eventual pitch with the studio. I don’t believe that Ridley Scott is involved, but the screenwriting team has worked directly with his brother Tony Scott on projects, so their might be a possible connection.
All of this really scares the hell out of me. Blade Runner is one of the most beloved sci-fi films of all time, and it is a movie that doesn’t need a sequel. If Scott had an idea, and really believed it was worth making, then maybe MAYBE. But we certainly don’t need a sequel written by the second teir team of Eagle Eye. Lets hope to God this doesn’t happen.
UPDATE: I just received an e-mail from John Glenn, who claims that he is no longer working with Travis Wright on the Blade Runner sequel. I’m guessing this means that Travis is just working on the project by himself now. The email is reprinted below with permission from Glenn:
John Glenn, here. I just read your article about myself and Travis Wright working on a remake of Blade Runner … Travis and I actually broke off as writing partners years ago – after the first draft of Eagle Eye. Due to previous commitments, I couldn’t make the screening / Q&A last week — so to be honest, I have no idea what Travis was talking about or why he brought up a project we were tooling with years ago, when we still wrote together. There was a point where Travis and I were working with Bud Yorkin on a sequel to Blade Runner, but that was years back. It never got too far off the ground because the movie is so perfect, so the more we thought about it, the more uneasy we became with the idea. Anyway, just an note to clear the air. My apologies to you and your readers for the confusion Travis created.
Lawrence Kasdan has been hired to write a remake of the 1981 cult classic Clash of the Titans for Warner Bros.
Kasden was a legendary screenwriter whose credits included Return of the Jedi, The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Big Chill. The once great screenwriter has had a run of bad luck in the last ten years, turning out two films (and only two films) that were less than successful Mumford and Dreamcatcher. It’s exciting to imagine that Kasden will make a huge comeback (both creatively and financially) with this one.
The original Desmond Davis film was an adaptation of the myth of Perseus which told his quest to battle both Medusa and the Kraken monster in order to save the Princess Andromeda. The movie is famous for its use of Ray Harryhausen’s stop motion animated creates.
Travis Beacham (Killing on Carnival Row), John Glenn & Travis Wright penned previous drafts. The project has been in development for almost exactly one year.