Within Cells, Interlinked

Blade Runner 2099: Amazon sequel brings us closer to a Blade Runner Cinematic Universe

Set 50 years after Blade Runner 2049, the new Blade Runner 2099 will stream alongside Amazon’s other big bets.

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The streaming wars have just become more human than human. Deadline reports that Amazon is proceeding with a new live-action Blade Runner series for streaming on Prime Video, with original Blade Runner director Ridley Scott as executive producer. A release date has not been announced.

Titled Blade Runner 2099, the series will take place 50 years after the acclaimed 2017 sequel, Blade Runner 2049, which starred Ryan Gosling in a picture directed by Denis Villeneuve.

Right now, very little is known about the plot and story. However, its setting of half a century after Blade Runner 2049 suggests even more of the rainy, dystopian Los Angeles that has been a fixture of the films since Scott’s 1982 movie. And, yes, there will presumably be more androids, called “replicants,” and the bounty hunters who track down and retire them, called “Blade Runners.”

Vernon Sanders, head of global television at Amazon Studios, said in a statement that Blade Runner 2099 will “uphold the intellect, themes, and spirit of its film predecessors.”

“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,” Sanders said. “We are honored to be able to present this continuation of the Blade Runner franchise.”

Released in 1982, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner bombed at the box office but became a celebrated film responsible for its lasting influence on science fiction media. A sequel, Blade Runner 2049, was released in 2017.

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Alongside Scott, Sanders, and Alcon Entertainment’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson, other executive producers include Blade Runner 2049 writer Michael Green. Joining them will be Isa Dick Hackett, a film and TV producer and the daughter of celebrated author Philip K. Dick, whose 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was the source text for Blade Runner. Shining Girls showrunner Silka Luisa wrote the script for Blade Runner 2099 and is also on board as executive producer.

Blade Runner 2099 joins Amazon’s slate of massive productions based on pre-existing media, including The Wheel of Time and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. (The Expanse, based on the sci-fi novels, was acquired from cable network Syfy.) It will also be the second high-profile adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s work at Amazon, following The Man in the High Castle, which ran for four seasons.

Blade Runner itself has been a semi-successful multimedia franchise, encompassing sequel novels, comic books, computer games, and animated productions like last year’s Blade Runner: Black Lotus. But an Amazon series is the biggest leap yet in turning Blade Runner from being mostly two classic movies into a capital-I, capital-P intellectual property. While there’s not yet a formalized “Blade Runner Cinematic Universe,” Blade Runner 2099 is a step closer to that reality.

There is no release date for Blade Runner 2099.

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