I really, really disliked Roger Deakins and Denis Villenueve‘s last collaboration Prisoners, but it sure was pretty to look at!
Herein lies my dilemma: these two are now teaming up for Blade Runner 2. The original Blade Runner is one of my favorite films of all time, and Deakins is easily one of the best cinematographers working today, if not THE best. That long line of wonderful Coen Bros‘ films that he served as DP on can attest to that, along with some stellar work on movies like Skyfall and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
I guess I’m going to have to see another Villenueve flick in hopes that he’ll actually produce something that I’ll find enjoyable. Their most recent collaboration, Sicario, hasn’t hit theaters yet but is receiving generally good reviews on the festival circuit.
Let’s be honest here, I’d probably go see a Deakins shot Blade Runner even if the sound wasn’t working at the theater.
This new sequel to the 1982 dystopian classic will star Harrison Ford and, according to reports, possibly Ryan Gosling, who was in negotiations for a leading role. The script is written by the first film’s scribe, Hampton Fancher and Micheal Green (Green Lantern), based on a story by Fancher and Ridley Scott. Scott, director of the first Blade Runner, is set to executive produce.
Here’s the full press:
LOS ANGELES, CA, MAY, 20, 2015 – Twelve-time Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins will join director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Incendies) on Alcon Entertainment’s sequel to BLADE RUNNER, it was announced by Alcon co-founders and co-CEO’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson.
Deakins, who will be presented with the Pierre Angénieux Excellens in Cinematography Award at the Cannes Film Festival on May 22 reteams with Villeneuve on what will be their third feature collaboration, havingpreviously worked together on Alcon’s Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal as well as Villeneuve’s upcoming film Sicario, a drug-trafficking drama starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro from Black Label Media, which is in Competition at the Cannes Film Festival.
Deakins received his latest Academy Award nomination this year for his work on Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken. He was previously nominated for Joel and Ethan Coen’s Fargo, The Man Who Wasn’t There, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, No Country for Old Men and True Grit; Frank Darabont’s The Shawshank Redemption; Martin Scorsese’s Kundun; Andrew Dominik’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford; Stephen Daldry’s The Reader, which he shared with Chris Menges; and, more recently, Prisoners and Sam Mendes’ Skyfall.
Film is scheduled to start principal photography in summer of 2016. Hampton Fancher (co-writer of the original) and Michael Green have written the original screenplay based on an idea by Fancher and Ridley Scott. The story takes place several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original. Harrison Ford will reprise his role as Rick Deckard.
Villeneuve previously worked with Kosove and Johnson as the director of Alcon’s critically acclaimed Prisoners.
Kosove and Johnson state: “Roger is an extraordinary talent and we are very excited that Denis and Roger have chosen to continue their collaboration in bringing the sequel to BLADE RUNNER to the big screen.
Alcon Entertainment acquired the film, television and ancillary franchise rights to BLADE RUNNER in 2011 from producer Bud Yorkin to produce prequels and sequels to the iconic science-fiction thriller. Yorkin will serve as a producer on the sequel along with Kosove and Johnson. Cynthia Sikes Yorkin will also produce.
Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEO’s of Thunderbird Films, will serve as executive producers. Ridley Scott will also executive produce.
Among its many distinctions, BLADE RUNNER has been singled out as one of the greatest movies of all time by innumerable polls and media outlets, and overwhelmingly as the greatest science-fiction film of all time by a majority of genre publications.
Released by Warner Bros., BLADE RUNNER was adapted by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples from Philip K. Dick’s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” and was directed by Ridley Scott following his landmark Alien.” The film was nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Visual Effects, and Best Art Direction).
BLADE RUNNER was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 1993 and is frequently taught in university courses. In 2007, it was named the 2nd most visually influential film of all time by the Visual Effects Society.
Deakins is repped by ICM.
Entertainment Editor for The Beat covering film, television and the occasional comic book. His work can also be found at GeekRex.com and can be heard on the GeekRex podcast. Also, your go-to Grant Morrison/Love & Rockets/Hellboy/Legion of Super-Heroes expert.