Anyone who has any appreciation for film has to give Ridley Scott his due. In addition to have a really cool name, he has had a profound influence in Hollywood. Most famous for Alien, he has also directed other well-known films such as Thelma and Louise, Legend, Gladiator (like it or not) and Black Hawk Down. In addition to this, he has produced or had his hand in numerous other ventures in film and television, which leads us to one of his most famous and most misunderstood films: Blade Runner.
While not commercially successful, Blade Runner was a very influential film. A futuristic film noir, this movie had a profound impact on many future film makers and science fiction writers. I am not going to go into detail about this, that’s a whole different post, but I did want to establish Blade Runner’s place in film history, because he is making another one.
It has yet to be determined if it will be a prequel or sequel of just another story set in that world, but I of the mindset (whatever that is worth) that this is a very bad idea.
First of all, I hate to say it, but his last few movies really have not been very good. So what makes us think that Blade Runner, a movie most people didn’t like to begin, will be better? Furthermore, Blade Runner was such a unique and influential movie that it would really be impossible to replicate (little inside joke there.) It came out at the right time and right place and had the right effect. Anything else just won’t live up to Blade Runners name. I really hate to see an influential work be run into the ground by a bad follow up.
I will give you an example, actually two or three. Take Terminator 1 and 2. A great, creative, franchise now being reduced to Terminator Salvation. Another example is the Aliens and Predator crossover films. The first couple of films for each franchise were amazing, and now it’s become a joke. The ultimate example is Star Wars Episodes 1-3 and everything after. George Lucas created arguably the greatest movie franchise ever, and then ran it into the ground. (Same with Indian Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)
That’s my main problem. Sometimes greatness can’t, or won’t, leave well enough alone. This is why I am also nervous about Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, an Alien prequel. I hate to see him drag his reputation into the mud. I have higher hopes for Prometheus though, because the Alien world is a lot easier to create and sell then the world of Blade Runner, but my fingers are still crossed on it. Whether Prometheus successfully carries the Aliens franchise torch (get it?) remains to be seen, but I am sure Blade Runner won’t.