Alcon Entertainment secures rights to 1982 sci-fi classic
“Blade Runner,” Ridley Scott’s landmark sci-fier, is being reborn.Alcon Entertainment announced Wednesday it is in final discussions to secure film, TV and ancillary franchise rights to produce prequels and sequels to the 1982 thriller starring Harrison Ford. Alcon toppers Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson told Variety they’re in the early stages of sorting out how to proceed — including whether Scott might be involved. “We’re at a very preliminary stage where we’re still formulating strategy as to whether we’ll hire a filmmaker or a writer first and whether we’ll do a prequel or a sequel,” Kosove said. “The one thing for sure is that neither Broderick nor I will direct.” Alcon’s negotiating to secure the rights from producer Bud Yorkin, who will serve as producer on “Blade Runner” along with Kosove and Johnson. Cynthia Sikes Yorkin will co-produce. Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEOs of Thunderbird Films, will exec produce. Alcon said its franchise rights would be all-inclusive, but exclude rights to remake the original. However, it may produce projects based on situations introduced in the original. The film also starred Rutger Hauer as leader of a group of escaped “replicants” — genetically engineered robots used for work on Earth’s off-world colonies — who are hiding out in a neo-noir version of 2019 Los Angeles where rainfall is constant. Ford’s character is a “blade runner,” a retired police operative who hunts down escaped replicants. Warner will distribute any “Blade Runner” films domestically via its distribution pact with Alcon. “This is a major acquisition for our company, and a personal favorite film for both of us,” Kosove and Johnson said. “We recognize the responsibility we have to do justice to the memory of the original with any prequel or sequel we produce.” “Blade Runner” was adapted by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples from Philip K. Dick’s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” Film was nominated for visual effects and art direction Oscars. “Blade Runner” wasn’t a B.O. hit, but its stature has grown. Alcon’s best known for producing and financing “The Blind Side” along with 18 other films including “Insomnia,” “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” and “P.S. I Love You.” The company ventured into the sci-fi realm last year with “The Book of Eli,” which grossed $157 million worldwide. Alcon’s romancer “Something Borrowed” will open May 6; family drama “Dolphin Tale” is set for Sept. 23. Alcon’s chief operating officer Scott Parish and head of business affairs David Fierson are negotiating the “Blade Runner” deal on behalf of the company.