Since recapturing his enthusiasm for genre filmmaking during Prometheus, his Alien prequel/non-prequel, Ridley Scott has been talking up a new Blade Runner film. Not much has happened with it so far, but the last week has seen a flurry of news/rumours/speculation regarding Harrison Ford reprising his role as Deckard. The latest word, via EW.com, suggests that the project is still in its infancy, and it is not known yet whether the Deckard character would even be involved. Would Harrison Ford even be interested? Do fans want to see him back in the role?
Harrison Ford has appeared pretty disinterested in acting both on and off-screen for many years now. Fo rd came across as pretty curmudgeonly even at a young age. He has appeared in a handful of movies in the past five years, but is in no way the commanding and charismatic force he was in his younger days. You could argue that he hasn’t been given good parts, but you have to seek those out. You also have to approach your work with enthusiasm. Ford did not look at all enthusiastic in Cowboys and Aliens. It was hard to tell in Morning Glory, however, as the part he played was of a disinterested curmudgeon.
He did, however, bring his A game for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The movie itself might have been a bit of a let down, but no-one could say that it was the fault of Ford’s Indiana Jones. He slipped the hat on, and inhabited the character as well as he always did. If he were to bring this level of enthusiasm to the role of Deckard, it might just work.
Would he want to though? We all know about his feelings towards his role in Star Wars – there’s no way Lucas would be able to get him back in the role of Han Solo. He does not seem to have such strong feelings about Blade Runner, though. He also seems more keen to be acting now than he has been, with two movies in pre-production for 2013. If he wants better roles than he has been offered the last few years, a Ridley Scott directed Blade Runner movie would surely be as good as it gets.
So far I’ve ignored the elephant in the room. Do we even want another Blade Runner movie? If done for the right reasons, it could be great. My problem with it so far is that it does not seem to be being borne out of inspiration on Scott’s part, just his desire to make it. A decision has not yet been made on whether it’ll be a prequel or a sequel. That suggests that there is no great idea that Scott has for the movie, as he would obviously know where it fits in the chronology if he had one. So is he just making the film for the sake of it?
There is a great story, and fascinating philosophies at the heart of the original Blade Runner. I would rather not see a follow-up if it is not going to add to it, or if it is going to turn out to be just another by the numbers prequel/sequel. The argument, of course, is not to watch it. I’m not against prequels or sequels per se, and I can avoid it if it turns out to be a stinker. I would just rather Ridley Scott turn his talents to an original idea, if he does not have any specific plans in mind for Blade Runner.
If it turns out to be a Blade Runner sequel, and Ford is willing to put his heart into the role, I’d love to see Scott, Ford and Blade Runner come together once again. However, if any of the elements is half-assed, I’d really rather they didn’t bother. No doubt, the situation will become clearer in the coming months…
Barry Steele – You can follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MrBarrySteele