Ridley Scott Promises A Female Protagonist In Blade Runner 2, Film Set “Some Years” After First – UPDATED

Here’s Ridley Scott on the status of his Blade Runner follow-up:

Funny enough, I started my first meetings on the Blade Runner sequel last week. We have a very good take on it. And we’ll definitely be featuring a female protagonist.

That last comment didn’t just come out of the blue. Scott was talking to The Daily Beast and much of the chat was about his love of female protagonists, dating back to Ripley in Alien.

Here’s a particularly interesting bit on Thelma and Louise:

The evolution of taking the side of the woman, as far as my career’s concerned, is epitomized by Thelma & Louise.

The budget was very slender—about $15 million—because nobody wanted to make it. I first came on as producer, and I was selling the notion to four or five male directors—this was made over 20 years ago, so there weren’t many female directors to do it—that the movie should be an epic about two women on their journey for freedom.

One director who turned me down said, “I’ve got a problem with the women,” and I said, “Well you’re meant to, you dope!” So I thought that I should direct it myself.

I think there are a lot of men who feel they’re being emasculated by having the woman be in charge; I’ve never had that problem. All the relationships in my life have been with strong women, from childhood. The relationship I’ve had in my life for the past 30 years is with a very strong Costa Rican woman.

Oddly enough, I find it quite engaging to be working with a female when I’m directing. It’s kind of interesting.

I’d have probed him on that a bit more, I think. What does he mean by “kind of interesting”?

The sex of the protagonist is maybe not the most natural bit of info to lead the long, slow drip-drip-drip of Blade Runner follow-up teasing that we’re bound to experience for the next three, four, five years or so. It probably tells us very little, but it’s something and these rogue jigsaw pieces can often click into place in a nice, satisfying way when more info comes to light.

UPDATE: And more has come to light. Alcon Entertainment have issued a press release announcing that Hampton Fancher is, as we said yesterday, writing the film. The only plot info given so far is that the story is set “some years after the first film concluded.”

Here’s the full press release.

LOS ANGELES, CA, MAY 17, 2012—Hampton Fancher is in talks to reunite with his “Blade Runner” director Ridley Scott to develop the idea for the original screenplay for the Alcon Entertainment, Scott Free, and Bud Yorkin produced follow up to the ground-breaking 1982 science fiction classic, it was announced by Alcon co-founders and co-Chief Executive Officers Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove.

The filmmakers are also revealing for the first time that the much-anticipated project is intended to be a sequel to the renowned original. The filmmakers would reveal only that the new story will take place some years after the first film concluded.

The three-time Oscar-nominated Scott and his “Blade Runner” collaborator Fancher originally conceived of their 1982 classic as the first in a series of films incorporating the themes and characters featured in Philip K. Dick‘s groundbreaking novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?“, from which “Blade Runner” was adapted. Circumstances, however, took Scott into other directions and the project never advanced.

Fancher, although a writer of fiction, was known primarily as an actor at the time Scott enlisted him to adapt the Dick novel for the screen. Fancher followed his “Blade Runner” success with the screenplays, “The Mighty Quinn” (1989) and “The Minus Man” (1999). He has continued to write fiction throughout his career.

Scott also will produce with Alcon co-founders and co-Chief Executive Officers Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove as well as Bud Yorkin and Cynthia Sikes Yorkin. Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEO’s of Thunderbird Films, will serve as executive producers.

The original film, which has been singled out as the greatest science-fiction film of all time by a majority of genre publications, 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.

State Kosove and Johnson: “It is a perfect opportunity to reunite Ridley with Hampton on this new project, one in fact inspired by their own personal collaboration, a classic of cinema if there ever was one.”