After the success of the iconic Blade Runner movies, it’s unsurprising that a limited series serving as a sequel to Blade Runner 2049 was pitched. Despite the rather definite ending of that film, the sequel Blade Runner 2099, was ordered by Prime Video.
Here’s everything we know about the upcoming series, which heads into production this May.
The New Blade Runner Series By Ridley Scott
Scott’s production company, Scott Free, is partnering with Amazon to create the upcoming show. The filmmaker had long talked about making a sequel to Blade Runner 2049, and a series was greenlit in October 2022. According to Deadline in February 2022, Amazon was prioritizing the project at the time.
Aside from Scott, Silka Luisa is writing the script and will serve as the showrunner for the upcoming series.
“The original Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott, is considered one of the greatest and most influential science-fiction movies of all time, and we’re excited to introduce Blade Runner 2099 to our global Prime Video customers,” said Amazon Studios head of global television Vernon Sanders.
“We are honored to be able to present this continuation of the Blade Runner franchise, and we are confident that by teaming up with Ridley, Alcon Entertainment, Scott Free Productions, and the remarkably talented Silka Luisa, Blade Runner 2099 will uphold the intellect, themes, and spirit of its film predecessors.”
Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson of Alcon Entertainment have signed on to produce the project. Michael Green, who wrote Blade Runner 2049, is also producing, as well as Ben Roberts and Cynthia Yorkin. David W. Zucker, Clayton Krueger, Frank Giustra, and Isa Dick Hackett of Scott Free Productions. Tom Spezialy is serving as an executive producer and is also part of the writers’ room.
What’s the Story of Blade Runner 2099
It’s unclear what Blade Runner 2099 will be about, other than it will take place 50 years later. The 2017 film seemed to put the story to an end while also potentially setting up a continuation. Fans can only base what the series will be about on what happened in Blade Runner 2049, which revealed a group of replicants building a resistance. With those replicants, it’s been hinted that a war is on the verge of breaking out between an army of replicants and their creator.
The original Blade Runner movie in 1982 centers on Rick Deckard, who is tasked to track and kill replicants in the future. Replicants are androids designed to be laborers, but many of these replicants run away to live their own lives. In Blade Runner 2049, the film sees Officer K trying to track down Deckard, while discovering that replicants can also reproduce.
The 1982 film is adapted from the novel by Philip K. Dick, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.” It’s set in dystopian Los Angeles in 2019, and the Tyrell Corporation engineered replicants to work on space colonies. Things take a turn when a group of advanced replicants manage to escape to Earth. A cop reluctantly sets out to track them down.
Who Will Star in Blade Runner 2099
While filming is set to begin in Europe in May 2024, there have been no official casting announcements yet for the series. We can assume that since the series takes place 50 years after the 2017 film, it’s unlikely that anyone from Blade Runner 2049 will return. (There’s also how Ryan Gosling’s Officer K is implied to have died at the end of Blade Runner 2049.)
So, there will likely be an entirely new cast for Blade Runner 2099. The project description also notes that the series will follow a “female detective named Cora.”
What Else Can Fans Expect?
Aside from confirming that he’s producing Blade Runner 2099, Ridley Scott also hinted at the themes of the upcoming show.
“I’m one of the producers. It’s all set years on. To me, it circles the idea of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World,” said Scott.
“Brave New World” is set in a future where citizens have been engineered into a social hierarchy based on intelligence. This theme was hinted at in Blade Runner 2049 with Niander Wallace. Niander Wallace leads the Wallace Corporation, the entity responsible for manufacturing replicants. The filmmaker’s comments might hint at a further look into the Wallace Corporation in Blade Runner 2099.
“We are delighted to continue our working relationship with our friends at Amazon. And we are beyond excited to continue to extend the Blade Runner canon into a new realm with the provocative storyline that Silka has created,” said Alcon Entertainment CEOs and founders Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson.
“Audiences first discovered Ridley Scott’s brilliant vision for Blade Runner 40 years ago. And since then, it has become one of the most influential science-fiction films of all time. Denis Villeneuve’s follow-up sequel, Blade Runner 2049 then became one of the best-reviewed sequels of all time. So, we recognize that we have a very high bar to meet with this next installment. Together with Silka and our partners at Amazon, and Scott Free Productions, we hope that we can live up to that standard and delight audiences with the next generation of Blade Runner.”
Blade Runner 2099 Release Date Speculation
Blade Runner 2099 doesn’t have an official release date yet. The upcoming Prime Video series was set to start filming in 2023 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. However, the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes delayed the production of the series.
With the strikes now resolved, productions are resuming again for most paused productions, including Blade Runner 2099. The upcoming series is expected to start filming in May 2024 in Europe under the working title “Bulero.” It is not yet known whether the series will be filmed in Europe or if it might still be filmed in Belfast.
“We are conscious that these difficult decisions do happen in the screen industry, particularly with the most expensive projects which carry the greatest expectations,” said Northern Ireland Screen chief executive Richard Williams in a statement at the time. “This obviously leaves a gap in Northern Ireland’s production schedule. And Northern Ireland Screen will do everything it can to plug that gap as quickly as possible, mindful that many freelance crew and supply chain companies were relying on this project for work.”
For now, fans can rewatch the two Blade Runner movies wherever available. There is also Blade Runner: Black Lotus, an anime series that premiered in 2021 on Adult Swim and Crunchyroll. The animated series is set in 2032 and follows a female replicant, voiced by Jessica Henwick.