Blade Runner 2.0

As director Ridley Scott preps another Replicant run-around, Buzz tells him what we want – and what we don’t – in Blade Runner 2…

Ridley Scott is back! Almost 30 years after the Brit director last birthed a sci-fi, he’s returning to the scene of his last hi-tech epic by taking the reins on a new Blade Runner movie. With the rights snapped up by Alcon Entertainment, details on the potential prequel/sequel are harder to find than iron-fisted Replicants. Harrison Ford’s two cents? “If they go into it with ambition and bring something new to it, maybe it’ll be successful.” According to Alcon producer Andrew Kosgrove, though, Ford won’t be playing Deckard again. “This is a total reinvention,” he says, “that means doing everything fresh.” Leave it to Buzz to rustle up some helpful suggestions…

DO get Vangelis back to score
The Greek composter’s nervy, electrifying score for the first Blade Runner infused Scott’s fractured future Los Angeles with twitchy, mesmeric sounds. The last big budget film Vangelis composed for was Oliver Stone’s floptastic 2004 Alexander – like Scott, it’s clearly time for this guy to get back into sci-fi.

DON’T bring back Deckard
We love Harrison Ford. You love Harrison Ford. But do we really need to play the Crystal Skull card? Resurrecting beloved characters is dicey enough, and we like Deckard just the way he is. Besides, his story’s done – we don’t need an answer to the ‘Is Deckard a Replicant?’ conundrum. We just don’t.

DO hire Tom Hardy
Scott enlisted Michael Fassbender for Prometheus, so he obviously has an eye for brilliant burgeoning talent. Next on his list should be Tom Hardy. You want a grizzled anti-hero with soulful eyes and brawn to match the brains? Hardy’s your man. Get on the blower quick, though – he’s a busy guy.

DON’T make an action blockbuster
Blade Runner isn’t a blockbuster. In today’s money, it cost a modest $62m to make, putting it way behind Avatar ($237m) and even next year’s Total Recall reboot ($200m). Any new Blade Runner movie should understand what made the original tick – taut storytelling and memorable characters. And the odd fistfight.

DO keep the same aesthetic
Sadly, Blade Runner cinematographer Jordan Cronenweth died in 1996 – but his elegant work on Runner should remain an important touchstone for Scott’s new film. We’re talking shabby chic aesthetics and mega-moody lighting. Legendary concept artist Syd Mead, who was pivotal in designing Runner’s city and vehicles, is also a must.

DON’T make a prequel
Prequels are tricky to tame. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes did good earlier this year, and Scott’s own Prometheus looks mind-blowing – but for every X-Men: First Class there’s a Phantom Menace. Let’s push the story forward – anybody else interested in seeing what a Nexus 7 could do?

DO recruit Damon Lindelof
If JJ Abrams vouches for him, we’re all for it. Lost writer Lindelof helped Scott transform an iffy Alien 5 script into Prometheus, and on the evidence we’ve seen of that film, he’s done a bang up job. He also managed to concoct a fan-pleasing reinvention of Star Trek. Get him a pen pronto.

DON’T over-egg the CGI
We’ve already talked aesthetics, but let’s hammer this one home. Runner doesn’t need big impressive CGI landscapes or flashy CG set-pieces. Scott did perfectly well with his practical effects in ’82, and if he wants to craft a decent follow-up, he needs to use CGI wisely. Ridders, we trust you.

40 Films That Need Comic-Book Sequels

Blade Runner

The Film: Moody, mind-bendy sci-fi from Ridley Scott following burnt-out future cop (or ‘Blade Runner’) Deckard as he chases down superhuman beings (or ‘Replicants’).

The Comic-Book Continuation: What we want – more Blade Runners, more shifty Replicants and more neo-noir intrigue. What we don’t want – stuff set in space.

Essential Element: Rainy imagery and neon-blushed cityscapes. Is it too much to ask that each issue also comes with a Vangelis CD?

Best & Worst: Rutger Hauer

Best: Blade Runner (1982)

Ridley Scott’s grungy, beautifully tactile glimpse into a post-apocalyptic future would be nothing but an attractive empty shell without Hauer. The director cast the Dutch actor without even asking him to audition, basing his decision on previous Hauer performances he’d caught.

As replicant Batty, Hauer’s at once terrifyingly intelligent and physically a force to be reckoned with. Even Philip K Dick approved, commending Hauer as “the perfect Batty – cold, Aryan, flawless”, while Hauer himself singles the film out as his favourite.

20 Movie Houses You Can Live In

Blade Runner (1982)

The House: Designed by guru Frank Lloyd Wright, the 1924 Ennis House is nestled in the Hollywood Hills and sold for $15m in 2009.

The Movie: Ridley Scott’s moody masterpiece is set in a futuristic 2019. There, ex-police officer Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is on the hunt for human look-alike Replicants.

If We Lived There: We’d paint each one of those squares a different colour and turn it into a 24/7 disco.

Scott in space

“It’s daring, visceral and, hopefully, the last thing anyone expects,” raves Lost and Cowboys & Aliens writer Damon Lindelof. And rave he should; he’s just inked the script for Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s inscrutable new film and the director’s first sci-fi expedition since 1982’s Blade Runner. Originally set up as a prequel to Scott’s own genre-defining ’79 Alien, Prometheus has now (xeno)morphed into its own standalone beast. “While Alien was the jumping off point,” confides Scott, “out of the creative process evolved a new, grand mythology. The ideas tackled in this film are unique, large and provocative. I couldn’t be more pleased to finally return to this genre that’s so close to my heart.” Just what an Alien-inspired sci-fi has to do with the shamed Greek Titan Prometheus is anybody’s guess, though with original Swedish Girl With The Dragon Tattoo actress Noomi Rapace starring, we’re chomping at the bit to find out. Welcome back, Ridders.

Via Total Film

Review of the Year 2007

It’s that time of year again. A time for reflection and rumination – another 365 days are drawing to a close, another year of triumphs, of changes and challenges. And, naturally, there are lists every which way you turn – lists collecting the best and worst of 2007; who committed the most fashion disasters?, who was the breakthrough act?, what was the stand-out film? Now, I’m not one to follow the crowd (unless it’s going somewhere like Chocolate Land), but I thought I might as well pitch in with my two cents. So here’s my (entirely biased) countdown of what I will remember 2007 for…

1. Heroes
Predictably, this hybrid sci-fi/soap tops the list. Drawing on everything from The X-Files, X-Men, Lost and innumerable comic book publications, Heroes’ ensemble super-hero dramatics managed to re-ignite interest in sci-fi TV just when things were looking their bleakest. With its slick production values, killer casting and adrenaline-junkie pacing, Heroes’ riveting first season was a powerhouse exercise in serialised storytelling. Show me anybody in the Earth’s western terrain who hasn’t heard the phrase, “Save the cheerleader, save the world”, and I’ll eat my own hat.* As Bionic Woman struggles toward inevitable cancellation, Heroes is still head of the pack.

B. McLovin
“I am McLovin,” declares dorky high-schooler Fogell as he flourishes a Hawaii driving license replete with that very moniker. A sly allegory for the grow-up-fast society in which we now live, perhaps? Nah, more like one of the many outrageously funny inventions of Superbad, the first teen comedy since American Pie to break genuinely entertaining ground to side-splitting ends.

C. Simon Pegg & Nick Frost
We loved them in Spaced. We loved them in Shaun of the Dead. And this year, we loved them in Hot Fuzz. The Golden Couple-Who-Aren’t-Actually-A-Couple Of Comedy, Pegg and Frost do the buddy cop thing with all the banter, choppy edits and quotable one-liners we’d expect of them. “Is it true that there’s a point on a man’s head where if you shoot it, it will blow up?” asks Frost’s Danny. Dynamite stuff.

4. Blockbusters that began with S
Sunshine, Spider-Man 3, Stardust, Southland Tales. All of varying quality, but all memorable in their own way. Top dog is Danny Boyle’s Sunshine, with its old school thrills and remarkable visuals. Spider-Man 3 got a bad rep for its crowded storyline, but as the final act in a trilogy it worked brilliantly. Comic book fans bemoaned the treatment of villain Venom – personally I thought he/it made an interesting and worthwhile adversary. And then there’s Stardust, a fantasy love story brought to life with sparkling wit and touching sentiment. Oh, and Michelle Pfeiffer rocks.

5. Blade Runner: Final Cut (at last!)
So many cuts and editions and “Special” this and “Director’s” that. It’s with a sigh of relief that Blade Runner has finally been put to bed after 25 years of alterations and differing editions. The Final Cut is dazzling in its visual clarity, while the tweaks in special effects are barely noticeable and only deepen the sense of realism that was always Blade Runner’s calling card. So is Deckard a Replicant? The debate continues, and long may it do so.

F. Shia LaBeouf
Who’da thunk that funny-lookin fella of Holes fame would become venerable Man of the Year 2007? Possessed of an easy, boy-next-door-if-you-live-in-Hollywood charm, LaBeouf proved invaluable to the likes of Transformers and Disturbia. Charismatic without being smarmy, hysterical without even trying, LaBeouf deserves every second of his success. Bring on Indie 4.

7. Studio Ghibli
For shame, yes, this was the year that I finally discovered Ghibli. Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, how did I ever live without these flicks in my life? Delightfully imaginative and beautifully animated, their nearest rival is Pixar. Only this year’s Tales From Earthsea was a letdown.

H. Travolta in drag
Because I’m lazy, an excerpt from my TF review… “Like its stage-to-screen cousin Dreamgirls, Hairspray tackles serious notions with a twinkly-eyed flamboyance. Moments of sentiment bring gravitas to the whimsical premise, while catchy tunes are grounded by wry, knowing lyrics that cut at the bigger issues. A flashy, breathless audio-visual banquet, Hairspray ensures that any musical hereafter has mighty stilettos to fill.”

9. Cinema-size Simpsons
Eighteen years in the making, countless plot changes and sky high expectations, finally Homer and jaundiced co made it to the big screen. Critics were split right down the middle – some called it nothing more than an extended TV episode, others praised it for being on-par with the classic stories of yester-year. “Spider-Pig, Spider-Pig, doing whatever a Spider-Pig does…”. Brilliant.

J. Tarantino’s Death Proof
Sliced away from its Grindhouse sibling, the Tarantino half of his and Rodriguez’s homage to ‘70s exploitation flicks is the T-Man’s most unusual to date. Typically dialogue-stuffed, it’s a good 45 minutes before the chatter ceases and a shock of truly epic proportions leaps from the screen. The final elaborate car chase will go down in history.

11. Amy Adams as Disney princess
For kiddies, Enchanted was probably their first glimpse of Adams. Aside from her critically-lauded performance in Junebug, the eagle-eyed viewer will have spotted her in everything from mockumentary Drop Dead Gorgeous and Leo DiCaprio vehicle Catch Me If You Can, to guest spotting in a plethora of prime-time shows (Smallville and Charmed to name a few). As Enchanted‘s Princess Giselle, Adams is pitch perfect – she can act, she can sing, she can dance. We really should hate her. Someone give this girl a prize. Go on.

Also: Joss Whedon departed Wonder Woman (sob!) Transformers ruled. ‘Nuff saidAmy Macdonald released her excellent debut albumIndiana Jones 4 was awarded a title: Kingdom of the Crystal SkullRay Winstone and Angelina Jolie received CGI makeovers in better-than-expected BeowulfAND David Lynch ascended to new levels of nuts with Laura Dern and human-sized bunnies in Inland Empire.

*My hat is, of course, invisible.