It only took thirty-five years, but the sequel to ‘Blade Runner’ finally arrived back in October. With that film, director Denis Villeneuve had the unenviable task of crafting a follow up to not only a beloved cult classic, but to a perfectly self-contained narrative on top of that. Put another way, ‘Blade Runner’ was a film that did not need a sequel. This, of course, made it all the more pleasantly surprising for fans of the original when it turned out that Villeneuve’s ‘Blade Runner 2049’ was not just a sequel but a largely successful one at that.
One of those fans is director Christopher Nolan, himself noted for intelligent (or at the very least ambitious) sci-fi films, such as ‘Interstellar‘ and ‘Inception‘. This, along with the fact that Nolan himself is a noted fan of the original ‘Blade Runner’ is enough to make one wonder just what a Nolan-helmed sequel to the sci-fi classic might look like. But tantalizing as the prospect might be, it would be best not to get your hopes up. Assuming there even are more ‘Blade Runner’ movies to be had, Nolan has already taken himself out of the running for the director’s chair. As he explains:
There are a lot of movies that are on such a pedestal that to try and either remake them or follow them up would be too tricky. I have to find a way around things. So, like, ‘Interstellar’ is very much, as people would say, in dialogue with ‘2001’. You have to find your own way around.
Essentially, his reasoning is twofold. First, and perhaps most importantly the original is simply on too high a pedestal, not just in the popular consciousness, but for him personally. Suffice to say it can be intimidating to approach a work creatively when it means that much to you. And second, he simply seems more interested in taking his influences and doing something new with them, rather than simply iterating on them.
To run with Nolan’s example of ‘2001’, you certainly could make a sequel to that film. Arthur C. Clarke himself wrote three of them, one of which even made it to film. But some would argue – and Nolan would seem to be one of them – that it’s more interesting to take the influence of ‘2001’, whatever that film meant to you personally, and use that to make a film like ‘Interstellar’. And make no mistake, ‘Interstellar’ certainly wears the influence of ‘2001’ on its sleeve, particularly towards the end. Watching that film leaves no doubt that Nolan has watched ‘2001’ once or twice. But despite that, the film is very much its own animal.
Who would you like to see direct a ‘Blade Runner’ film? Let us know in the comments!