Amazon’s video streaming service, which is currently facing fan backlash over its reinvention of J.R.R. Tolkien’s works of epic fantasy, has taken aim at another cult classic, Ridley Scott’s cyberpunk film ‘Blade Runner’.
Prime Video announced on Thursday that the production of a limited series titled ‘Blade Runner 2099’ has been approved. The show will serve as the sequel to Scott’s original 1982 movie and its 2017 follow-up, ‘Blade Runner 2049’, which was directed by Denis Villeneuve. Amazon first reported the project in February.
The Amazon studios head of global television, Vernon Sanders, said the series “will uphold the intellect, themes and spirit of its film predecessors.” Alcon Entertainment, which financed the Villeneuve-directed installment, will be producing the new show for Amazon. The company’s executives said their take on the franchise will “extend the Blade Runner canon into a new realm with the provocative storyline” created by writer Silka Luisa.
Luisa is mostly known as writer and executive producer of ‘Shining Girls’, a TV series adaptation of a thriller novel by writer Lauren Beukes. She also co-wrote the script for one episode of ‘Halo’, a reimagining of the world of popular video game series Halo.
In addition to writing the script, Luisa will be co-executive producer and showrunner of ‘Blade Runner 2099’. Scott, the director of the original movie, will work with her through his Scott Free Productions.
Few details about the plot have been revealed so far, though the series title suggests that the story will take place in the year 2099, five decades after the events shown in Villeneuve’s feature film.
‘Blade Runner’ was based on a short story by Philip K. Dick and is set in a grim futuristic world where private corporations have unchecked power and stop at nothing to boost their bottom line.
Prime Video is currently in the process of releasing the first season of ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’, which is loosely based on Tolkien’s description of past eras of the world of the Lord of the Rings book trilogy.
Critics of the show have complained about its slow pace, convoluted writing, and poor characterization of the protagonist, the elven warrior Galadriel, who was described as “both an elven Mary Sue and an elven Karen” by popular reviewer Grace Randolph. The creators have dismissed criticism of their ‘modernized’ vision of Tolkien’s fantasy world as being based on racism and misogyny.