The original Blade Runner was set in the dystopian future of 2019. But even though reality has caught up with bleak science-fiction and we still don’t have sentient artificial intelligence, the franchise has continued by simply jumping further into its dark future. A 2017 sequel, Blade Runner 2049 took place in, uh, 2049. And now the film is getting a TV sequel set even further in the future at Amazon.
The new Blade Runner will be called Blade Runner 2099. Ridley Scott, director of the original movie and a producer on the sequel (which was helmed by Dune’s Denis Villeneuve), is attached to the project as an executive producer. There are not details about the story yet, beyond the fact that it takes place 50 years after the events of the last Blade Runner.
The project was rumored back in February, when it was revealed that the project was in development at Amazon’s Prime Video service. Now Variety reports Amazon has officially ordered the series. Silka Louisa is the show’s producer and showrunner.
This is not Blade Runner’s first foray into television. Last fall, Adult Swim aired Blade Runner: Black Lotus, a 13-episode animated series set in the Blade Runner universe, but following new characters. Scott first teased the existence of this live-action Blade Runner TV project last fall.
The original Blade Runner followed a detective character played by Harrison Ford as he tracked down rogue “replicants,” artificial beings who were essentially treated as slaves. It was a mystery mixed with science-fiction, filled with weighty themes about the nature of existence. Ridley Scott’s preferred cut of the movie even made it unclear whether Ford’s character was himself one of the replicants he was hired to hunt down.
The sequel featured Ford in a supporting role, and refused to resolve that ambiguity, while telling a story about another replicant hunter (Ryan Gosling) who discovers a long-buried conspiracy connected to Ford’s character. It’s doubtful any of the previous Blade Runner main characters could appear in a new show 50 years later, but there would plenty of things you could do with a new cast in this creepy future world.