So what do we know about BLADE RUNNER II (an unlikely title, but it'll do for now)? We know quite a bit; more so than PROMETHEUS at this point in pre-production, anyway. Ridley Scott plans on directing the follow-up (how quickly that happens depends on his schedule; Scott isn't exactly a spring chicken anymore), and Hampton Fancher, who co-wrote the original, will be working on the script. This is a bonafide sequel - not a sidequel, requel, prequel, reimagining or other such nonsense. I hope that David Peoples gets involved as well; his work on BLADE RUNNER, UNFORGIVEN, and TWELVE MONKEYS is unparalleled. He's one of the best screenwriters out there.
Ridley Scott also mentioned that the protagonist will be female - a female Blade Runner perhaps? - and that the sequel takes place several years after the original. The original took place in 2019, and I don't anticipate NEXUS 6 model androids by then in real life, but who knows. What we also know is that Scott wants Harrison Ford to be involved in some capacity. Speaking to the Independent, Scott said, on whether Ford would star, "I don’t think it’ll be Harry. But I’ve got to have him in it somewhere. That’d be amusing." Considering that Ford's aged some since the original, I wonder if that means he's not a Replicant after all, despite Scott's insistence otherwise. Or he's a special model that doesn't have termination dates. I never bought the whole Deckard-as-Replicant thing anyway - I much prefer the more ambiguous take on it.
When will BLADE RUNNER II hit screens? No time soon - Scott's working on THE COUNSELOR, based on Cormac McCarthy's original screenplay, and that will take about two years turnaround, knowing Scott's history. He'll be 75 this year - he's incredibly prolific for his age, and I hope he stays in the best of health, but the years do take their toll. There's also fan reaction to consider - do we need another BLADE RUNNER movie? If Scott has an interesting take on it, I'm all for another one, but I hope the ambiguity remains. What does it mean to be human? It's a question that the movie, wisely, doesn't answer, and we are left with our own ideas on what "human" really means. I watched the theatrical cut this weekend, and it's my preferred cut of the film, voice-over and all. I like Deckard's exhausted voice in the movie, although I'm not terribly keen on the final happy ending. I doubt that any sequel will have as many edits, but if he's given the budget and the freedom, I think we'll get a definitive take on the material.