Friday, June 5, 2009
I say this as a Blade Runner fanatic: the world does not need more Blade Runner. Blade Runner was fantastic just as it was when it hit theaters in the '80s, Harrison Ford voiceover and all. The first director's cut was an interesting alternative version, but the seemingly dozens of director's cuts since then were just Ridley Scott not knowing when to leave well enough alone. We had all the Blade Runner we ever needed in the theatrical cut. Enough already.
So the news of a Blade Runner prequel webseries fills my fanboy heart with dread. We know that Purefold won't be as good as the original film. It just won't be. Even if you threw buckets of money at it, hired the best cast and crew in the world, the odds are slim indeed you'd recapture that strange Blade Runner magic.
So, what are your odds of achieving anything great with a crew from an advertising firm and scripts dictated by online fans? Well, that grim scenario is exactly what Scott is planning. His RSA commercials firm has teamed with the studio Ag8 to make the series, and the storyline will be driven by viewer suggestions from the site Friendfeed. There will also be plenty of product placement, as RSA is approaching various corporations to help fund the project by paying to insert their products into the story.
Purefold will be set a few years before the Blade Runner era of 2019, so we're talking about just a couple of years from now. (I'm assuming they won't actually give the date in the series. Showing cars flying over the Los Angeles of 2012 would just seem pretty silly.) The series will borrow some elements from the film, but none of the characters.
“We don’t take any of the canon or copyrighted assets from the movie,” said David Bausola, founding partner of Ag8. “It’s actually based on the same themes as Blade Runner. It’s the search for what it means to be human and understanding the notion of empathy. We are inspired by Blade Runner.”
The series is tentatively scheduled to debut late this summer. It will be released under a creative commons license, so aspiring filmmakers can chop it up and use it any way they like. While it will debut on the web, if it's successful the plan is to air it on TV at some point.
Got a tip for Monsters and Rockets? Want to contribute to the site? Send us an email.