Blade Runner and Alien TV Shows Confirmed by Ridley Scott

Rid­ley Scott is 83, and good on him for not slow­ing down. The Last Duel came and went, but it actu­al­ly exist­ed and was an orig­i­nal idea, based on a true his­tor­i­cal event, and with a script from Nicole Holofcener, and fea­tured a re-team­ing up of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. And as of this writ­ing, House of Guc­ci is set to open and give us some sala­cious scan­dal and mur­der among the hoity and toit, just in time for Oscar sea­son. He’s even recent­ly dropped some hot takes against the super­hero movie fac­to­ry of Hol­ly­wood. So Scott’s doing well. Then why does this lat­est announce­ment feel so under­whelm­ing?

Accord­ing to a BBC inter­view on Mon­day, Scott is also devel­op­ing a 10-episode lim­it­ed series based on Blade Run­ner *and* a lim­it­ed series based on Alien, this time set on earth.

It’s not total­ly clear how much Scott is active­ly involved.

“We [have already] writ­ten the pilot for ‘Blade Run­ner’ and the bible,” he says, refer­ring to the mas­ter plan of the 10 episodes. “So, we’re already pre­sent­ing ‘Blade Run­ner’ as a TV show, the first 10 hours.” But who his co-cre­ators are, we don’t know right now. And there are sim­i­lar ques­tions in the upcom­ing Alien series, which has been rumored since 2020. Noah Haw­ley, who turned the Coen Bros. Far­go into some­thing like a jazz riff on the Coen’s films spread across sev­er­al decades, is set to be the showrun­ner.

The Blade Run­ner announce­ment has sent the pop media press into a tizzy, try­ing to guess where and when the new series will be set. After all, the 1982 film was set in a bleak, dystopi­an 2019, and the Denis Vil­leneuve sequel was set in a bleak, dystopi­an 2049. And it was only because of this announce­ment that I even knew of the Adult Swim ani­mat­ed series, Blade Run­ner: Black Lotus, which is set in a bleak, dystopi­an 2032. Times have changed, but the Los Ange­les of the future sure hasn’t. So when will it take place? Who knows?

Look, the two new series might be good, they might be meh, but Scott’s sud­den promi­nence at the end of 2021 feels like an encap­su­la­tion of media’s diver­gent paths. On one hand you have his two films, both orig­i­nal con­tent, one that might have a sec­ond life on stream­ing on and anoth­er that feels like it will have some buzz and lead peo­ple back to the cin­e­ma. Either way, they tell sto­ries with begin­nings, mid­dles, and ends. On the oth­er hand you have the con­tin­u­al fran­chise-ment of cul­ture, revis­it­ing and rehash­ing two excel­lent films from the ear­ly ‘80s that exist per­fect­ly well as stand­alone sto­ries. Do we real­ly need more sto­ries about the xenomorph? Do we need more sto­ries about a very damp Los Ange­les and its repli­cants? Is cul­ture at a stand­still? Are we doomed to recy­cle every­thing from the 1980s onward?

How­ev­er, if any­body should be mak­ing mon­ey off of Rid­ley Scott’s lega­cy it’s Scott him­self. Leave your thoughts in the com­ments below, while I put on this Van­ge­lis sound­track.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Expe­ri­ence Blade Run­ner Like You Nev­er Have Before Through a Fea­ture-Length Remas­tered Sound­track

The Sounds of Blade Run­ner: How Music & Sound Effects Became Part of the DNA of Rid­ley Scott’s Futur­is­tic World

Three Blade Run­ner Pre­quels: Watch Them Online

What is a Blade Run­ner? How Rid­ley Scott’s Movie Has Ori­gins in William S. Bur­roughs’ Novel­la, Blade Run­ner: A Movie

Ted Mills is a free­lance writer on the arts who cur­rent­ly hosts the Notes from the Shed pod­cast and is the pro­duc­er of KCR­W’s Curi­ous Coast. You can also fol­low him on Twit­ter at @tedmills, and/or watch his films here.

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