I guess it was only going to be a matter of time, but this is one of those announcements you don't really expect to read. Warner Bros. has just purchased the rights to create prequels and sequels to Blade Runner:

"LOS ANGELES, CA, MARCH 3, 2011—Warner Bros-based financing and production company Alcon Entertainment (“The Blind Side,” “The Book of Eli”) co-founders and co-Chief Executive Officers Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove, in the most significant property acquisition negotiations in the Company’s 13-year history, are in final discussions to secure film, television and ancillary franchise rights to produce prequels and sequels to the iconic 1982 science-fiction thriller “Blade Runner.”

Alcon is negotiating to secure the rights from producer-director Bud Yorkin, who will serve as producer on “Blade Runner” along with Kosove and Johnson. Cynthia Sikes Yorkin will co-produce. Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEO’s of Thunderbird Films, will serve as executive producers.

Alcon’s franchise rights would be all-inclusive, but exclude rights to remake the original. The Company, however, may produce projects based on situations introduced in the original film. The project would be distributed domestically by Warner Bros. International rights are yet to be determined."

Blade Runner is always my standard response when talking about films that are unlikely to see sequels and remakes (and really shouldn't be made for that matter). People tend to go up in arms over reboot announcements over sequels, but I'd rather see a new take on the material than have someone try to create a direct sequel to Blade Runner.

Of course, this is just the initial announcement, and it is way too early to know what the actual plans for the franchise will be, but I can only hope that Warner Bros. is respectful to the material and puts serious creative talent on the project. The deal preventing a remake of the original film keeps me hopeful. To check out the full press release, visit the source link below.

Source: Deadline