This post contains MAJOR SPOILERS for Blade Runner 2049
Blade Runner 2049 screenwriter Hampton Fancher has revealed his scrapped plans for the film’s original ending. The long-awaited sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi film, Blade Runner (loosely based on Philip K. Dick’s novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), has finally released. And although the film has been warmly received by critics and audiences alike, it has been struggling at the box office. But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t still hope for another chapter in the future.
The overarching narrative that drives the story is that, what if the world found out that replicants (at least some of them) could procreate? It would potentially lead to an uprising, something that seems to be brewing behind-the-scenes in Blade Runner 2049 and could possibly become the focal point in Blade Runner 3, should Warner Bros. decide to make another installment. And considering that the ending is rather open-ended (as was the original), with Rick Deckard finally getting to meet his daughter (whom he had with the replicant, Rachael, from the first film), the Blade Runner 2049 surely leaves room for another sequel to develop. However, that wasn’t the original plan.
In an interview with the LA Times, Fancher reveals that his original idea for the film’s ending was to kill off Deckard (Harrison Ford); therefore, leaving no room for another installment. But, things changed over time, and he ended up succumbing to Michael Green’s ending (the ending that was in the film).
“Well, I didn’t before but I do now – because of [Green’s]ending. In my script, Deckard died at the end, but you have him live. The first time Ridley and I ever considered doing a second Blade Runner, in 1986 or whatever it was, I came up with an idea about Deckard and his next job – and it’s kind of horrifying what happens in my little fantasy. Now that Deckard lives, that idea is back in my head. But I’m not going to tell you what it is.”
The answer was prompted by questions about potentially expanding the Blade Runner universe in the same way that Scott has expanded the Alien franchise, particularly with this prequel movies. It’s something that Scott has actually thought about, which he has previously credited the Star Trek franchise for allowing to happen. Considering how Blade Runner 2049 ends, with several plot threads being left open, it’s certainly possible for the filmmaker to move forward with another installment.
However, with the film falling flat at the box office (which shouldn’t be all too surprising), there’s no telling if or when a third Blade Runner will happen. For now, series fans can enjoy the latest chapter in the Blade Runner franchise, which comes 35 years after the original film hit theaters.