Blade Runner 2099 switches creative lead

Blade Runner 2099
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The TV series Blade Runner 2099 is reportedly set to begin production in April of this year, with a new director and executive producer in place.

When it comes to the world of Blade Runner, there are presently just two films set in the future dystopian cyberpunk world that has been so influential on other storytellers over the last four decades or so.

Ridley Scott’s 1982 original continues to be a touchstone of cinema, regarded by some as the greatest triumph of Scott’s storied career despite the being deemed a failure at the box office on release. Likewise, if you’re using dollars as a metric, Denis Villeneuve’s belated follow-up, 2017’s Blade Runner 2049 didn’t perform well enough commercially to be labelled as a success. However, it too has legions of admirers for the way in which it adopts and expands on Scott’s ambient and enigmatic style of world-building.

The next Blade Runner project to expand the series’ mythos will be a small screen project and in some ways, we can appreciate why that could work, not least because some of the films’ greatest moments have emerged from its unique and absorbing setting, an aspect that could be explored in-depth through long-form storytelling.

However, the show in question – Blade Runner 2099 – has suffered from its share of issues as it slowly inches towards production.

The strikes last year halted progress on the project, and then we learned last October that after months of work, production was being moved from Belfast, which came as a bitter blow to the city’s filmmaking industry.

Production on Blade Runner 2099 will now take place in Prague, but last year’s delays have caused other problems that are only now being solved. Due to scheduling conflicts caused by the strikes, the production also lost a key creative in the form of Jeremy Podeswa, who was slated to both direct several episodes and executive produce.

As reported by Deadline, TV veteran Jonathan van Tulleken has now been drafted in to replace Podeswa and production is expected to begin on the show in April. Tulleken has recently directed episodes of the soon-to-release Shogun, which is picking up plenty of positive acclaim ahead of its imminent release.

Hopefully, all of the turbulence is now behind the production and all involved can focus on producing a series that is worthy of the Blade Runner name. Amazon is backing the project, which will take a significant leap forward in time from Villeneuve’s entry. We’re keen to see how the project continues the evolving story of Blade Runner, and will bring you more updates as we hear them.

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