The TV sequel series Blade Runner 2099 was originally set to be filmed in Belfast, but the multi-million pound production is moving elsewhere, it’s been announced.
Billed as a sequel to the sci-fi films of the same name, TV series Blade Runner 2099 is one of several expensive-sounding projects in the works at Amazon Studios. Filming was reportedly due to begin on the series in Belfast this year – but according to the BBC, the production is now being moved away from Northern Ireland.
The decision appears to have arisen due to delays caused by the writers’ strike in Hollywood, though Amazon Studios hasn’t yet made an official statement about the move – or when and where the series will resume.
Understandably, the news has come as a blow to Northern Ireland, with the production worth millions to the local economy.
“We are conscious that these difficult decisions do happen in the screen industry,” said Richard Williams, chief executive at Northern Ireland Screen, in a statement shared by the BBC. “This obviously leaves a gap in Northern Ireland’s production schedule and Northern Ireland Screen will do everything it can to plug that gap as quickly as possible, mindful that many freelance crew and supply chain companies where relying on this project for work.”
Blade Runner 2099 first went into pre-production in 2022, with filming on the 10-part series originally scheduled to begin at Belfast Harbour Studios in the spring of 2023. There were also reports that Jodie Comer would be taking the lead in the series, set 50 years after Denis Villeneuve’s sequel Blade Runner 2049 and 80 years after Ridley Scott’s iconic original.
“It’ll be big,” Richard Williams said of the production last year; “it’ll be very big.”
Regrettably, May 2022 also marked the start of those Hollywood film and TV writers’ strikes, which appears to have delayed the start of filming by several months.
The writers’ strikes have now ended, but the disruption to film and TV studios’ schedules is likely to take months to sort out. We’ll let you know when – and where – Blade Runner 2099 is likely to resume as soon as we find out.