Alan Smithee

Leave Blade Runner Alone!

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There are certain movies that really should be considered Sacred Cows, and from these bovines you do not make hamburger! Such is the case with Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.

It seems that Alcon Entertainment is rubbing their hands together in anticipation at acquiring the license to either continue the Blade Runner universe (I know, it’s Philip Dick’s universe and was originally called something else (yes, I know it’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep)) either by making a movie that follows the story of Decker or is a prequel to the original film.

Feel free to read their extensive PR concerning the multimedia onslaught they have planned:

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.

Johnson and Kosove stated: “We are honored and excited to be in business with Bud Yorkin. This is a major acquisition for our company, and a personal favorite film for both of us. We recognize the responsibility we have to do justice to the memory of the original with any prequel or sequel we produce. We have long-term goals for the franchise, and are exploring multi-platform concepts, not just limiting ourselves to one medium only.”

Among its many distinctions, “Blade Runner” has been singled out as one of the greatest movies of all time by countless polls and media outlets, and overwhelmingly as the greatest science-fiction film of all time by a majority of genre publications.

Released by Warner Bros. almost 30 years ago, “Blade Runner” was adapted by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples from Philip K. Dick’s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” and directed by Ridley Scott following his landmark “Alien.” The film was nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Visual Effects, and Best Art Direction).

“Blade Runner” was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 1993 and is frequently taught in university courses. In 2007, it was named the 2nd most visually influential film of all time by the Visual Effects Society.

Alcon’s COO Scott Parish and head of business affairs David Fierson are negotiating on behalf of the Company.


Emmy Award winning director-producer Bud Yorkin started in live television directing and writing for the “Colgate Comedy Hour” starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, “The Dinah Shore Show” and “The Abbott and Costello Show” and many others. He went on to direct the first live TV specials for many stars including “An Evening With Fred Astaire” (which won 12 Emmys), “The Jack Benny Hour” (which won 5 Emmys) as well as specials for Bobby Darin, Duke Ellington, Henry Fonda, Danny Kaye, Carol Channing and Andy Williams.

In his first feature film, Yorkin directed Frank Sinatra in “Come Blow Your Horn.” Other films he produced and directed include: “Divorce American Style”, “Start the Revolution Without Me”, “The Thief Who Came To Dinner” and “Twice In A Lifetime”. Yorkin partnered with Norman Lear to revolutionize television with their shows “All in the Family”, “Sanford and Son” and “Maude”.

In 1973 Yorkin was voted “Man of the Year ” by the Television Academy. He was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences “Hall of Fame” in 2002 and the following year he received the prestigious “David Susskind Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Producers Guild of America.


Alcon Entertainment co-founders and co-CEO’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson founded the Company in 1997 with financial backing from Frederick W. Smith, the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of FedEx. Alcon, which is named after a mythological archer and ally of Hercules, has financed, and/or co-financed/produced over 19 films, including “My Dog Skip,” “Dude, Where’s My Car?”, “Insomnia,” “Racing Stripes,” the Academy Award nominated Best Picture “The Blind Side,” which earned Sandra Bullock a Best Actress Oscar; “The Book of Eli,” starring Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman; “Insomnia,” starring Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Hilary Swank and directed by Chris Nolan; “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” and “P.S. I Love You,” starring Hilary Swank, among many others.

The Company’s next release is “Something Borrowed,” based on New York Times bestselling author Emily Giffin’s book, starring Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin and John Krasinski, on May 6, 2011. Alcon recently completed “Dolphin Tale,” a 3-D family film starring Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd and Kris Kristofferson, scheduled for release on September 23, 2011. “Joyful Noise,” a music driven comedy starring Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton, is currently in production. All three films will be released via its output deal with Warner Bros.

Now I’m not saying that you can’t do things in the same universe. Hell, I was one of the most staunch supporters of the Total Recall series on cable when it was around. I enjoy expanded universe stuff, but for the love of Crom, don’t touch my Decker! There are so many other Blade Runners and so many other replicants that need retiring, don’t try to have anyone but Harrison Ford in a role he’s now too old for.

I know nothing I say will stop the machine that is Hollywood, and to be honest I would pay to see whatever comes of this. Philip K. Dick is just one of those authors who translates well into other media ventures and will probably be one hell of a film.

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