Denis Villeneuve to Direct ‘Blade Runner’ Sequel Starring Harrison Ford

Alcon Entertainment co-founders call director a “singular talent,” thrilled to have Ford back as Rick Deckard

Alcon Entertainment announced Thursday that “Prisoners” filmmaker Denis Villeneuve is in negotiations to direct a sequel to Ridley Scott‘s classic “Blade Runner,” with star Harrison Ford set to reprise his original role as Rick Deckard.

The story will take place several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original, and production is slated to start in the summer of 2016.

Hampton Fancher, who co-wrote the original “Blade Runner,” teamed with Michael Green to write the screenplay, based on an idea by Fancher and Ridley Scott.

Villeneuve has already earned Alcon’s trust, having worked with them on the Hugh Jackman-Jake Gyllenhaal thriller “Prisoners.”

“We are honored that Harrison is joining us on this journey with Denis Villeneuve, who is a singular talent, as we experienced personally on ‘Prisoners.’ Hampton and Michael, with Ridley Scott, have crafted a uniquely potent and faithful sequel to one of the most universally celebrated films of all time, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with this amazing, creative team,” Alcon’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson said in a joint statement.

Alcon Entertainment acquired the film, television and ancillary franchise rights to “Blade Runner” in 2011 from producer Bud Yorkin with the goal of producing prequels and sequels to the iconic science-fiction thriller. Yorkin and Cynthia Sikes Yorkin will serve as producers on the sequel along with Kosove and Johnson. Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEOs of Thunderbird Films, will serve as executive producers.

Ford will next be seen in “The Age of Adaline” for Lionsgate and Disney’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” He’s represented by UTA.

Villeneuve most recently directed the crime thriller “Sicario,” starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and Benicio Del Toro for Black Label Media and Lionsgate. He also directed the Jake Gyllenhaal thriller “Enemy” and Canada’s Oscar-nominated French-language film “Incendies.” Villeneuve is represented by CAA and Claude Girard in Canada.

Released by Warner Bros., the original “Blade Runner” was adapted by Fancher and David Peoples from Philip K. Dick‘s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” “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.