Mike Fleming Jr /Deadline
BREAKING: Ryan Gosling is in negotiations to star in Alcon Entertainment’s sequel to Blade Runner, the film that will be directed by Prisoners helmer Denis Villeneuve. Ridley Scott, who directed the original classic based on the Philip K. Dick novel, is aboard as executive producer. Harrison Ford, who starred in the original film, reprises his role as replicant hunter Rick Deckard. Tapping into what is considered hallowed ground is risky–even Scott got mixed results when he expanded his Alienfilm with Prometheus–but Gosling, the Drive star, adds a certain cool element to the effort. Shooting begins summer 2016 and Hampton Fancher (co-writer of the original) and Michael Green have written the original screenplay based on an idea by Fancher and Scott.
The story takes place several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original. Story details, as well as Gosling’s character, are not being revealed.
Gosling, who once worked primarily in the indie space, seems to be going for mainstream stardom. Among the projects he’s enlisted in are the Guillermo del Toro-directed Haunted Mansion. He is also circling with Emma Stone the Damien Chazelle-directed Lionsgate pic La La Land and he will be seen next in Shane Black’s The Nice Guys opposite Russell Crowe, and in Terrence Malick’s Weightless. He is currently in production starring opposite Christian Bale, Brad Pitt and Steve Carrell in The Big Short.
Villeneuve has been busy directing Story Of Your Life, the scifi film that was prebought at the last Cannes Film Festival for a record sum. He most recently completed Sicario, a drug-trafficking drama starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro from Black Label Media. That film will play in competition at the upcoming Cannes. Villeneuve previously worked with Kosove and Johnson as the director of Alcon’s Prisoners, which starred Jake Gyllenhaal, Terrence Howard and Hugh Jackman. Alcon got in the Blade Runner game when it bought rights from producers Bud Yorkin and Cynthia Sikes Yorkin in 2011. They will be producers on the sequel with Kosove and Johnson. Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble are exec producers.