The long rumoured sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 cult sci-fi classic Blade Runner is coming soon and it’s to be joined by virtual reality experiences via Oculus.

Update: We’ve updated this story with new information, and updated the headline to reflect this. 

There’s a good chance if you’re reading this, you’re pretty familiar with Ridley Scott’s adaptation of Philip K Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep Blade Runner, starring Harrison Ford. The movie, received somewhat coldly by critics and audiences on its release in 1982, has since become a revered classic of the genre and fans of the film have longed for a sequel ever since.

Now, not only has the follow up been officially confirmed as ‘happening’, the new film, entitled Blade Runner 2049, will show up in October next year and it’s being produced with VR experiences too.


There’s not much detailed information out there right now, but according to Ars Technica, Harrison Ford will reprise his role as gruff ‘Blade Runner’ (special detectives, dedicated to hunting down and eliminating rogue androids known as ‘replicants’) Deckard, with new blood being injected in the shape of Ryan Gosling. Disappointingly, Ridley Scott will not be at the helm of the new film, with Director Denis Villeneuve – who brought us the incredible thriller Sicario last year – is stepping in to bring the film to life. Further good news is that the original writer (although, Blade Runner geeks will know there’s some contention on that front) Hampton Fancher returns to pen the sequel.

As for the virtual reality aspect, it’s unclear exactly how that will play out. All we know right now is that the film will debut in theatres and joined via Oculus’ VR platforms by accompanying experiences, which may mean both Rift and Samsung Gear VR, and that Oculus will release more details later on. They’ve currently been vague about how VR will be integrated, simply saying: “[we’re] working with Alcon Interactive to bring interactive VR vignettes based on the Blade Runner sequel to the Oculus platform…”

Oculus Says Walt Disney Studios Collaboration Will "Set a Higher Bar for VR"

Feature image courtesy Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros via Ars Technica

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Based in the UK, Paul has been immersed in interactive entertainment for the best part of 27 years and has followed advances in gaming with a passionate fervour. His obsession with graphical fidelity over the years has had him branded a ‘graphics whore’ (which he views as the highest compliment) more than once and he holds a particular candle for the dream of the ultimate immersive gaming experience. Having followed and been disappointed by the original VR explosion of the 90s, he then founded to follow the new and exciting prospect of the rebirth of VR in products like the Oculus Rift. Paul joined forces with Ben to help build the new Road to VR in preparation for what he sees as VR’s coming of age over the next few years.
  • Get Schwifty!

    Man without Ridley Scott…. this is going to be a bit like 2010 was without Kubrick I’m afraid. An enjoyable movie that simply lacked the feel that made the original something more than it was to start. Still, as something which helps push VR it certainly will get attention.

    • Bryan Ischo

      It would suck even with Ridley Scott. All of these modern reboots/remakes/sequels suck. It’s because filmmaking as an art has mostly been lost in preference to special effects eye candy. And, all of the original people involved are old and senile now and can’t produce the way they did when they were younger anyway. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but … I guarantee that this movie will completely suck compared to the original. It will not have any of the atmosphere or complexity that the 1982 movie had. It will be a hollow special effects festival like just about every other movie made in the past 15 years.

      • Blade Runner has been criticised by many as little more than eye candy, due to the director’s background in design and his obsession with set dressing and agonising over the purely visual aspects of film-making. It’s also not particularly complex, and is arguably devoid of character development and emotion. Rutger Hauer’s performance being the obvious and notable exception.

        I love it all the same of course, but I also don’t believe that Blade Runner is an untouchable masterpiece that doesn’t deserve the fascinating themes it explored and its universe expanding upon.

        Call me an optimist, but now that Fancher and Villeneuve are involved, the project does at least have a chance of being interesting.

        • Bryan Ischo

          Anyone criticising Blade Runner as “little more than eye candy” is definitely in the minority, and I don’t think your point really has much support.

          Blade runner *is* complex; it deals with issues of mortality and the ethics of technology in a very subtle and interesting way while at the same time presenting a very beautiful and captivating futuristic view, all couched in an exciting action movie.

          Also no offense, but “character development” is probably the most meaningless and overused vague phrase one could include in discussion of a movie. And there is plenty of “emotion” in the movie; from Rachael’s coming to terms with the truth of her existence, to Deckard falling in love despite his hard boiled, pessimistic world view, to the frantic desire of the replicants to extend their lives. And then there is Gaff’s anger and Roy’s desperation.

          And also about Blade runner not being an “untouchable masterpiece” — false dilemma. A movie does not have to be an “untouchable masterpiece” for it to be a good movie. Nor does the fact that it’s not an “untouchable masterpiece” mean that criticisms of modern movie making are not valid.

          Anyway, I believe that the original Blade Runner was very good, and I have been disappointed over and over again with modern remakes/reboots/sequels, to the point of being completely pessimistic about them. The Blade Runner sequel could be totally awesome; anything is possible. But I highly doubt it will be.

          • I was overly harsh above you’re right. But there are reasons why the film wasn’t well received on release. It’s a movie that seems to want to keep its audience at arm’s length and, as a result, can feel cold and distant. And I’m not convinced that was entirely intentional on the part of Scott.

            Only with the advent of home video has the film subsequently had time to be reexamined and subsequently unlocked over time. But were those original critics all ‘wrong’ on first impression? There is an argument that the film failed on some level back then, even accounting for unwanted voiceover tracks et al.

            Anyway, I’m not a fan of grumpy “they don’t make ’em like they used to” proclamations. Especially given the director chosen to lead this sequel just so happened to produce one of the finest films I’ve seen in the last 5 years, Sicario. There is plenty of artistry out there, and Hollywood has always been more interested in spectacle, special effects and crowd pleasing – that’s their business, and yet Blade Runner still got made. I’ve not given up on them yet.

          • Bryan Ischo

            I appreciate the thoughtfulness of your response, even though I don’t share your optimism about the upcoming Blade Runner film. I am most pessimistic about science fiction films as they seem to have led to the greatest disappointments for me. And I’m one of those who hold Blade Runner in special esteem (it is, whenever I am asked to name a single favorite movie, the one I will say is my favorite), probably irrationally so. I do hope you do turn out to be right though.

          • Get Schwifty!

            Well, the truth is you never really know what might come around. Hollywood always moves in the lowest common denominator direction, it is a business after all, but there are always folks coming in who push for something truly worthwhile from an artistic perspective and sometimes it emerges from the machine.

            The problem with both 2001 and Blade Runner is that they are almost flukes, even for the directors themselves I think. If you read up on the making of a lot of these movies, what they wanted and often what they ultimately did (or usually) could produce were two very different things (Dr. Strangelove also falls into this category). Thanks to this reference I plan to check out Sicario shortly, not sure how I missed it first go-round, but I’ll be looking forward to BR:2049 with a skeptical eye and hope I’m wrong ;)

          • donnie

            Sicario was without a doubt one of the best movie last year (I dont actaully remember if there even was better). It has a specific, raw, unnerving atmosphere.It is worth a look. If BR would get some of the vibe Sicario has it would be beyond I could hope for.

            It would basically make/define a new genre in sci-fi. But, like others pointed out, Sicario might just be a fluke. I saw a commentary document to the Sicario movie and my feeling was that the director actually did not know what to do most of the time in a sense that he was very uncertain how the atmosphere would play out and was constantly confused (one of the main actor was talking about it and how he was upset by it, well, at least until he saw it on the screen).

          • DougP

            I agree with what seems to be your sentiment, that it’s more like we luck out sometimes with a very worthwhile/artistic movie come out of the big studio *machines* … more “in spite of” them rather than because. For the occasional great one, the *pitch* was probably much more low-common-denominator & mass-market appeal than what director actually intends or (perhaps in some cases) accidentally achieves.

            Re: “The problem with both 2001 and Blade Runner is that they are almost flukes, even for the directors themselves I think”
            I can’t really agree with this statement.
            That 2001 & Blade Runner were flukes for the directors.
            I mean Kubrick & Scott are not exactly hacks & one-hit-wonders.
            I can imagine, tho’ I’d not completely agree with, someone saying “it’s a fluke that Blomkamp made District 9 compared to his other works”…but not calling Blade Runner a fluke for Scott. Even for that time period, Scott’s previous sci-fi hit was Alien.

          • DougP

            Re: “But were those original critics all ‘wrong’ on first impression?”

            I can answer that for you – YES! They were wrong.
            Many of course realized this & “changed their minds” later.
            Sadly, the truth of that is most likely that they didn’t *get it* but felt compelled to explain away their past mistakes.

            There were MANY of us who DID *get it* & loved the movie when it came out.
            I honestly think that social/societal mores of the time did not naturally lead to a mass market appeal, that was *discovered* later as audiences (this includes reviewers!) matured.
            Their tastes were changed & their imaginations were expanded.
            I’d bet that something as simple as Deckard, somehow using his intelligence to *win* against Roy’s superior physical capabilities, leading to the “good guy” to cause the downfall of the “bad guy” would’ve left many viewers (avg audience & yes – reviewers, who are people too & subject to same preconceived notions of how things should play out) with a much more positive view of the movie.

            That’s the thing – Blade Runner was quite original, had some deep & interesting philosophical concepts related to science & ethics….AND…. was ahead of its time.

            Re: “Hollywood has always been more interested in spectacle”
            Sure, but you state this as if the studios somehow *led* with Blade Runner. I see it was more that the studios were just banking on sci-fi action with Harrison Ford, I can *hear* the pitch – “The guy from Star Wars beating up dangerous robots!”.
            That Blade Runner got made in spite of the studios.

      • I can’t disagree… I can hope it’s good but .. I’d worry it might go the way of ‘Robocop’ or ‘Total recall’.. though with that said I’ll still watch it… cops.. future.. and robots… there’s a lot that floats my boat, regardless of whether it’s a good sequel or not….

        Also… in regard to
        ‘filmmaking as an art has mostly been lost in preference to special effects eye candy’…. I watched ‘Swiss Army Man’ with Daniel Radcliffe the other night… it was an incredibly funny and strangely beautiful film… Up there with ‘Moon’ and other recent modern greats in my eyes.. worth a watch.

        • Bryan Ischo

          If you support the Hollywood crap machine, it will just keep pumping out more crap. Of course, we’re all kind of helpless as individuals because the masses will eat it no matter how bad it smells. I don’t go to the theaters or support any “hype” about hollywood movies. I will watch much later when the movie is on Netflix or somewhere that I can still see it while vastly reducing the amount of money I give to the movie studios.

        • Get Schwifty!

          Thanks for the reference – going to have to check out Swiss Army Man now ;)

  • Pistol Pete

    Sounds amazing! But I have a Vive, does that mean no Blade Runner VR for me? Is Oculus paying for exclusives on movies too?

    • Get Schwifty!

      You can find a way to get it I’m sure. if not, get a Rift.

      • DougP

        Re: “if not, get a Rift”
        Yeah….because spending $879 for some limited VR “experience” makes so much sense!

    • Mike

      It’ll probably work on Revive.

  • Andrew McEvoy

    Very interesting. What exactly would it entail to be produced for VR?

  • Bob

    “with new blood being injected in the shape of Ryan Reynolds”

    You meant Ryan Gosling..

    • I did. Wishful thinking perhaps on my part. Update, thanks for the poke.

  • Hi all. Looks like this story got a little confused out there in media land so we’ve cleared up the headline and article based on more information from other sources. Seems the film will release with VR experiences, but as far as we can tell will not be distributed in VR.

    Sorry for the confusion. But still, new Blade Runner! :)

    • Hi Paul… not nit picking I promise…
      But I’ve just read the article and still took the main content of it to mean that the film will be distributed in Vr at the same time via Oculus (which would be amazing, but I guess is not true)…

      “film will debut both in theatres and via Oculus’ VR platforms”

  • DiGiCT Ltd

    I watched the movie the time it was released on video tape lol, and enjoyed it, no critics for me.
    Even played the games from that time being released, altough those games did not entertain me, the movie for sure did.
    Just wait and see what they going to bring us. i will for sure give it a try when it comes out.

  • John Leonard

    why wait? You can enjoy Deckards apartment in VR now.

  • jcluma

    Hard to believe the landmark original production would be improved by a sequel. Don’t bet on it. Hopefully this stellar crew will do better than those who remade Ben-Hur !