Blade Runner 2099 is official. Amazon has confirmed that a live action, limited-run series set in the Blade Runner universe is in the works. Details about the show are sparse, but we know it’s set 50 years after Blade Runner 2049 and the original movie’s director, Ridley Scott, will be an executive producer.
Naysayers are concerned about what Amazon will do with the cult sci-fi classic property, lamenting why all our favorite franchises – like Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power – have to be spun out into eternity (we hear you). However, the neon-drenched, rain-soaked world of Ridley Scott’s 1982 movie and Denis Villeneuve’s 2017 sequel is rich with potential.
In the right hands, a new series could bring us more of what made these two movies so unforgettable, delivering dark sci-fi noir set to truly stellar scores. Or maybe it’s time to do something fresh with the franchise, exploring facets of Scott’s imagined future we’ve never had the chance to visit before.
Although very little has been revealed about Blade Runner 2099 so far. Below, we’ll share everything we know about the new Amazon Prime series, as well as some of our predictions about what to expect when we revisit Los Angeles in 2099.
Blade Runner 2099 release date predictions
In late 2021, Ridley Scott revealed that the pilot for a 10-episode Blade Runner series had already been written, along with a series bible. Fast-forward to February 2022, and Variety reported that the series is in development at Amazon. In September 2022, this was made official. According to Variety, Amazon officially ordered Blade Runner 2099 and released more details about the people involved behind the scenes.
Although this is promising, it’s an uncertain time for streaming services, with lots of shows getting canceled unexpectedly during development, even, in the case of Netflix's Grendel, with production almost done. But we highly doubt that would happen to such a prestigious property, but it may mean it’ll be a long time before Blade Runner 2099 arrives on Prime Video. Late 2023 would be our optimistic guess, late 2024 would be our realistic guess.
Blade Runner 2099 cast and crew speculation
Ridley Scott will be executive producing Blade Runner 2099 with his company, Scott Free Productions. Silka Luisa has been announced as the series showrunner and an executive producer, the same role she had in creating the Halo and Apple TV Plus' Shining Girls 2022 TV series.
Vernon Sanders, the head of global television for Amazon Studios, told Variety: “We are honored to be able to present this continuation of the Blade Runner franchise, and are confident that by teaming up with Ridley, Alcon Entertainment, Scott Free Productions, and the remarkably talented Silka Luisa, Blade Runner 2099 will uphold the intellect, themes, and spirit of its film predecessors.”
Other executive producers have been announced, including Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson, the co-founders of Alcon Entertainment – that’s the company behind the animated series Blade Runner: Black Lotus. As well as Michael Green, who was the co-writer on Blade Runner 2049.
Although no official details have been released about the cast yet, Giant Freakin' Robot shared an exclusive report that alleged a “trusted and proven inside source” had revealed Harrison Ford is in talks to return to his role as Rick Deckard.
Blade Runner 2099 plot predictions
No official details have been revealed about the plot of Blade Runner 2099. Kosove and Johnson told Variety that they are “beyond excited to continue to extend the Blade Runner canon into a new realm with the provocative storyline that Silka has created.”
At this stage, it’s tricky to glean anything meaningful from “new realm” and “provocative storyline”. However, we can make predictions about what some of the broader, overarching themes of the new movie might be, considering it’s set 50 years after the events of Blade Runner 2049 – spoilers for both Blade Runner movies ahead.
Blade Runner has always grappled with what it means to be human, and if Ford reprises his role, then will we finally have an answer to the question of whether Deckard is, in fact, a replicant? This is something that Scott has confirmed in interviews, but it’s yet to be considered canon.
We’d love to know the answer to that question, but maybe it's time for Blade Runner 2099 to move on from the ‘are they or aren’t they a replicant?’ mystery that was a key part of the plot in both previous movies – and a major thread in other science-fiction stories, especially Battlestar Galactica.
Instead, we expect the new series to explore the repercussions of the huge and reality-shattering revelation of Blade Runner 2049: replicants can reproduce. What happens when our creations become the creators?
Science-fiction may deal in possible tomorrows, but it’s always a glossy lens for us to look at the state of the world we live in today. Which is why we predict that subjects like inequality, removal of choice and bodily autonomy, climate change and even the rise of fascism could be weaved into the story of what happens next for the replicants.
We’d also be interested in exploring how replicants, a new species in their own right, treat themselves. Will there be a class system and segregation amongst replicants? Will it be an us versus us versus them-style narrative?
We’re expecting a story that digs deep into these important questions about the nature of humanity, power and freedom – and, of course, flying cars.
What to watch before Blade Runner 2099
We don’t know how closely Blade Runner 2099 will be linked to the previous two Blade Runner movies yet. However, given the series has the same title and makes it pretty clear we’re 50 years ahead of Blade Runner 2049, it’s a strong indication this will be a new story but will cover the same themes and even include some of the same plotlines and characters.
For that reason, we highly recommend that you watch both Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049 before the new series lands on Amazon Prime Video – luckily, you’ll have plenty of time to watch them both at last once over.
If you want more from the Blade Runner universe, you should also watch the Blade Runner: Black Lotus animated series, set in 2032.
You may also be interested in the three short films that some consider prequels to Blade Runner 2049. These are Blade Runner Black Out 2022, 2036: Nexus Dawn and 2048: Nowhere to Run. As far as we can tell, all of these stories are canon but shouldn’t be higher on your watch list than the full-length movies.
The original 1982 movie was based on Philip K. Dick’s seminal novel Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep? so if you want to get deeper into the source material, give that a read too. However, don’t expect it to be a blow-by-blow novel version of the movie, the major plot points are essentially the same, but many details were changed for the screen – including the term Blade Runner.
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Becca is a contributor to TechRadar, a freelance journalist and author. She’s been writing about consumer tech and popular science for more than ten years, covering all kinds of topics, including why robots have eyes and whether we’ll experience the overview effect one day. She’s particularly interested in VR/AR, wearables, digital health, space tech and chatting to experts and academics about the future. She’s contributed to TechRadar, T3, Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, Inverse and many more. Her first book, Screen Time, came out in January 2021 with Bonnier Books. She loves science-fiction, brutalist architecture, and spending too much time floating through space in virtual reality.