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Harrison Ford set to return for 'Blade Runner' sequel

Blade Runner 2 is set for production next summer and will likely be released in 2017
By Doug G. Ware   |   Feb. 27, 2015 at 2:01 AM
Harrison Ford has agreed to reprise his role of Rick Deckard for a sequel to the 1982 film Blade Runner. Sean Young (right) starred with Ford in the original. Photo: Warner Bros
HOLLYWOOD, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Actor Harrison Ford is returning to one of the roles that made him an international superstar -- and it isn't Hans Solo.

Variety reported Thursday that the Hollywood veteran has agreed to reprise the role of Rick Deckard for a much-anticipated and oft-delayed sequel to the 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner. The film helped solidify the industry reputations of Ford and British filmmaker Ridley Scott.

The sequel is being helmed by Denis Villeneuve, the director of 2013's Prisoners starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal.

The sequel, likely set for a 2017 release, is scheduled to go into pre-production next summer and will include Scott as a co-producer. Variety also reported that the untitled sequel is set decades after the original film, which took place in 2019 Los Angeles.

In December, Variety reported that Ford called the sequel's script the "best thing he's ever read."

Blade Runner was only mildly received upon its 1982 release, earning just $6 million in its opening weekend and drawing mixed reviews from critics. It has since gained a tremendous following and critics have retroactively heaped praise on the film. It is now considered one of the greatest science-fiction films of all time.

Part of the Blade Runner appeal in the years since its release owes to the five different versions released by Warner Bros -- a workprint, the U.S. and international 1982 theatrical versions, Scott's 1992 "Director's Cut" and the so-called "Final Cut" in 2007.

Blade Runner also had an immense impact on films that followed, in both style and substance. Before resurrecting the Batman franchise in 2004, director Christopher Nolan reportedly screened the film for his cinematographer and two other crew members and commanded afterward, "this is how we're going to do Batman."

Scott was supposed to direct the Blade Runner sequel himself, as recently as November, but has since opted to take a producing role. Attempts at making a follow-up film have been happening since the 1980s, but rights issues ultimately led those efforts to be abandoned.

© 2015 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.

Kanye West: 'I'm sorry, Beck'

By Danielle Haynes Follow @DanielleHaynes1 Contact the Author   |   Feb. 26, 2015 at 9:34 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Nearly three weeks after rushing the stage as Beck accepted his Grammy for Album of the Year, Kanye West publicly apologized to the rocker on Twitter.

Beck surprisingly beat out favorite Beyonce for the year's top award and it looked like West wasn't too happy about that.

Mimicking his "Imma let you finish ..." interruption when Taylor Swift beat out Beyonce at the 2009 MTV Music Awards, West jumped onto the stage before Beck had a chance to give his acceptance speech.

West jumped back off the stage before saying anything, but during a post-show interview with E!, he said he wasn't joking when he interrupted Beck. He said Beyonce should have won the award and Beck "should've given his award to Beyonce."

"I just know that, the Grammys, if they want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us," West told E!. "And Beck needs to respect artistry, he should have given his award to Beyoncé."

"I got my wife, my daughter, and I got my clothing line, so I'm not going to do nothing that would put my daughter at risk, but I am here to fight for creativity," he added. "That's why I didn't say anything tonight, but you all knew what it meant when 'Ye stepped on that stage."

West apparently had a change of heart Thursday and apologized to Beck on Twitter.

"I would like to publicly apologize to Beck, I'm sorry Beck," he wrote.

He also apologized for throwing shade at Bruno Mars in the past.

"I also want to publicly apologize to Bruno Mars, I used to hate on him but I really respect what he does as an artist," West wrote.

He said he also wants Mars to sing on a song he and Sean "Diddy" Combs worked on.

For his part, Beck took the whole controversy in stride. In an interview immediately after the Grammys, he said he was excited West was coming up on stage.

"He deserves to be on stage as much as anybody," Beck said. "How many great records has he put out in the last five years right?"

In reaction to West's request that Beck give his award to Beyonce, Beck said he agreed she is a talented artist.

"Absolutely," he said. "I thought she was going to win. Come on, she's Beyonce!"

© 2015 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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