Last year, moviegoers finally returned to the world of Blade Runner when a sequel, Blade Runner 2049, landed in theaters 35 years after the original film. Now, the legendary futuristic universe of replicants and the people who hunt them will continue again, just not on the big screen.
Alcon Media Group, the production company behind Blade Runner 2049, and Titan Publishing (perhaps best known among genre fans for their history of Doctor Who tie-in comics) announced Thursday that they've begun a publishing partnership that will continue the Blade Runner franchise through various projects in both fiction and nonfiction. That means we'll be getting both comics that continue the Blade Runner story through the same canon established by the two films, as well as art books detailing the production process of those films.
“We are extremely excited to be publishing Blade Runner comics and illustrated books,” Titan publishers Nick Landau and Vivian Cheung said in a statement. “The Blade Runner universe has barely been explored; there is so much more there. It’s an honour to be bringing this world to life in new ways for a new audience – and to reveal tales from that universe that you’ve never seen before.”
The franchise will be under the editorial supervision of Titan's David Manley-Leach and Alcon director of publishing Jeff Connor. According to EW, the partnership will "initially focus" on Blade Runner, leaving open the possibility for work on other franchises in the future.
Blade Runner was famously adapted from the Philip K. Dick story Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and has seen a few attempts at continuations beyond the films in the past. Boom! Studios published both a comic book adaptation of Dick's book in 2009 and a prequel titled Dust to Dust in 2010, and novelist K.W. Jeter published a series of novels serving as sequels to the original film from 1994 to 2000.
Now we have this effort from one of the best known licensed comics publishers working today, coming less than a year after 2049 arrived to critical acclaim. We don't know yet when the first titles from this partnership will emerge, or which creators will be working on them, but if you're a Blade Runner fan there's good reason to be excited right now.