A Blade Runner Sequel?

What would it take to make a good (or even great) Blade Runner sequel?

The original became a cult hit mainly because (a) it had an interesting, well textured setting (b) it projected a very clear style or mood that fit well with (c) an interesting moral question about what makes one "human" that is ultimately left up to the viewer, (d) while including enough action directly related to the question to keep it interesting on first viewing.

I think a good sequel would need to (a) replicate and build on the setting (b) choose a DIFFERENT question, or perhaps deeper examination of the original moral question to examine; and (c) fit the style/mood to that examination - and of course (d) driving it all with some cool action scenes.

Forget the off-world colonies - it's far more interesting to look at how alien Earth would have become, to our eyes. The original looked at an organic mix of decaying remnants of today's cities threaded and overshadowed by ultra-tech future stuff, and invaded by "foreigners" (apparently many natives having moved on to the off-world colonies?) OK, what is happening elsewhere? We saw a city apparently sapped by climate turned hot and wet - global warming has run amuk.

How's that affecting the rest of the country/world? Drought-ruined farm lands? Chicago by an empty Great Lakes basin (water mostly diverted to the new agricultural band across Canada, just a few big pipelines running to the city), surrounded by dusty desert, maybe growing food in towers? Ice age in Europe? London flooded? Expanding seas flooded the Mediterranean and turned lots of cities into Venice equivalents (and sunk Venice itself)? But now a dam is built across the Straits of Gibraltar - generating power as water is let in to replace evaporation, but not letting the sea fall to it's old levels? Has there been a mini-nuke-war in the middle east or maybe Pakistan-India? Those sorts of things would be interesting to look at. (And the nuke war assumption, shown in a few quick scenes, might serve as a warning to today's bickering countries with nukes or ambitions.) Instead of sitting in one city, the sequel should get out and around the world.

What interesting moral question might be examined? How about a serious re-examination of Hollywood's constant droning "it's good to age and die" formula? Perhaps the hero is struggling to put together enough money to replace his failing synth-organs, even as he moves through the richest and poorest levels of society? How about effectively immortal wealthy parents who keep their kids "young and innocent" - a 43 year old kid that looks 7 leading a secret life while playing a role to keep the parents happily self-deceived? Hmm - that edges on "What is adulthood? What is perversion? Is it more perverse to "force" someone to be a child forever, or for that "child" to behave as the adult they mentally are? [It doesn't have to turn the movie into child-porn - create a scenario in which a "straight-adult" hero is tempted but resists out of old-fashioned moral scruples he's not sure really apply any more - controversial enough.]

Maybe have the hero be someone arriving back from the off-world colonies, so we see this strange new world through his eyes - the tech is mostly not strange to him, but the culture would appear involuted and perverted, coming from a more straight-forward off-world culture where kids grow up fast because they're needed.


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