Roger Deakins is headed off-world. The acclaimed cinematographer has been enlisted to shoot the long-in-the-works sequel to the 1982 sci-fi classic "Blade Runner," Alcon Entertainment announced Wednesday.
The film will mark Deakins' third collaboration with French Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, following the 2013 kidnapping thriller "Prisoners" and the drug-trafficking drama "Sicario," which bowed to strong reviews at the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday.
Deakins, a 12-time Academy Award nominee whose credits include "Unbroken," "Skyfall," "The Shawshank Redemption" and many of the Coen brothers' movies, is set to receive Cannes' Pierre Angenieux Excellens in Cinematography Award on Friday.
"Roger is an extraordinary talent," Alcon co-chiefs Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson said in the announcement, "and we are very excited that Denis and Roger have chosen to continue their collaboration in bringing the sequel to 'Blade Runner' to the big screen."
Plot details have yet to be released for the sequel, except that it is set several decades after the original and that Harrison Ford will reprise his role as the replicant-hunting cop Rick Deckard. Ryan Gosling is still in negotiations to costar.
The sequel screenplay is by "Blade Runner" co-writer Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, based on an idea by Fancher and Ridley Scott. Scott directed the original film, a loose adaptation of the 1968 Philip K. Dick novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" and he's executive-producing this time around.
Alcon, which has a longstanding distribution arrangement with Warner Bros., acquired rights to the "Blade Runner" franchise in 2011 with the intent to produce multiple sequels and prequels.
Villeneuve and Deakins are scheduled to start shooting next summer.