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Blade Runner fans rejoice: Sequel’s release date moved up to 2017

The news just keeps getting better for Blade Runner fans. Not only is the long-awaited sequel to the 1982 Ridley Scott-helmed cult hit finally coming, Blade Runner 2 is now set to hit theaters even earlier than originally expected. Alcon Entertainment has rescheduled the film’s release from 2018 to October 6, 2017, reports Deadline.

It’s unclear why the move was made, but it potentially sets the sequel up for stiff competition at the box office. When the sequel was slated to open over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, it was scheduled to face Paramount Animations’ Sherlock Gnomes, as reported by THR; Blade Runner 2‘s new release date, on the other hand, is expected to pit it against Hugh Jackman’s final Wolverine film, according to Deadline. The distributor must not be overly worried; after all, the film does have Harrison Ford returning to star alongside Ryan Gosling.

Related: Ridley Scott reveals more answers about Blade Runner 2 and beyond

While Blade Runner wasn’t a critical darling when it first released, it gained a following and is arguably one of the best sci-fi films ever made. Written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, the film was based on the 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. The movie, which is set in Los Angeles in a dystopian future, centers on former police officer Rick Deckard (played by Ford), who must hunt down an escaped group of replicants, who are banned bioengineered androids that can pass as humans.

Plot details for the sequel have been largely kept under wraps, but the story is expected to move even further into the future, which is good considering that we’ve almost reached the year the original is set in: 2019. Fancher is back to pen the follow-up, and this time he’s joined by Michael Green. Director Denis Villeneuve will take the baton from Scott, but fans can rest assured that the acclaimed filmmaker will still be involved; together with Fancher, Scott reportedly came up with the story the script is based on, and he’ll also executive produce alongside Frank Guistra, Bill Carraro, and Tim Gamble. Alcon Entertainment’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Jonson will produce along with Cynthia Sikes Yorkin. Her husband, the late Bud Yorkin, will receive producing credit.

Blade Runner 2 is now scheduled to hit theaters on October 6, 2017.

Updated 4/20/16 by Stephanie Topacio Long: This article has been updated to reflect a change in the film’s release date.

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