That's just changed, however, with the news that the Warners Bros based Alcon Entertainment have now officially made an offer to Ford to appear in the belated follow-up. "We would be honored, and we are hopeful, that Harrison will be part of our project," said Alcon's co-CEOs Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson in a joint statement.
Interestingly, back when the project was first announced in August 2011, Kosove was initially quoted as saying there was practically no chance of Ford showing up ("I think it is quite unlikely"). A few months later, however, a mischievous Scott suggested that, while Deckard isn't intended as the centre of the film, but rather an expansion of the mythology, "It would be amusing to have him it somewhere".
A few months after that, Scott was musing about how Deckard's having aged might be explained away in the film. "He was a Nexus 6, so we don't know how long he can live," he chuckled. Since Ford was never an adherent of the 'Deckard is a replicant' school of thought, you might think that would be a sticking point.
But Ford has surprised many by his openness to revisiting Blade Runner. In a Reddit interview last month, for example, he said, "I'm quite curious and excited about seeing a new script for Blade Runner. If it's a good script I would be very anxious to work with Ridley Scott again. He's a very talented and passionate filmmaker. I would be very happy to engage with him again in the further telling of this story."
With the news of Alcon's formal approach to Ford, that eventuality now seems much closer. Note, though, the careful wording of the Alcon statement that sees Ford as "part of our project". There is nothing there that suggests he'd be the principal star, or even that he'd definitely be playing Deckard.
Nothing is known about the story yet, other than that it takes place decades after the original Blade Runner. Michael Green (Green Lantern) and original writer Hampton Fancher (re-christened "Happen Faster" by Scott, back in the day) have written the screenplay. Kosove and Johnson say they've "crafted with Ridley Scott an extraordinary sequel to one of the greatest films of all time".
As always, watch this space for further updates.