The long-percolating Blade Runner sequel is finally coming to fruition, according to a press release today, which states that Sony Pictures International has acquired worldwide rights to the followup while Warner Bros. will distribute in North America. 

The release confirms that Ryan Gosling will co-star alongside Harrison Ford (reprising his role as Rick Deckard), and that Prisoners and Sicario director Denis Villeneuve will direct from a script by original co-screenwriter Hampton Fancher and Michael Green (based on an idea by Fancher and original director Ridley Scott, who will executive-produce). The story will be set several decades after the original film, which took place in a dystopian Los Angeles circa 2019 and followed Deckard as he pursued four "replicants" who had come to Earth illegally. 

Scott was originally expected to direct the sequel but stepped aside to make way for Villeneuve, who will collaborate once again with Oscar-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins on the film (Deakins also lensed Prisoners and Sicario). Principal photography is slated to begin this July. 

A former contributor to sites including MTV's The Backlot and Bloody-Disgusting, Chris Eggertsen worked in film development before indulging his love of pop culture writing full time. He specializes in horror, the intersection of social issues and entertainment and Howard Stern. He's on Twitter @HitFixChris.