Warner Bros. Pictures

Amazon Studios’ live-action ten-episode TV series “Blade Runner 2099,” which halted production back in late May due to the writer’s strike, is exiting Northern Ireland.

Scott Free and “The Expanse” producers Alcon Entertainment are behind the project which had been in pre-production for months at Belfast Harbour Studios.

The film marked the third major instalment in the franchise following Ridley Scott’s original 1982 film “Blade Runner” and Denis Villeneuve’s 2017 sequel “Blade Runner 2049”.

Previously it was reported in the trades that the strike-induced delay could result in the whole shoot being pushed back a year. Now though, The BBC is indicating it is outright leaving the country.

The chief executive of Northern Ireland Screen Richard Williams has expressed his disappointment in a statement:

“We are conscious that these difficult decisions do happen in the screen industry, particularly with the most expensive projects which carry the greatest expectations.

This obviously leaves a gap in Northern Ireland’s production schedule and Northern Ireland Screen will do everything it can to plug that gap as quickly as possible, mindful that many freelance crew and supply chain companies were relying on this project for work.”

Silka Luisa (“Shining Girls”) wrote the script and is the showrunner on the series with an executive producer credit. Spezialy and Ridley Scott are also getting producing credits.

The £4.1m in screen funding that Northern Ireland Screen had given the production will now be returned.

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