After Pris (Daryl Hannah) first meets Sebastian (William Sanderson), she runs away from him, skidding into his car and smashing the window with her elbow. This was a genuine mistake caused by Hannah slipping on the wet ground. The glass wasn't breakaway glass, it was real glass, and Hannah chipped her elbow in eight places.
Ridley Scott and Jordan Cronenweth achieved the famous 'shining eyes' effect by using a technique invented by 'Fritz Lang' known as the 'Schüfftan Process'; light is bounced into the actors' eyes off a piece of half mirrored glass mounted at a forty five degree angle to the camera.
Rutger Hauer came up with many inventive ideas for his characterization, like the moment where he grabs and fondles a dove. He also improvised the now-iconic line "All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in the rain".
Ridley Scott cast Rutger Hauer in the role of Roy Batty without actually meeting the actor. He had watched his performances in Turkish Delight (1973), Keetje Tippel (1975) and Soldier of Orange (1977) and was so impressed, he cast him immediately. However, for their first meeting, Hauer decided to play a joke on Scott and he turned up wearing huge green sunglasses, pink satin pants and a white sweater with an image of a fox on the front. According to production executive Katherine Haber, when Scott saw Hauer, he literally turned white.
When Deckard (Harrison Ford) stops Rachael (Sean Young) from leaving his apartment, he pushes her away from him. The expression of pain and shock on her face was real. She said Ford pushed her too hard and she was angry with him.
At first, Ridley Scott's original cut, without the voice-over, among other things, was thought to be non-existent. It was in 1989 that Michael Arick, a sound preservationist and director of assent management at Warner Bros., stumbled upon a 70mm print of the film while looking for footage from Gypsy (1962). Several months later, the Cineplex Odeon Fairfax theater was having a classic-film festival featuring 70mm prints. The print discovered by Arick was set to be screened in May. However, no one had actually watched the print and everyone thought it was the International Cut, leading to a great deal of surprise when people discovered it was another version entirely. More screenings of this version resulted in sell outs, and Warner proposed releasing it as a Director's Cut. Ridley Scott however said it was not a Director's Cut, and said that a number of changes would need to be made for him to approve it. Ultimately, Scott and Arick were not given enough time to complete the project to Scott's satisfaction, and the resulting Director's Cut was still not Scott's preferred version of the film. In 2007, Scott was finally able to release what he considered to be the definitive cut of the film.
Although Philip K. Dick saw only the opening 20 minutes of footage prior to his death on March 2, 1982, he was extremely impressed, and has been quoted by Paul Sammon as saying, "It was my own interior world. They caught it perfectly." However neither Ridley Scott nor screenwriter David Webb Peoples actually read Dick's novel.
Towards the end of principal photography an incident occurred which has become known as the T-shirt war. The majority of the crew didn't enjoy working on the film, and didn't like working for Ridley Scott, who they considered to be cold and distant. In an article in the British press, Scott commented that he preferred working with English crews because when he asked for something they would say, "Yes gov'nor" and go get it, but things weren't that simple with American crews. Makeup supervisor Marvin G. Westmore saw the article and was disgusted. In retaliation, he had t-shirts printed with "Yes gov'nor my ass!" on the front, and either "Will Rogers never met Ridley Scott" or "You soar with eagles when you fly with turkeys" on the back. In retaliation, Scott and several of his closer collaborators had t-shirts made with "Xenophobia sucks" on them.
It has always been rumored that Harrison Ford intentionally performed the voice-over poorly, in the hope it would not be used, but in a 2002 interview with Playboy magazine, Ford clarified this mistaken assumption; "I delivered it to the best of my ability, given that I had no input. I never thought they'd use it. But I didn't try and sandbag it. It was simply bad narration."
According to Paul Sammon, who toured the set in 1981, the level of detail on everything (what Ridley Scott refers to as 'layering') was amazing, even though much of it would never be seen on screen. For example, written on the door of a bus was "Driver is Armed; Carries No Cash", whilst written in tiny print on the parking meters was "WARNING - DANGER! You Can Be Killed By Internal Electrical System If This Meter Is Tampered With". Also written on the parking meters was the rate - 1 minute parking cost $3. On a magazine rack were to be found magazines with mocked up twentieth-first covers; these magazines included Krotch, Zord, Bash, Creative Emotion and Droid. A skin magazine called Horn had headlines reading "The Cosmic Orgasm", "Hot Lust in Space", "Tit Job Review", "Scratch and Sniff Centrespread." Crime magazine Kill had covers reading "Multiple Murders - Readers' Own Photos", "98 Dead in Spinner Dive", "Death Penalty Snuffs 12 Jurors in Freak Accident." Another magazine, Moni, had headlines "Earthlings: Pay Big $ to See Future" by M. Deeley, "Higher Tech" by L.G. Paull and "Illegal Aliens" by R. Scott.
Although for many years, Harrison Ford refused to talk about the film, he did contribute to the 2007 DVD documentary Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner (2007), claiming he has reconciled with Ridley Scott and made his peace with the film. In fact, Ford says the thing he remembers most is not the grueling shoot or the arguments with his director, but being forced to record the voiceover which executive producers Jerry Perenchio and Bud Yorkin insisted be in the film. Ford doesn't actually mention any names, but in discussing the voiceover which was used in the theatrical cut, he says it was written by "clowns". In actual fact, Darryl Ponicsan was initially hired to write it, but his version was tossed out. Then Roland Kibbee was hired and his version is the one that was used. According to David Peoples and Hampton Fancher, who had become close friends, when they first saw the film, they each thought the other had written it, and despite the fact that they both hated it, they told one another they loved it for fear of insulting the other's feelings.
Philip K. Dick first came up with the idea for his novel 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' in 1962, when researching 'The Man in the High Castle' which deals with the Nazis conquering the planet in the 1940s. Dick had been granted access to archived World War II Gestapo documents in the University of California at Berkley, and had come across diaries written by S.S. men stationed in Poland, which he found almost unreadable in their casual cruelty and lack of human empathy. One sentence in particular troubled him: "We are kept awake at night by the cries of starving children." Dick was so horrified by this sentence that he reasoned there was obviously something wrong with the man who wrote it. This led him to hypothesize that Nazism in general was a defective group mind, a mind so emotionally flawed that the word human could not be applied to them; their lack of empathy was so pronounced that Dick reasoned they couldn't be referred to as human beings, even though their outward appearance seemed to indicate that they were human. The novel sprang from this.
The term replicants is used nowhere in Philip K. Dick's writing. The creatures in the source novel are called Androids or Andies. The movie abandoned these terms, fearing they would sound comical spoken on screen. Replicants came from David Webb Peoples' daughter, Risa, who was studying microbiology and biochemistry. She introduced her father to the theory of replication - the process whereby cells are duplicated for cloning purposes.
Ridley Scott and Michael Deeley were briefly fired from the production shortly after principal photography wrapped. Because the film had gone over budget, executive producers Jerry Perenchio and Bud Yorkin of Tandem Productions had stepped in, firing Scott and Deeley and taking over the editing of the project themselves. And although they did rehire Scott and Deeley (mainly due to the intervention of Alan Ladd Jr.), they retained artistic control. After two disastrous preview screenings of the workprint, which the audience claimed was difficult to understand, Yorkin and Perenchio decided to record an explanatory voiceover and add a happy ending. Ridley Scott was not averse to the idea of a voiceover (as is often claimed), but he had wanted a voiceover with Deckard musing philosophically on the implications of his actions. Yorkin and Perenchio however wanted a voiceover where Deckard literally explains aspects of the film to the audience.
Ridley Scott was dismayed to discover that American crews operated very differently from British ones (this was Scott's first American film). In his native UK, Scott was primarily a camera operator and would always step behind the camera to see through the viewfinder himself. This wasn't common practice in America and led to much tension between director and crew.
It is often claimed by fans that the moves Roy plays to checkmate Tyrell are from a famous game played in 1851 between Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritzky, known as "The Immortal Game". In the real game, Anderssen did actually sacrifice his Queen in order to force checkmate in very next move. However, Ridley Scott has stated that any similarities to the real game in the movie game were purely coincidental. In any case, the position of the pieces on Sebastian's board do not correspond with the positions on Tyrell's board.
Conflicts on set arose almost immediately upon commencement of filming. The first scenes to be shot where those which take place in Eldon Tyrell's (Joe Turkel) office. However, after two weeks of shooting, director Ridley Scott decided he didn't like the lighting for the scenes, and ordered everything to be reshot from scratch. This not only put the film two weeks behind schedule only two weeks into the shoot, but also created a major conflict between Scott and the camera crew, headed by director of photography Jordan Cronenweth.
According the Rutger Hauer's biography, the final confrontation between Deckard and Roy Batty was to have been a fight in an old gym. Hauer disliked the idea saying it was "too Bruce Lee" and claims to have come up with the idea of Batty chasing Deckard.
When author William Gibson went to see Blade Runner, he was preparing to begin his first novel, "Neuromancer." However, twenty minutes into Blade Runner he got up and walked out of the cinema, because he was so shocked by the similarities between the film and his as yet unwritten novel.
In Philip K. Dick's original novel, animals were virtually extinct, something that the film only addresses in very subtle ways. The most obvious reference is when Deckard asks Zhora if her snake is real and she replies "Do you think I'd be working in a place like this if I could afford one?" There is also a sequence when Deckard first visits Tyrell and Rachel and she asks him "Do you like our owl?" In Dick's novel, the owls were the first creatures to die out.
Among the folklore that has built up around the film over the years is the infamous 'Blade Runner Curse', which is the belief that the film was a curse to the companies whose logos were displayed prominently as product placements. While they were market leaders at the time, many of them experienced disastrous setbacks over the next decade and hardly exist anymore. RCA, for example which at one time was the leading consumer electronics and communications conglomerate, was bought out by one time parent GE in 1985, and dismantled. Atari, which dominated the home video game market when the film came out, never recovered from the next year's downturn in the industry, and by the 1990s had ceased to exist as anything more than a brand. The Atari of today is an entirely different firm, using the former company's name. Cuisinart similarly went bankrupt in 1989, though it lives on under new ownership. The Bell System monopoly was broken up that same year, and all of the resulting Regional Bell operating companies have since changed their names and merged back with each other and other companies to form the new AT&T. Pan Am suffered the terrorist bombing/destruction of Pan Am Flight 103 and went bankrupt in 1991, after a decade of mounting losses. The Coca-Cola Company, although still tremendously popular, suffered losses during its failed introduction of New Coke in 1985. The KOSS Corporation - whose logo is repeatedly seen in the opening scenes where Deckard is waiting to eat - survived a serious setback. The family owned, pioneer hifi headphone company suffered a major loss when it was discovered in 2010 that an employee, the CFO, had embezzled $34 million.
The Hades landscape in the opening shot was filmed using forced perspective. The miniature itself was only 13 feet deep and 18 feet wide. Almost seven miles of fiber optics and over 2000 lights were needed to illuminate it.
Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer)'s odd meld of "father" and "fucker" after he says to Tyrell, "I want more life" is deliberate. Hauer was instructed to pronounce it in such a way that it could be both; "fucker" was to be used in the theatrical cut, "father" in all versions of the film for TV.
As Batty and Tyrell talk about how to prolong replicant lifespans, Batty suggests a process involving "EMS". Tyrell responds by saying that "Ethyl methanesulfonate" was tried unsuccessfully. Ethyl methanesulfonate is an actual organic compound with mutagenic and teratogenic qualities, used in genetics.
The ending title sequence in the theatrical cut of the film contains unused footage from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980). These were extra shots of the main title sequence, although none of the shots contain the road that was seen in The Shining.
Deckard's apartment, drawn by set designer Charles William Breen and built on stage at Warner Bros., was inspired by the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Ennis-Brown House in Los Angeles. Breen actually had plaster casts taken from the textile blocks of the Wright-designed house and used them for the walls in the stage set.
Ridley Scott had decided to cast Frank McRae as Leon until he saw Brion James's audition. After the audition, Scott's secretary told him that James frightened her, and upon hearing that, Scott offered James the role.
In an infamous incident, author Philip K. Dick publicly denounced the film after reading an early Hampton Fancher script. In the February 15, 1981 edition of 'Select TV Guide', Dick mocked the script (calling it "Phillip Marlowe meets The Stepford Wives (1975)") and Ridley Scott's previous film, Alien (1979). He then mailed a copy of the article to the 'Blade Runner' production offices. Ultimately, Dick would change his opinion about the project, largely due to the involvement of Jeffrey Walker, a publicist for the Ladd Company, who convinced Warner Bros. that Dick needed to be involved in the project (the original production company, Filmways Inc, had basically ignored Dick and kept him out of the loop). Walker kept Dick abreast of all major developments behind the scenes, and Dick eventually became a supporter of the film, even though Ridley Scott and he did not meet until after principal photography had wrapped.
Director of photography Jordan Cronenweth was just starting to really suffer from the Parkinson's disease that would ultimately kill him and was often quite weak during the long days and nights of filming. By the end of the production, he was in a wheelchair.
Syd Mead was originally hired to design vehicles and props. However, in his sketches, he would include backgrounds for contextualization, and Ridley Scott was so impressed with Mead's work that he asked him to work on designing the environment of the film, as well as painting some of the mattes.
As well as using Edward Hopper's painting 'Nighthawks' for visual inspiration during the making of the film, director Ridley Scott also used the French comic strip 'Métal hurlant', especially the artwork of Moebius in the story, 'The Long Tomorrow'. In fact, Moebius was asked if he would like to work on the film, but he turned down the opportunity to work instead on Time Masters (1982), a decision he has always regretted.
One of David Webb Peoples's early screenplays opened the movie on an Off-World Termination Dump, where three dead replicants were to be disposed of. Peoples reused this idea of discarding dead servants on an off-world colony dump in his screenplay for Soldier (1998), which he considered a 'side-quel' to Blade Runner (1982) (i.e. an unrelated movie taking place in the same fictional universe).
While the film is loosely based on Philip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", the title comes from a book by Alan Nourse called "The Bladerunner". William S. Burroughs wrote a screenplay based on the Nourse book and a novella entitled "Blade Runner: A Movie." Ridley Scott bought the rights to the title but not the screenplay or the book. The Burroughs composition defines a blade runner as "a person who sells illegal surgical instruments".
Due to an imminent strike among the crew near the end of photography, the shooting schedule became extremely long and rushed. Rutger Hauer became so exhausted that he excused himself from his final scene, went back to his hotel and collapsed. When he returned to the set the next day, the strike had been averted and he was able to finish his scenes properly.
Harrison Ford cites Blade Runner as one of the most frustrating films he's ever made. Partly because the shoot was so grueling, and the changes in post-production that were meant to help the film's chances at the box-office but didn't.
Titles considered for the film include 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?', 'Android', 'Mechanismo', 'Dangerous Days', and finally 'Blade Runner'. After the film had changed its name from 'Dangerous Days' to 'Blade Runner', Ridley Scott decided he didn't like the new name, and tried to call the film 'Gotham City', but Bob Kane (comic book creator of Batman) wouldn't sell the rights to the name, so it returned to being called 'Blade Runner'.
This was one of the first major films to be reissued years later in a "director's edition" in which the director was allowed to restore edited footage or otherwise make changes more closely reflecting his original vision. Today, such later "revision" of films is commonplace.
Translation of entire noodle-bar scene: Upon a seat becoming free at the counter, the Sushi Master (Bob Okazaki) shouts to Deckard (Harrison Ford), "Akimashita, akimashita! Irasshai, irasshai". In Japanese, "Akimashita" is the past tense of "aku", which means 'to become free'; "Irasshai" means "Welcome". So the Sushi Master is pointing at the seat and saying "It's free, it's free. Welcome, welcome". When Deckard approaches the bar, the Master says "Sa dozo", meaning "Come, please", followed by "Nan ni shimasho ka?", meaning, "What'll it be?" When Deckard asks for four, the master replies, "Futatsu de jubun desu yo", meaning "Two is enough" (he repeats this twice). When Gaff (Edward James Olmos) and a uniformed policeman approach Deckard, at first the policeman says, "Hey, idi-wa", Korean for: "Hey, come here". Gaff then says "Monsieur, azonnal kövessen engem bitte". "Monsieur" is French for Sir; "azonnal" is Hungarian for "immediately"; "kövessen" is the Hungarian imperative "to follow"; "engem" means "me"; "bitte" is German for "please". So a translation is "Sir, follow me immediately please". When Deckard tells Gaff that he's got the wrong person, Gaff says "Lófaszt, nehogy már. Te vagy a Blade ... Blade Runner". In Hungarian, "Lófaszt" is a rude expression. "Lo" means "horse" and "fasz" means "prick" or "dick". (The "t" is added at the end because of the rules of Hungarian grammar.) This expression is basically the equivalent of saying "Bullshit" in English. "Nehogy már" means "no way" in English. "Te vagy" means "you are", and "a" means "the". As such, a close literal translation is "Bullshit, no way, you're the Blade...Blade Runner". Gaff then says, "Captain Bryant toka. Me ni omae yo". This is based on Japanese, but is not strictly Japanese in structure. "Captain Bryant toka" is probably a version of "Captain Bryanto ga", meaning, "Captain Bryant is the subject of this sentence". "Me ni mae" means "to meet someone"; "omae" is the informal way of saying "you", and "yo" is simply an exclamation. As such, the translation would be "Captain Bryant. He wants to see you!"
Just prior to the film's release, Philip K. Dick turned down a $400,000 offer to write the novelization of the movie. Instead, 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep' was re-released under the name 'Blade Runner' and with the movie poster as the cover.
For the scene in the bathroom where Deckard finds the snake scale, Deckard is played by Harrison Ford's double Vic Armstrong as the scene was shot in England as a pickup, and Ford was unavailable at the time.
Batty paraphrases William Blake's poem "America - a Prophecy" when he appears in Chew's laboratory. The original phrasing from the poem is "Fiery the Angels rose, and as they rose deep thunder roll'd around their shores: indignant burning with the fires of Orc."
Ridley Scott initially toyed with the idea of setting the film in the fictional city of San Angeles; as if San Francisco and Los Angeles had become one massive population center. This idea was used in Demolition Man (1993).
In an essay titled "Notes on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?", written the same year the novel was published (1968), Philip K. Dick speculated about a possible film adaptation of the novel. His casting choices were Gregory Peck for Deckard, Dean Stockwell as Isidore (Sebastian), and Grace Slick as Rachael. Dick suggested that the novel's subplot about Deckard being brought to a phony police station run by androids could be eliminated, and proposed a new scene which would show Deckard making love to Rachael inter-cut with Isidore trying to do the same with Pris and comically failing. He further suggested that Deckard's estrangement from Rachael following their lovemaking could be shown to aid him in his mission to kill Pris (who, in the novel, looks identical to Rachael).
The trash seen throughout J.F. Sebastian's apartment building is referred to in Philip K. Dick's novel as "kipple" - defined as a massing of small, useless, discarded items such as gum wrappers and matchbooks. In the novel, Sebastian gives Pris a prolonged lecture on the nature of kipple and how it seems to self-multiply, and how he can't rid his world of it.
Ridley Scott actually turned down directorial duties on the project as he was about to begin work on another science fiction adaptation, Dune (1984) and was also prepping a version of 'Tristan & Isolde'. Michael Apted, Bruce Beresford and Adrian Lyne also turned down the script. Eventually, Robert Mulligan was hired to direct the picture, and he and Hampton Fancher set about rewriting the screenplay. However, they disagreed about the direction of the project, and Mulligan left after three months. When Scott was presented with a revised version of the script, after he had left Dune (1984) due to a lack of progress, he decided to make it to take his mind off his brother's recent death.
Ridley Scott has always maintained that the film is a piece of entertainment, nothing more. In fact, when he met Philip K. Dick during the post production process, he specifically told Dick that he was uninterested in "making an esoteric film."
Originally, the novel (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) was set in 1992, although later editions brought the date forward to 2021. The film makers initially identified the date as 2020, but settled on 2019 because 2020 sounded too much like the common term for perfect vision, 20:20.
The first screenplay based on 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' was not written by Hampton Fancher as is often claimed, but by Robert Jaffe, whose company, Herb Jaffe Associates, had purchased the rights to the novel. According to author Philip K. Dick, Jaffe turned the novel into a comedy spoof, which Dick absolutely detested. Herb Jaffe Associates' option ran out in 1977, which is when Fancher became involved. Fancher had wanted to do an adaptation of William S. Burroughs' 'Naked Lunch', but the deal fell through, and he turned to 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep'.
In 2000, Moviemail voted Blade Runner (1982) the 4th best film of all time. Also in 2000, BBC viewers voted it the 2nd best film ever made. In 2001, Empire magazine voted it the 16th best film of all time. In 2002, it was voted the 8th best film of all time in Channel 4's 100 Greatest Films poll. The same year, the Online Film Critics Society voted it the 2nd best science fiction film ever, whilst also in 2002, Wired magazine voted it the best science fiction movie of all time. Also in 2002, Sight & Sound voted it the 7th best film of the last 25 years. In 2004, in a poll amongst 60 prominent scientists, The Guardian also voted it the best science fiction film ever. In 2007, the American Film Institute (which is notoriously reticent to allow science fiction films into their top 100) listed it as the 97th greatest film of all time, and Empire magazine voted it the Best Science Fiction Film Ever Made in 2007. Also in 2007, it was named the 2nd most visually influential film of all time by the Visual Effects Society. In 2008, it was voted the 6th best science fiction film ever made as part of the AFI's 10 Top 10 lists. Also in 2008, New Scientist readers voted it the best science fiction film ever made. It is currently ranked the 3rd best film of all time by The Screen Directory and the best science fiction film of all time at Futurist Movies.
Ridley Scott told NPR's All Things Considered that he originally wanted Deckard to wear a 1940s-style hat throughout the film, but Scott decided against that once he saw Harrison Ford's Indiana Jones costume (including the brown fedora) for Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), which was shot directly before Blade Runner (1982).
Only days away from the beginning of principal photography, production company Filmways Inc., who had promised to provide $15 million for the production, withdrew from the project, investing the money in Brian De Palma's Blow Out (1981) instead. In only a matter of days, producer Michael Deeley was able to broker a $22 million three-way deal with Tandem Pictures, the Ladd Company (through Warner Bros.) and Hong Kong producer Sir Run Run Shaw (20th Century Fox, United Artists and Universal all turned the project down). The Ladd Company provided $7½ million and took domestic distribution rights. Sir Run Run Shaw also provided $7½ million and took international distribution rights. Tandem Pictures provided $7 million and took ancillary distribution rights (TV, home video etc). Tandem also provided the completion guarantee on the proviso that if the film went over its $22 million budget by 10% or more, they would pay for it but they could assume complete artistic control of the project. Ultimately, the film cost $28 million, and executive producers Jerry Perenchio and Bud Yorkin did indeed take over the project.
In the strange Japanese advertisement shown on the side of a blimp, in which a Geisha-like woman is swallowing a pill, the loud speakers play a line from a Japanese Noh play, saying "Iri Hi Katamuku," literally "the setting sun sinks down." According to special photographics effects supervisor David Dryer the pills being swallowed are birth control pills.
In the Spanish release, the prologue at the beginning where the history about the Replicants is explained was narrated by Constantino Romero, who also played the dubbed voice over Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer). It establishes the concept that Roy Batty tales the origin about himself and the Replicants.
The outtakes link between this movie and The Shining (1980) was not the only element that connected the two. Actor Joe Turkel who plays Dr. Eldon Tyrell, also played Lloyd (the bartender who serves Jack) in The Shining (1980). Outtakes aside, Turkel is the only other common cast/crew link between both films.
At one point in the film, Deckard buys a bottle of Tsingtao from a street vendor. Tsingtao is a real Chinese beer, created in 1903 and still being produced. It is one of China's most successful beers and has also appeared in other films such as Gran Torino (2008) and The Crow (1994).
The Blade Runner Definitive Cut project (which ultimately became the Final Cut) was initially announced in 2000, with producer Charles de Lauzirika placed in-charge in 2001 working towards a late 2002 release of a special edition DVD. Lauzirika worked on the project for seven months, assembling a rough cut of what became the Final Cut. However, rights issues between Warner and The Blade Runner Partnership (which owns the film) became a problem, and the proposed DVD was scrapped. Lauzirika continued to compile and develop supplemental content for the project on his own in the interim. However, in May 2006, all outstanding legal issues were resolved, and Lauzirika once more began work on a new cut of the film, which was released theatrically in October, 2007 and on a special edition DVD in December, 2007.
The point of Harrison Ford's narration in the film, was because "Blade Runner" was a futuristic film-noir and Ford's narration was there to explain the world of "Blade Runner" and about the characters and it was being told from Deckard's point of view.
Ridley Scott and Jane Feinberg disagreed over the casting of Sean Young as Rachel. Scott preferred Young while Feinberg and actor Morgan Paull who screen tested with the auditioning actresses, preferred Nina Axelrod, fearing that Young, a more inexperienced performer, would not be up to the role as she had deviated from direction in screen tests. Scott insisted on Young, who he saw as a Vivien Leigh type.
According to 'The Guardian' newspaper (Tuesday, 22 June 2010), Blade Runner (1982) was the 11th highest grossing film in the UK for the previous week. This was because of an independent screening in London, of 8 showings over 6 days. "The premium-priced, experience-oriented presentation of Blade Runner sold 7,000 tickets, generating gross revenues of around £136,000, according to organisers".
In 1997, a video game was produced as a "sidequel" to this film (that is, a story set during the time frame of this film which crosses over with the main action), reuniting actors Sean Young, James Hong, William Sanderson, Joe Turkel and Brion James, all of whom reprised their roles. The game also makes mention of Dekard, Holden, Gaff, and Bryant.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Director Ridley Scott and actor Harrison Ford had disagreements about the script almost from the very start. Ford hated the voiceover which Scott was proposing and he was against the idea that Deckard may be a replicant, feeling it undercut the human story of Deckard discovering his lost humanity (Rutger Hauer agreed completely with Ford on this point). According to Ford, Ridley Scott and he agreed prior to shooting that Deckard was not a replicant, but then Scott went and shot it to imply he could be, which disappointed both Ford and Hauer.
The idea for Roy to release a dove after he dies was Rutger Hauer's. The dove was supposed to release itself and fly away just after Batty's death. But while filming the scene, the large amount of water used for the rain soaked the dove, rendering it unable to fly. Instead it simply hopped out of Batty's hand and walks away.
Originally, Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) was to have a lengthy monologue just prior to his death, as written by David Webb Peoples. Hauer felt this didn't help in creating any dramatic impact in the scene, so he removed much, keeping the pieces he liked, and then added the last two lines, "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die."
At some point of the movie, each replicant has a red brightness in their eyes (Rachael in Deckard's home, Pris in Sebastian's). Deckard also has the shining in his eyes while talking to Rachael in his house. In July 2000, director Ridley Scott said that Deckard is, in fact, a replicant. Harrison Ford takes issue with this, however. "We had agreed that he definitely was not a replicant," Ford said. Rutger Hauer's autobiography expressed some disappointment with the same, because it reduced the final clash between Deckard and Batty from a symbolic "man vs. machine" battle to two replicants fighting.
For the Final Cut of the film, one day of entirely new shooting took place - which has become known as the Greenscreen Shoot. This involved correcting the obvious problem in the original cut that when Zhora (Joanna Cassidy) crashes through the sheets of glass, it clearly isn't Cassidy (it's actually stuntwoman Lee Pulford). New footage of Cassidy was shot and face replacement technology was used to digitally replace Pulford's face with Cassidy's. Not only was Cassidy thrilled that Zhora's costume still fit her, but the crew working on the shot were amazed at how easily Cassidy was able to exactly mimic her actions of 25 years previously.
A female gymnast was hired as a stunt double for Daryl Hannah in the scene where Pris attacks Deckard, but director Ridley Scott rehearsed the scene so many times that when they were ready to shoot the scene she was too exhausted to do anything. The scene was filmed with a male gymnast that they had been able to track down during the lunch break.
Ridley Scott has considered directing a sequel to this film at various times. Some sequel scripts were published as novels. While working on the Final Cut DVD in 2007, Scott again considered a follow-up detailing the lives of Rachel and Deckard after the events of the first film. Actress Sean Young expressed great interest in reprising her character. At the 2007 Comic-Con, Scott again announced that he is considering a sequel to the film, and by September 2008, Travis Wright was writing the screenplay, working in conjunction with John Glenn. According to Glenn, the script explores the nature of the Off-World colonies, and examines what happens to the Tyrell Corporation in the wake of its founder's death. As of March 2011, Broderick Johnson and Andrew A. Kosove of Alcon Entertainment are negotiating for the film, television and ancillary franchise rights from producer-director Bud Yorkin. Johnson and Kosove are wanting to serve as producers to a sequel and/or prequel.
Although Ridley Scott believes Deckard is a replicant, still it is implied in the beginning and in the end of the film that Deckard is a human. The beginning of the film establishes Deckard as a human and not as a replicant. The lifespan of replicants is only four years. Deckard is a "retired" police officer who was brought back to his job by his supervisor Bryant to retire four replicants. Inspector Bryant sees Deckard as "a person". Not as a replicant. Inspector Bryant tells Deckard - "If you are not cop, you are little "people." Both Bryant and Deckard have a history together in the police department before Deckard retired. Bryant tells Deckard - "I need the old blade runner. I need your magic." Deckard is a Blade Runner. Blade Runner is a police officer charged with killing, or "retiring," replicants. Blade runners don't want to take a human life mistakenly, so they test their targets first through Voigt-Kampff test. Roy Batty sees Deckard as a human. At the end of the film, Roy Batty (before he dies) tells Deckard - "I have seen things "you people" wouldn't believe."
The dialog in all releases of the movie prior to the Final Cut alludes to another replicant who dies before Deckard's final battles with Pris and Batty. The conflicting dialog occurs in the first conversation between Deckard and Bryant. Bryant initially tells Deckard there are four "skin jobs" on the loose, but minutes later says six escaped, and one was killed by the "electronic gate", which should leave five. The explanation is that the script originally contained an additional replicant named "Mary", but time and budgetary constraints resulted in her being written out. The role was removed at such a late stage, that it had already been cast. Mary was to be played by Stacey Nelkin. Nelkin had auditioned for the role of Pris, but after her audition, she was offered Mary instead. M. Emmet Walsh who plays Bryant, reports that new dialog was recorded to change the number of replicants in this scene, but Scott inexplicably only used half of the new dialog, resulting in the inconsistency. This inconsistency is corrected in the Final Cut version of the film, although interestingly, in the Workprint, Byrant does indeed say "two" replicants were killed. There are lengthy debates among the movie's fandom on whether Deckard is a replicant himself, the sixth replicant is believed by some to be Deckard.
The first draft of the script which became Blade Runner was written by Hampton Fancher in 1978 under the same title as the novel. In this initial script, the story focused less on human issues than it did on environmental issues and larger questions of God and mortality. It refers to replicants as "androids" and makes it clear that Deckard is human. The Voight-Kampff test can spot androids after five or six questions (not the thirty questions required in later drafts); Rachael is detected after thirteen questions, not a hundred. The sixth android, Mary, is present in this draft. Instead of finding Tyrell at the Tyrell building, Batty goes to Tyrell's mansion, and he kills Tyrell, along with his bodyguard, a maid, and his entire family; he later kills Sebastian. The androids in this script have no obvious reason to be on earth; there is nothing about them wanting to live longer, they are simply on earth killing people for no apparent reason. At the end of the script, Rachael kills herself, as she knows if she doesn't do it, Deckard will have to. The script ends with Deckard wandering into the desert with the intention of dying, but upon seeing a tortoise struggling to turn itself over, he decides to live on. Fancher produced his second major draft on 24 July 1980. A number of scenes in this script made it into the final film - the opening scene is almost identical, as is the briefing scene with Bryant, Deckard searching Leon's hotel room, and Deckard using the Voight-Kampff machine on Rachael under the supervision of Tyrell. Differences included a smaller role for Gaff, and a larger role for the Esper, which is a talking computer. The script ends with Deckard bringing Rachael out to the countryside so she can see snow for the first time, and shooting her. The last scene sees him driving back to the city musing about how the ability to choose is what makes us human. This version of the script also included Mary as the sixth replicant (still called androids at this stage). The third major draft of the script was written by David Webb Peoples, dated December 15, 1980. The film opens in an 'Off-world Termination Dump', a dumping ground for dead androids (by now called replicants). Two work men are shoveling bodies into a pit, when one of the bodies comes to life (Roy Batty). He pulls Mary and Leon from the pile and they kill the workmen. This version introduced the snake scale storyline, but does not have the chess game featured in the final film. Other differences include: a new replicant called Roger, who attacks Deckard in Leon's hotel room; a scene where Chew's frozen body is discovered and knocked over; in this draft, Tyrell turns out to be another replicant, after Roy kills him, Roy demands that Sebastian take him to the real Tyrell, and Sebastian reveals that Tyrell had an unnamed disease and was placed into a hibernation unit to await a cure. Roy demands that Sebastian wake Tyrell up, but Sebastian reveals that Tyrell died a year ago during a power outage at which point Roy kills Sebastian. After Tyrell's death, the entire replicant line is put on hold. There is also a scene where Deckard forces Gaff to take the Voight-Kampff test and subsequently kills him. This draft also ended with Deckard killing Rachael, but the scene now takes place on a beach. The final scene sees Deckard waiting in his apartment for the police raid due to his murder of Gaff.