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Blade Runner (1982) Poster

(1982)

Trivia

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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.
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(at around 38 mins) 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. She still has the scar from the accident, as can be seen in Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner (2007), the feature-length making-of documentary of the film.
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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 rain". He later chose "All those moments" as the title of his autobiography.
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Ridley Scott regards Blade Runner as probably his most personal and complete film.
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The novel hints at the "Is Deckard a Replicant?" problem by having Deckard casually mention that one indicator of an android is a lack of sympathy for other androids. His interlocutor then points out that, given his job, this means that Deckard could be one too.
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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), Katie 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.
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The final scene was shot literally hours before the producers were due to take creative control away from Ridley Scott.
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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, where he asks Rachael if their owl is replicated; she responds with "Of course it is". In Dick's novel, the owls were the first creatures to die out.
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Joanna Cassidy (Zhora) was at ease with the snake around her neck because it was her pet, a Burmese python named Darling.
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(at around 47 mins) The 'snake scale' seen under the electron microscope was actually a marijuana bud.
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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.
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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.
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(at around 27 mins) Outside of the eye scientist's lab, on the left hand side of the door is some graffiti in Japanese/Chinese characters that reads: "Chinese good, Americans bad."
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(at around 1h 11 mins) When Deckard stops Rachael from leaving his apartment, he pushes her away from him. The expression of pain and shock on her face was real. Sean Young said that Harrison Ford had difficulties playing the scene with her, and had pushed her too hard. However, when he saw how angry she was with him, he affectionately 'mooned' her to break the ice.
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To ensure that he didn't have to wear a hat in the film (having just come off Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)), Harrison Ford went out and got a contemporary haircut which Ridley Scott didn't care for but was essentially stuck with.
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Philip K. Dick personally approved of Rutger Hauer, describing him as, "the perfect Batty-cold, Aryan, flawless".
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Ridley Scott's first cut ran four hours. Most the crew, including the writers and director, admitted that while it looked beautiful, it was mostly incomprehensible, necessitating additional editing and an explanatory voice-over.
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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. And, interestingly enough, it is now thought that some people are "Occupational Psychopaths" due to low-functioning amygdala, the fear centres of the brain's limbic system.
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This is Rutger Hauer's favorite of his own films.
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(at around 1h 23 mins) Roy Batty's odd meld of "father" and "fucker" after he says to Tyrell, "I want more life" is deliberate. Rutger 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.
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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.
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The Voight-Kampff Test comes from Cambridge Mathematician Alan Turing's 1951 paper in which he proposed a test called "The Imitation Game" that might finally settle the issue of machine intelligence. His story was told many years later in the film The Imitation Game (2014).
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The film suffered at the box office, because it opened at the same time as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). The movie The Thing (1982) suffered a similar fate due to the same reason. Although there was praise for the visual style, word of mouth about the film's slow pace and bleak themes quickly caused a decrease in attendance ratings. Both movies would later reach cult status and receive critical praise.
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Syd Mead was originally hired to design vehicles and props. However, in his sketches, he would include backgrounds for contextualization (such as streets and Deckard's apartment). 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. Mead, who was originally supposed to be hired for only a few days, stayed on the production for several weeks for a fee of 1500 dollars per day. This was one of the factors that caused the film to go over budget.
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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.
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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.
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After Philip K. Dick saw Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard in the filming set, Dick declared: "He has been more Deckard than I had imagined. It has been incredible. Deckard exists!".
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Some computer displays within the vehicles were used on the Nostromo and the lifeboat in Alien (1979). Some sounds from that film can be heard too.
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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, but according to director Ridley Scott, Cronenweth was a real trooper who did his work throughout the difficult shoot until the end.
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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.
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For many aerial shot of the city, all kinds of materials were used to simulate buildings in the city landscape, such as miniature spaceships from other science fiction movies. An upright model of the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) can be seen (with some difficulty) to the left of the police building as Deckard and Gaff's spinner is making its descent. When the Asian billboard is showing for the first time, a kitchen sink can be seen masquerading as a building in the far background of the shot. Because some of the miniatures were so high, there was often not enough room between models and ceiling to move the camera over the miniatures. The special effects crew solved this by tilting the sets at an angle.
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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, which is labeled The Final Cut.
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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 had also acknowledged the movie's problems, and was not averse to the idea of a voiceover (as is often claimed), but he had wanted a voiceover with Deckard musing more 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.
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Blade Runner was made on a very tense set. Due to American union rules, director Ridley Scott could not bring his own British crew, and felt hampered by strict codes that would not allow him to operate a camera himself. He was also constantly frustrated by crew members, financers and producers who kept questioning him about his artistic choices. Conversely, the majority of the American crew didn't enjoy working on the film, or working with Scott, who they considered to be cold and distant, and whose perfectionism caused shooting days that often lasted around 13 hours. According to insiders on the set, crew members were leaving or being fired all the time, and the call-sheets were the only sure way to see who was still working on the production. Towards the end of principal photography an incident occurred which has become known as the T-shirt war. In an article in the British press, Scott had casually 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. A mildly amused Scott and several of his closer collaborators had t-shirts made with "Xenophobia sucks" on them, and Scott would wear a cap that said "Guv". Scott later said it was meant as a joke, and to defuse the situation; he simply hoped that people would be confused by the word "xenophobia" and had to ask what it meant. Apparently, the strategy worked, and it broke the ice for a while.
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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. Scott also frustrated cast and crew by continuously making changes to sets and story. Screenwriter David Webb Peoples, who was asked to re-write the screenplay throughout the shoot, often found that his re-writes were already obsolete by the time he handed them in.
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This is Ridley Scott's favorite movie of his own. The Final Cut released in 2007 is his favorite version of the film.
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The Hades landscape in the opening shot was filmed using forced perspective. The miniature itself was only 13 feet deep and 18 feet wide. Smoke was used extensively to create a sense of depth. To keep the level of smoke consistent during shooting, a smoke detector was connected to a smoke generator, and would signal it when it had to produce more smoke. Almost seven miles of fiber optics and over 2000 lights were needed to illuminate the landscape. In order to film the entire sequence, the same piece of film was exposed multiple times, each time filming a different element in the shot (such as structures, light, fire and vehicles). In order for all takes to match up, the exact camera movement had to be repeated with a motion-controlled camera up to 17 times. This put so much stress on the film that the special effects team would often find that the camera had ripped the film to shreds.
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There are a total of three origami creatures made by Gaff. The first is a chicken, which he makes from plain paper while Deckard is trying to "chicken out", The second is a man, which he makes of a used and discarded paper match (a burning man, as it were) while Deckard is searching Leon's apartment. The third is a silver unicorn, which he makes outside Deckard's apartment while deciding whether to kill Rachael. Later, when arriving on the rooftop after Roy dies, Gaff says to Deckard that it is over, inferring that all five replicants (including Rachael) were dead. Instead of killing her, Gaff decides to let Deckard pursue his dream, symbolized by the third origami creation - a unicorn made not from paper but from silver foil.

The dream is both allegorical and real, as Deckard actually does dream of a unicorn. An unanswered question in the film is that of whether Deckard is human or otherwise. (Rachael asks him if he'd ever taken the Voight-Kampff test and his lack of response might be taken as a no.) It should also be noted that at one point Deckard describes two dreams that were taken from Tyrell's niece and that in Deckard's own dream there was a unicorn, which poses the question: Was Gaff's choice of a unicorn simply symbolic of a quest for something both beautiful and impossible, or was it taken from Deckard's own dream, which would then point to Deckard himself being a replicant? Another clue would have been heard at the end, after Gaff says "You have done a man's job, sir"; an unused part of the shot had Gaff continue by saying "But are you sure you ARE a man?". The humanity of Deckard was left up to the audience to decide.
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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.
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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 didn't.
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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. Despite careful pre-production, director Ridley Scott was very dismayed to find that the columns of the office had been built upside down; rearranging them took several hours. After two weeks of shooting, he 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. Scott's perfectionism throughout production would often cause considerable delays when he decided to change lighting and sets on the spot. He also had many unused takes printed at considerable costs, causing the budget to inflate rather quickly. This also put a strain on his relation with the film's producers, but Scott stood his ground, and maintained that his background in commercials and keen eye for detail were exactly the reasons they had hired them.
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The inception dates of the different Replicants are:
  • Roy Batty (January 8, 2016).
  • Leon Kowalski (April 10, 2017).
  • Zhora (June 12, 2016).
  • Pris (February 14, 2016).
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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.
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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'. Conversely, director Christopher Nolan admitted that 'Blade Runner' was a huge influence on his Batman Begins (2005). The title 'Dangerous Days' would later be used in Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner (2007), the feature-length making-of documentary of the film.
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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).
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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.
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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".
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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).
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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.
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William Sanderson researched his character by looking into real-life cases of progeria, the advanced aging disease that J.F. Sebastian suffers from.
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There are only 90 special effects shots in the entire film in every version. Most were done with elaborate miniatures, or matte paintings. The latter technique involved the used of detailed paintings that were carefully composited into already filmed live-action shots, in order to add buildings or cityscapes. The combined shot would then have to be filmed again to get the desired effect, but during the exposure of the film, the colors would often change a bit. The matte painters therefore had the difficult task of taking this color shift into account while making the paintings.
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Tyrell's bedchamber was modeled on that of the Pope's in Rome.
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The release of the official soundtrack recording was delayed for over a decade. There are two official releases of the music from the film. In light of the lack of a release of an album, the New American Orchestra recorded an orchestral adaptation in 1982 which bore little resemblance to the original. Some of the film tracks would, in 1989, surface on the compilation Vangelis: Themes, but not until the 1992 release of the Director's Cut version would a substantial amount of the film's score see commercial release.
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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.
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Daryl Hannah's make up was inspired by the titular character in Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979).
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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 their original vision. Today, such later "revision" of films is commonplace. The first director's version of this film was released in 1992 on the 10th anniversary of the film's original release. The 2nd release was in 2007, on the film's 25th anniversary.
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(at around 24 mins) 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. At the time, Armstrong bore such a resemblance to Ford that he later doubled for Ford in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984).
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Rutger Hauer bought a yacht with part of the salary he made on the film. He christened his ship "The Bladerunner".
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There were much more ideas for the depiction of future Los Angeles. Concept art by Syd Mead also included enormous freeways and more monumental buildings. However, budgetary constraints prevented these from being realized. Instead, existing buildings on the studio's backlot were modified to give them a bleak futuristic appearance. Since much of the enhancements were made from cheap materials that could be easily discerned on camera, director Ridley Scott employed copious use of darkness, rain and smoke to successfully sell the illusion.
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The Bradbury Building, J.F Sebastian's home and location of the final chase sequence, is a Los Angeles landmark used in many Hollywood movies including: D.O.A. (1949), M (1951), I, the Jury (1953), Indestructible Man (1956), Good Neighbor Sam (1964), Marlowe (1969), The Night Strangler (1973), Chinatown (1974), Avenging Angel (1985), Murphy's Law (1986), Wolf (1994), Disclosure (1994), Lethal Weapon 4 (1998), Pay It Forward (2000), 500 Days of Summer (2009), and most recently in The Artist (2011). The Bradbury has also been used in countless television series. By the time that Blade Runner was filmed, it was actually in relatively poor condition, which was just right for production. The crew was allowed to shoot there as long as they left the building in the state that they found it in. To simulate the dusty interior, the crew spread ground cork over the floor which looked exactly right on camera. It also had the advantage that it absorbed all the water that was used to simulate leakage; at the end of shooting, they only had to mop up the soaked cork to clean up.
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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.
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Deckard's gun was based upon a real-life gun, but not a pistol. It was, rather, a double-trigger bolt-action rifle smithed by the Austrian company Steyr-Mannlicher. The propmakers cut the barrel and the stock off the gun, added a curved pistol grip and some LED's, and a legend was born. The only problem, of course, was that the gun weighed so much, nearly twice what a normal pistol weighed, and that it was chambered for 5.56mm ammunition, which required the use of special blanks when it was fired on the set.
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(at around 34 mins) The story of the spider being eaten alive by an army of baby spiders was a memory of Barbara Hershey, who told it to Hampton Fancher whilst he was composing the script.
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Cityspeak was Edward James Olmos's idea. He has since been amazed at how prescient it was vis-a-vis the increasing multicultural influence Los Angeles has experienced in the intervening years.
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(at around 1h 21 mins) 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.
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In 1969, Martin Scorsese and Jay Cocks met Philip K. Dick to discuss the possibility of adapting the novel into a film, but they never optioned the novel, and the project fell through.
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According to Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner (2007), an actors' strike gave the art department plenty of extra time to develop the design of the film. Pre-production lasted nine and a half months. More than 400 carpenters, painters, and plasterers worked on the sets, for 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, for five and a half months.
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Although Philip K. Dick died before the film's release, he had read David Webb Peoples's rewrite of the screenplay and thoroughly approved of it.
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(at around 10 mins) As Gaff takes Deckard to see Bryant in his flying police car, a brief shot of a monitor appears which displays an 'Environmental CTR Purge' screen. The exact same screen is used in Alien (1979) as Ripley starts up and launches the shuttle (the "Narcissus"). The graphic also has a line art animation of the Narcissus being lowered immediately before launching.
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(at around 1h 12 mins) 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.
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Actor Joe Turkel (Tyrell) had great difficulties in remembering his long and often technical dialogue, so to help him, the crew held up text banners from which he could read his lines. It was still very difficult for him since he could barely see through the huge, thick glasses that he had to wear as Tyrell.
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A lot of the hats that the passers-by wear in the streets were actually baskets purchased from Pier One.
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Rick Deckard is only called by his surname. He is not called by his first name throughout the film.
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Hampton Fancher may have written as much as 10 different drafts of his screenplay while he was trying to include many of the ideas of director Ridley Scott. Although Scott and the producers loved Fancher's writing, there were concerns that his screenplay was too 'cerebral' and would not translate well to the screen. David Webb Peoples was brought in, and although he thought Fancher's screenplay was already perfect, he was asked to ground it more into reality, and add 'movement' to the story. Although Fancher was initially upset about the re-write, he later praised Peoples' changes.
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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 Frank's recent death.It is generally believed that Scott's feelings about his brother's passing have strongly influenced the movie's dark atmosphere.
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The hero blaster being used by Harrison Ford was believed to have been lost after production wrap. However, it was displayed at a convention celebrating the 25th anniversary of the film. For 25 years it was kept in the dark by a private collector, Jeff Walker. Later it was sold to another private collector for USD$270,000 in 2009.
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When the movie was green-lit, the screenplay was still being re-written, and due to ideas being added to it, more money was necessary. Several parties were hastily approached, and different agreements regarding distribution rights and creative control had to be made to secure the budget on time, as the date of principle photography was approaching. This complicated rights issue is one of the reasons why there are several different versions of the movie, and why it took decades before Ridley Scott was able to make his 'Final Cut'.
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It took 3 hours to glue all the sequins onto Joanna Cassidy.
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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).
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One of the Spinners from the film (the levitating car) is on permanent exhibit at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, Washington.
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Ridley Scott got the inspiration for the opening futurescape shots of LA from the industrial landscape of Teesside, UK, while driving to his hometown of Stockton-on-Tees. The two skylines look very similar.
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The scene with Chew was shot in a freezer and was ice cold, so the cast really were shivering.
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Ridley Scott, a big fan of Strange Behavior (1981), insisted on giving Sean Young a hairdo similar to the one Fiona Lewis sports in that film.
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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.
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Harrison Ford became a spokesman for Japanese electronics throughout the 1980s following his role in this film.
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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 always regretted.
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Zorah's snake dance was originally supposed to be in the film. The scene was storyboarded as an elaborate show that would even contain clay animation, but it was ultimately scrapped due to time and budget constraints.
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(at around 1h 24 mins) 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.
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The police offices constructed in Union Station, Los Angeles for the filming still stand till today, in use as station offices. The crew was able to get a little bit of a discount if Union Station officials agreed to keep the set for practical use after filming was over.
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Ridley Scott and Jane Feinberg disagreed over the casting of Sean Young as Rachael. 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.
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The Director's Cut (released in 1991) is actually a bit of a misnomer as Ridley Scott didn't personally work on it. He was too busy working on 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992) at the time, so the team working on it attempted to get it as close to Scott's vision as possible. However, time constraints prevented them from including all of Scott's wishes. It wasn't until the Final Cut (released in 2007) that Scott supervised a new version that he could genuinely call his 'Director's cut'.
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This film is dedicated in memory of Ridley Scott's brother Frank Scott, who died in 1980 before this film was made.
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(at around 28 mins) 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."
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Ridley Scott told NPR's All Things Considered that he originally wanted Deckard to wear a 1940s-style hat throughout the film, considering that Deckard was to be a hard-boiled detective type not unlike many 1940s' film noirs. However, 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).
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Dustin Hoffman was the original choice to play Deckard, although he wondered why he was asked to play a "macho character". According to Ridley Scott, Hoffman was interested, but wanted to make it a whole different kind of character. According to Paul Sammon, apart from Hoffman, other actors considered for the role included Tommy Lee Jones, Gene Hackman, Sean Connery, Jack Nicholson, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Al Pacino, Burt Reynolds, William Devane, Raul Julia, Scott Glenn, Frederic Forrest, Robert Duvall, Judd Hirsch, Cliff Gorman, Peter Falk, Nick Nolte and Christopher Walken. Martin Sheen was offered the role, but he turned it down, as he was exhausted, having come off Apocalypse Now (1979).
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(at around 59 mins) 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).
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(at around 9 mins) 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!"
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(at around 31 mins) When we first see Deckard driving his sedan, it's raining but the windscreen wipers are not switched on. This was because the wipers on the stage prop were not working.
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In 1997, video game Blade Runner (1997) 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 Deckard, Holden, Gaff, and Bryant.
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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."
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Syd Mead's conceptual drawings for the spinner were transformed into 25 working vehicles by automobile customizer Gene Winfield.
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Deckard's red Spinner (flying cop car) is on permanent display at the American Police Hall of Fame Museum in Titusville, Florida.
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The film takes place in November 2019.
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The photo analysis technology allows Deckard to see around corners, as if the photo had multiple layers of images from multiple angles. This presages the "bullet time" multiple still camera technique developed by the Wachowskis for the Matrix series that enable them to seemingly dolly the camera while the image is frozen in time.

It should be noted that a recent development in photography is for a camera (ranging from an iPhone 6 Plus to a specialty camera such as the Lytro Illum) to take multiple photos simultaneously with a range of focus settings. The advantage is that after the image is captured, the editor can select various regions of the image and dial in the focus and depth of field as desired. This is simulated in the way that Deckard can choose a camera angle and focus from a seemingly 2-D photograph.
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Rutger Hauer was chosen for the role of Roy Batty because of his Teutonic, non-identifiable American looks. It was also decided to bleach his hair with peroxide, which was a painful process that he had to endure every 2-3 weeks.
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The model of Tyrell's pyramid was 9 feet square at the base and 2½ feet high, a ratio of 1:750. It was made out of Plexiglas and then painted black. The paint was scratched out where there were supposed to be windows. A powerful light was placed inside to show those windows being lit. Because the light was very hot and filming the model took a lot of time, it ultimately caught fire and melted. Fortunately, this happened near the end of the shoot when the necessary shots had been completed. Parts of the model are on exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, New York City.
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Hy Pyke filmed his scene in a single take, something almost unheard-of with Ridley Scott whose drive for perfection resulted at times in double-digit takes.
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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.
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Christopher Nolan cites this as one of his major influences as a filmmaker. Other great admirers of the film include Guillermo del Toro, Frank Darabont and Tony Scott. Although del Toro preferred the theatrical cut for its effective use of voice-overs, Darabont stated he hates them, and prefers the later cuts without them.
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Rutger Hauer was offered a driver to get him to the set and back each day, but he was okay with driving himself to cut down on costs. He rented the Cadillac of actor Maximilian Schell for six months for this purpose.
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Gaff (Edward James Olmos) can be seen wearing blue contact lenses in a few shots. These were a suggestion by Rutger Hauer. Olmos paid for them himself.
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Exasperated crews often referred to the film as "Blood Runner".
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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'.
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Philip K. Dick's ideal choice for Rachael was Victoria Principal. Although almost one hundred actresses auditioned for the role, only three were seriously considered: Sean Young, Nina Axelrod and Barbara Hershey. For the auditions, the role of Deckard was played by Morgan Paull, who ultimately went on to play Holden in the film.
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Originally, Tandem Productions didn't want to have a written credit sequence at the start of the movie; they wanted rain effects on a black screen, with the credits narrated by Harrison Ford.
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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.
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The famous skyscrapers, which shoot flames from their summits in the opening shot of the movie, are found in oil refineries. Called "flare stacks", they are used to burn excess gases typically during process upsets. The large pulses of flame are unusual and would indicate a significant problem in the process.
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According to Hampton Fancher he originally wrote the role of Deckard for Robert Mitchum and the role of Tyrell with Sterling Hayden in mind. Mitchum was a logical choice due to his many detective roles in film noirs, of which Blade Runner was supposed to be a modern update.
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Model maker Mark Stetson built the Voight-Kampff machine seen in the film over a single weekend.
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Make-up designer Michael Westmore credits Sean Young with having the most perfect lips.
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The set that was used during the climax of the film was later used in the music video for the song Tonight, Tonight, Tonight by Genesis in 1986.
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Ridley Scott initially considered shooting in Hong Kong.
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Daryl Hannah still has the blonde wig she wore playing Pris.
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(at around 4 mins) The iconic blue eye seen at the beginning of the movie, where Los Angeles is reflected, belongs Morgan Paull, who plays Holden.
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Debbie Harry was reportedly the original choice to play Pris.
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According to Douglas Trumbull, the refinery flame bursts in the opening shot were footage of large-scale explosions he had originally filmed for Zabriskie Point (1970).
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(at around 13 mins) When Gaff brings Deckard to Blade Runner HQ before Bryant, Gaff is seen making a little origami figure of a chicken. The chicken origami suggests that Gaff is calling Deckard a coward because of his refusal to come out of retirement and hunt down Roy Batty and the other Replicants.
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Joanna Cassidy felt very self-conscious about basically parading around naked for most of her scenes.
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(at around 36 mins) When Deckard is scanning the Replicants' photos, a man can be seen posing as the statue 'The Thinker' by Rodin, and a woman lying on a bed. These are supposed to be Batty and Zorah, but they are not played by Rutger Hauer and Joanna Cassidy. Hauer was not on the set the day the picture was taken, and Cassidy had already finished filming, so stand-ins were used.
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Ridley Scott has recently said that the film shares a universe with the "Alien" Franchise, which is alluded to in the Weyland Files TED talk with Peter Weyland from the Prometheus (2012) movie. There are now plans for two sequels to Prometheus to connect the film more closely with Alien, the first of which being Alien: Covenant (2017). Beyond that, in the unofficial canon the "Alien" and "Predator" Franchises share a universe as shown in the "Alien vs Predator" movies. And finally, the Firefly (2002) series alludes to the Weyland-Yutani company of the Alien franchise in the first episode (both Firefly and Alien: Resurrection (1997) being projects involving Joss Whedon). In total this means that 5 different movie franchises (Blade Runner (1 Film & 1 planned sequel), Alien (5 Films & 3 planned sequels), Predator (3 Films, 1 planned sequel), Alien vs Predator (2 Films) & Firefly (1 Television Series, 1 film) could share a universe.
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The brand of cigarettes smoked by the characters Rachael, Holden, and Pris are Boyard, French cigarettes.
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Deckard's whiskey glasses and bottle, trenchcoat and even the tiles in his apartment have been made into real (albeit insanely expensive) products. Even the neon light umbrellas are available from Thinkgeek
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Some of the Lord of Darkness' palace interiors from Legend (1985) (most notably, the huge, spiraling columns) were featured in this film.
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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.
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Ralph Bakshi was asked to direct (possibly making an animated adaptation of the book), but he declined.
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Joe Pantoliano was considered for the role of J.F. Sebastian.
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The miniature from Dark Star (1974) can be seen in the background near the police station.
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Pete Townshend was at one point asked to compose the music for the film. He declined due to his experiences on Tommy (1975).
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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.
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Over the course of a year, producer Michael Deeley turned down the project 8 times before finally agreeing to get involved.
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The rooftop chase climax was a combination of live-action shots of Harrison Ford combined with a matte painting.
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While Deckard (Harrison Ford) is reading a paper and waiting for his food in the beginning, he is sitting in front of a large neon sign, which can later be seen again in front of a subway entrance. The sign shows a Japanese character ('kanji') that illustrator Tom Southwell used because it reminded him of a landmass. He later learned that the character actually means 'origin', which was appropriate as the Replicants are coming to Earth to find their original maker.
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After retirement, Deckard keeps bees, similar to Sherlock Homes after his retirement to Sussex in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's short story "His Last Bow".
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About two/thirds of the neon signs seen in the streets were re-purposed from One from the Heart (1981), most noticeably the kicking cowgirl sign.
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Even though Roger Ebert gave the film a mixed-to-negative review on its initial release, he later included it on his "Great Movies" list.
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The tortoise story is the last remnant of an environmental theme present in both the source novel and Hampton Fancher's early drafts of the screenplay. The novel features an epigram of a (real) wire service story about the death of a 200-year-old sea turtle revered as an honorary chief by the people of Tonga, and the extinction of animals is a recurring theme. In an early draft by Fancher a distraught Deckard walks through the desert and finds a dying turtle on its back and saves it by turning it over.
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For the role of Pris, Ridley Scott had initially wanted to cast Dutch actress Monique van de Ven after being impressed with her performance in Turkish Delight (1973) (in which she formed a couple with Rutger Hauer, who was cast as Roy Batty). However, according to the book 'Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner', Scott wanted her for the part of Rachael instead.
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(at around 41 mins) Sebastian's Robots say "Home again, home again, jiggety-jig" which is from "To Market" by "Old Mother Goose".
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(at around 15 mins) The incept (birth) date of Pris (Daryl Hannah), a "basic pleasure model," is Valentine's Day, 14 February 2016.
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Ridley Scott also used "Memories of Green" from the Vangelis album See You Later in the film. He would later use an orchestral version in Someone to Watch Over Me (1987).
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When David Webb Peoples was hired to rewrite Hampton Fancher's script, Fancher quit the production. He would later return to do additional rewrites, and predicted that he probably would not get along with Peoples, but the two men unexpectedly became good friends.
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For the nearly 20 minutes of screen time, from the time he enters the Bradbury building, throughout his confrontations with Pris and Roy Batty, and until Gaff arrives, Harrison Ford does not have a single word of dialogue (Final Cut).
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(at around 27 mins) On the right side of the door to the eye specialist is the sign, "l a Eyeworks" which is a reference to a trendy eyeglass store in LA. The type-style is the same as the store.
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The idea was tossed around to call the laborer replicants part of the 'TABITHA' series (Transforming Artificial Being Intended For Hazardous Assignments) but was scrapped because the name was considered too feminine.
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Grace Jones was considered to play Rachael.
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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. Outtakes aside, Turkel is the only other common cast/crew link between both films.
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(at around 51 mins) The phone call Deckard makes to Rachael in the Taffy Lewis' night club has a length of 28 seconds and a charge of 1.25 $. This implies that the cost of a single phone call is approximately of 0.04 $ per second (2.40 $ per minute and 144 $ per hour).
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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The movie was released in 1982, fourteen years later of the first publication of the original novel (1968).
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The traffic lights say "prosiga" in spanish then they say walk.
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(at around 26 mins) Roy Batty's first spoken line, as his hand is cramping up, is "Time enough," a line said by Hamm, a character in Samuel Beckett's play, 'Endgame'.
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(at around 22 mins) Joe Turkel played a World War I soldier put on trial for cowardice in Paths of Glory (1957). In that film, the prosecuting attorney asked him how many meters he'd advanced before retreating. When Turkel equivocated, the prosecuting attorney forcefully replied, "HOW, many meters?". In "Blade Runner", Joe Turkel played Mr. Tyrell. When he asked Harrison Ford's character how many questions it usually took to spot a replicant, and Ford equivocated, Turkel responded with, "HOW, many questions?" in the same tone of voice that the prosecuting attorney used on him in "Paths of Glory".
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(at around 41 mins) One of Sebastian's friends in his apartment, the teddy bear in a Napoleonic uniform was used on a Michael Whelan cover for the collection Hoka! by Gordon R. Dickson and Poul Anderson, from their short story, The Napoleon Crime.
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A poster of the film can seen in Superman III (1983) in the scene which Evil Superman fights Clark Kent in the junkyard.
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Much of the climax was shot on location, with set pieces constructed onto existing buildings. When the movie went over budget and rumors started to grow that the financiers were going to shut down production, set decorators literally sawed off parts from the set pieces in the hope that they could recreate the set in a studio, which was a cheaper alternative.
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The title actually came from Alan Nourse's novel "The Bladerunner". They were traffickers of surgical tools (for example scalpels). That's why it's so oddly related with the film.
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Achieved cult film status upon its re-release in 1992.
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The name "Rachael" is Hebrew for "ewe" (a female sheep).
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Ranked #9 in Entertainment Weekly's "Top 50 Cult Films of All-Time."
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According to former BBC graphic designer Bernard Lodge in a November 2013 interview for Radio Times, he spent about a week directing the sequence where Deckard uses a machine to get into and analyze a photograph, for which he does not receive a credit. Lodge knew Ridley Scott, as they had both studied at the Royal College of Art and worked at the BBC.
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Sebastian tells Roy Batty that he has only beaten Dr. Tyrell once in chess. Roy is able to analyze the board and instructs Sebastian to make 2 moves to checkmate Dr. Tyrell. Developed chess players should be able to block a checkmate that is only 2 moves away. However, this is a partial reenactment of the endgame when Adolf Anderssen beat Lionel Kieseritzky on 21 June 1851, known as the Immortal Game.
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According to 'The Guardian' newspaper (Tuesday, 22 June 2010), Blade Runner 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".
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Regarding whether or not Deckard is a replicant, Ridley Scott is okay with either interpretation, but he himself believes the answer to be yes. He says the expression on Deckard's face after noticing the origami unicorn outside his apartment door is confirmation. Gaff was there, the unicorn is from Deckard's dreams, and Gaff would have had access to Deckard's file which would probably include mention of the unicorn dream implant.
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The dialogue from the opening scene between Holden and Leon is repeated on two other occasions in the movie: when Bryant is briefing Deckard on the replicants he must track down and when Deckard is driving through a tunnel. On both subsequent plays, the pauses and deliveries of the dialogue are slightly different suggesting this is audio from a least two different takes of that opening scene. For example, in the original scene, Holden interrupts Leon before he can complete his sentence, "I don't think I've ever taken one of these..." but in Bryant's office, Leon is allowed to finish the sentence before Holden says, "Now reaction time is a factor..." Deliveries of dialogue regarding Leon's address at the hotel are slightly different as well.
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It has long been rumored that the chess game between Tyrell and Sebastian (William Sanderson) uses the conclusion of a game played between Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritzky in London in 1851. It is considered one of the most brilliant games ever played, largely due to Anderssen boldly sacrificing his Queen to secure checkmate (which is also how Sebastian beats Tyrell). The game is universally known as "The Immortal Game". If the filmmakers did indeed use the Immortal Game as inspiration, the concept of immortality has obvious associations in the ensuing confrontation between Tyrell and Roy. On one level, the chess games represents the struggle of the Replicants against the humans: the humans consider the Replicants pawns, to be removed one by one. The individual Replicants (pawns) are attempting to become immortal (a queen). At another level, the game between Tyrell and Sebastian represents Roy stalking Tyrell. Tyrell makes a fatal mistake in the chess game, and another fatal mistake trying to reason with Roy. However, that the Immortal Game was specifically used in the film is open to doubt. Firstly, the chess boards in the film are not arranged exactly as they would be in the Immortal Game. Secondly, Sebastian's board does not match Tyrell's. Thirdly, in an interview published in Future Noir, Ridley Scott dismisses the rumor as incorrect, saying any similarity between the Immortal Game and the Sebastian/Tyrell game was purely coincidental.
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The point of Harrison Ford's narration in the film, was because it was a futuristic film-noir and Ford's narration was there to explain the world of the film and about the characters and it was being told from Deckard's point of view.
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Brion James would later play a cyborg again in Nemesis (1992).
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Rachael's initial hairstyle is reminiscent of that from the 1935 film Anna Karenina (1935).
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(at around 12 mins) Bryant's line (spoken off-camera), "I got 4 skin jobs walking the streets," sounds utterly different in tone and clarity to the lines he utters both before and after, suggesting this audio was added subsequent to the filming of the original scene, for whatever reason.
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Batty's incept date is January 2016, so he should have lived until January 2020. Why does he die in November 2019? The film opens with "Los Angeles November 2019". This is offered, as some films do, to establish a starting point to the story. It does not mean that all of the events in the story take place in November 2019, only that this is where the story begins. As there is no clearly demarcated time-frame in the film, there is no sure way of knowing how much time passes between the beginning and the end. Roy's incept date is "January 8th, 2016". His "four year lifespan" would thus have him expiring on January 8th, 2020. If the film begins in November 2019, for it to end on January 8th, 2020, it would have to take place over a period of 40 to 69 days. As this is not an unreasonable amount of time for the story's events to happen, perhaps Roy dies exactly when he is supposed to.
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(at around 18 mins) The reason Tyrell can't afford a real owl in the shooting script (dated February 3, 1981), when Deckard asks Rachael if the bird is artificial, she says, "Of course not." This is how the scene was shot, with actress Sean Young saying, "Of course not." However, in the finished film, we hear her say, "Of course it is." According to producer Michael Deeley, "Sean's line was changed in order to add credibility to the idea that Tyrell could manufacture perfect imitations of living things" (Future Noir, 126). However, in the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Rachael lies to Deckard telling him it is indeed a real owl. The owl however, is fake. Owls were one of the first species to die out after the world war that devastated the planet years earlier. The Tyrell corporation would then create fake animals so that people can buy them and pass them off as real animals in order to heighten their social status. In the book, live animals are highly-priced possessions, and the rarer the better. It is also considered a moral crime not to take care of and protect an animal. If you cannot afford a live animal, or the live animal you want is extinct, then a fake one is a good alternative.
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Music video for the 1997 song Forest Ranger by the rock band Plexi uses imagery inspired by the movie.
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(at around 12 mins) In the narration from the original theatrical cut Deckard says "'Skin jobs'. That's what Bryant called Replicants. In history books he's the kind of cop who used to call black men 'n***ers.'" Upon hearing this M. Emmet Walsh was surprised as he didn't think it was meant to be a racist term.
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Rachael's hairstyles and elaborate wardrobe are inspired by Joan Crawford.
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M. Emmet Walsh said of his entire film career, he gets asked more about Blade Runner than anything else. Walsh said after the film's cast and crew screening, he and the rest of that audience were silent, not having known what to make of the film, save for Ridley Scott.
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Ridley Scott asked M. Emmet Walsh if he could smoke for his character, something Walsh doesn't do in real life but agreed. After shooting several takes and Walsh started getting sick from the cigarettes, Walsh cracked "Ridley should be hung by his balls off the ceiling." At the time, then 20th Century Fox President and producer Alan Ladd Jr. witnessed it and offended, had Walsh removed from another film he was about to work on, with Michael Keaton.
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Looking towards future tech, Ridley Scott feels pretty confident that video communication won't involve holograms. "It's silly." he stated.
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Deckard police badge's as Blade Runner is 26354, and the number of his apartment is 9732.
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Hampton Fancher's screenplay was optioned in 1977.
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Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the 400 movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies.
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About the significance of the nail which Roy drives through his hand. On a practical level, Roy is dying and, as a result, his hand was seizing up. This is demonstrated by his clenched fist, and his inability to unclench it. He drives a nail through his palm to release the tendons holding his fist clenched, so he can regain the use of his hand. There is also an element of Christian symbolism here, specifically drawing parallels with Christ being nailed through the hands onto a cross.
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Eye symbolism is prevalent throughout the film. For example, the all-seeing Orwellian eye in the opening sequence; the motif of replicants' glowing eyes; the owl's large eyes; Tyrell has huge trifocal glasses that emphasize that feature of his face; eyes are important in the VK test; Rachael: "I wanted to see you"; Rachael: "He wouldn't see me"; Chew's Eye World, with a mockup of an eye above the door; Chew: "Eyes, eyes...I do only eyes"; Roy: "If only you could see what I've seen with your eyes!"; Roy: "Not an easy man to see, I guess"; Leon tries to stick his fingers in Deckard's eyes; Roy plays with the glass-encased eyes in Sebastian's apartment; Roy sticks his thumbs in Tyrell's eyes; Pris rolls her eyes back in her head to show only the whites; Roy: "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe." The movie ends in 2020; an allusion to 20/20 vision (and perhaps hindsight). As to the significance of this proliferation, in literature, art and esotericism, the human eye is often considered the window to one's soul, thus the use of the eye-symbol in Blade Runner could be interpreted as a key to the question of whether or not replicants have souls.
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The Tannhauser Gate, given the fact that Earth has off-world colonies in Blade Runner, and the typical functions of devices incorporating the word "gate" in science fiction, fans of the film have suggested that the Tannhauser Gate may be a stargate or similar construct. They speculate that as a stargate, it would provide faster-than-light travel between star systems. Given its name, it would perhaps be located near or in orbit of a colony named Tannhauser. In the film Soldier (1998), which is an unofficial "sidequel" of Blade Runner, Sgt. Todd (played by Kurt Russell) is a veteran of the Battle at the Tannhauser Gate. This fact is based on the text displayed momentarily on a computer screen near the beginning of the film. The screen displays a list of battles that the character has fought in, and the awards that he has earned in these battles. Tannhauser Gate is also tattooed on Todd's arm, along with the other battles of which he was a veteran. Later in the film, when Sandra (Connie Nielsen) notices the names tattooed on his arm, Mace (Sean Pertwee) explains that "Tannhauser Gate was a battle." The original script was to have the film actually depict the battle. However, this idea was cut for budgetary reasons.
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When Deckard leaves his apartment with Rachael at the end of the film, she knocks over an origami unicorn. The unicorn is the last in a series of origami figures that Gaff uses to taunt Deckard. In Bryant's office when Deckard insists he's retired, Gaff folds a chicken (implying that Deckard is afraid to hunt the replicants). Later he makes a man with an erection (implying that Deckard is getting excited about being a Blade Runner again). Finally, he makes the unicorn (implying that Deckard is dreaming about running away with Rachael when he knows she won't live; this reiterates what he said to Deckard on the rooftop, which is why his rooftop line occurs here as voiceover). Looking at the unicorn in this sense, it is simply a message to Deckard to say "I know you've got Rachael, I'll let her live because she's going to die soon anyway." In terms of metaphorical significance, unicorns were doomed not to survive the Flood, and Gaff may think the same of Rachael, as she too has a predetermined lifespan. The unicorn may also symbolize: (1) Rachael is (and always will be) a replicant among humans, and will be different, like a unicorn among horses. (2) Rachael leaving and knocking over the unicorn symbolizes her escape from the Tyrell corporation, which only looked upon her as a replicant. Deckard fell in love with her as a human, and by doing so, she became human. (3) ... The silver unicorn [...] is a made thing, a piece of human handiwork, beautiful and fragile and glittering, yet perceived as waste, thrown down and trodden upon, easily destroyed. Also, it is in the form of an animal, albeit a mythical one, and in the BR future, the beasts of the earth and fowls of the air are all but extinct, except in replicant form. (Rebecca Warner, Retrofitting Blade Runner) The Director's Cut and Final Cut, however, complicate the issue of the unicorn, as both include a scene not in the original release or the Workprint. As Deckard sits at his piano, we see a shot of a unicorn running through a forest (in the Director's Cut, it is implied that Deckard is dozing and dreaming, but in the Final Cut it is clear that he is wide awake and simply thinking to himself). Taking this into account, the standard argument is that Gaff knew that Deckard had visions of a unicorn. If Gaff knew what Deckard was thinking, then we can assume that Deckard is a replicant, and Gaff knew he would be thinking of a unicorn just the way Deckard knew about the spider outside Rachael's window (as Deckard had seen Rachael's files, so too had Gaff seen Deckard's). Ridley Scott had intended the unicorn scene to be in the 1982 theatrical release, but the producers vetoed the idea as "too arty." In the November, 1982 edition of Starburst magazine (no. 51), in an article entitled "The Blade Cuts" (p. 29), Ridley Scott mentions this scene: Ridley Scott: Did you see the version [of the script] with the unicorn? Alan McKenzie: No. S: I think the idea of the unicorn was a terrific idea. M: The obvious inference is that Deckard is a replicant himself. S: Sure. To me it's entirely logical, particularly when you are doing a film noir, you may as well go right through with that theme, and the central character could in fact be what he is chasing. M: Did you actually shoot the sequence in the glade with the unicorn? S: Absolutely. It was cut into the picture, and I think it worked wonderfully. Deckard was sitting, playing the piano rather badly because he was drunk, and there's a moment where he gets absorbed and goes off a little at a tangent and we went into the shot of the unicorn plunging out of the forest. It's not subliminal, but it's a brief shot. Cut back to Deckard and there's absolutely no reaction to that, and he just carries on with the scene. That's where the whole idea of the character of Gaff with his origami figures--the chicken and the little stick-figure man, so the origami figure of the unicorn tells you that Gaff has been there. One of the layers of the film has been talking about private thoughts and memories, so how would Gaff have known that a private thought of Deckard was of a unicorn? That's why Deckard shook his head like that [referring to Deckard nodding his head after picking up the paper unicorn].
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Arnold Schwarzenegger was considered to play Rick Deckard which went to Harrison Ford. Two years later, Arnold starred in The Terminator (1984) by James Cameron who wrote and directed Aliens (1986), the sequel to Alien (1979) which was directed by Ridley Scott. Arnold later worked with Ford on The Expendables 3 (2014).
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In the narrative as to how Leon smuggled his gun into the VK test, and how he escaped from the building, given that the whole incident was on videotape, and occurred on an upper floor, The 110-story New York World Trade Center that made headlines when it was bombed in February 1993 and again when it was hit by two hijacked planes in 2001 housed roughly 50,000 workers, with around 200,000 people per day passing through as visitors. According to Future Noir, the Tyrell pyramid is 700-900 stories high, reaching over a mile into the sky (p. 236). Since the top of the pyramid is apparently several times larger than the footprint of the WTC, the base is considerably larger. Additionally, it is surrounded by four buttresses, each of which must be greater in volume than the WTC. From this, we can speculate that Tyrell's pyramid must be larger than the WTC by a factor of 100 or more, and as such, it could house somewhere in the region of 5-10 million people. It would be easy to get lost in a crowd that size; after Leon shoots Holden, he would only need to mingle amongst the masses to reach the exit as finding him in this throng would an impossible task. As for how he got the weapon into the building in the first place, we know that the Tyrell Corp. security is not perfect because, (1) Bryant tells Deckard two replicants got fried on an electrical fence or other type of barrier trying to break in but the others got away, and (2) Roy gets in and kills Tyrell (Joe Turkel) with relative ease, using Sebastian's security clearance. Taking all of this together, it would not have been impossible for Leon to smuggle a weapon into the building, shoot Holden, and escape.
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M. Emmet Walsh later plays a character named Willard Tyrell Bass in A Time to Kill (1996).
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In the narrative as to how Roy knew Deckard's name there are several theories on this subject, but it is most likely simply a technical error in the film. One such theory is suggested by some of the different versions of the script, which have Deckard as a well-known Blade Runner. Another theory is that Leon was within earshot when Deckard showed his ID to a policeman after killing Zhora, and Leon tells Roy Deckard's name before his confrontation with Deckard. Another possibility is that Deckard may have left paperwork in Tyrell's office with his name on it, and after killing Tyrell, Roy could have gone through his papers and found Deckard's name. The problem with all of these theories however is that no concrete evidence for any of them is supplied by the film itself. A less speculative explanation, however, insofar as it is found in Hampton Fancher's script dated 7 January 1980, is that Bryant reveals the replicants may have tapped into the ESPER computer that it will take about a day to secure the system. Later, at Sebastian's apartment, Batty tells Pris and Mary (a replicant dropped from the film very late in the scripting stage) that Leon and Zhora are dead and that the police have discovered he has been tapping into computer, hence they can no longer monitor what the police are doing. This is what prompts Pris to say, "Then we're stupid and die," and why the replicants are expecting Deckard to come for them.
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Costume designer Charles Knode found a trove of Greta Garbo's coats and brought them to Ridley Scott for Rachael's (Sean Young) use.
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Ridley Scott wanted horizontal lights shining in through the windows during the scene where J.F. Sebastian (William Sanderson) and Pris (Daryl Hannah) head up to his apartment, and when asked why he gave the following response. "Do you want me to be logical about it? Because we have air traffic in the city and because we have tall buildings, very tall buildings, and there's some kind of governor governing systems that, let's say, don't allow a car to crash. All the buildings have beacons on them, and they spin onto the building opposite." He says it's annoying having to describe and justify things when he knows "on film it's going to be beautiful, and I'm going to put a sound on it. A sound for light. They say 'a sound for light?' and I say yes, I want a sound for light."
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(at around 24 mins) The bathroom scene where Deckard finds the scale was a pick-up shot filmed back at the studio on a stage previously used for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), and its inclusion was for a specific purpose. "The complaint, if there was a formal complaint, was that we didn't see Deckard do much detective work." Ridley Scott doesn't agree with the complaint, but there you go. Harrison Ford wasn't available for the re-shoot, so Scott had Vic Armstrong double the actor for the scene. "Harrison's never said anything to this day," he says, laughing. Immediately following the scene above is a sequence where Deckard and Gaff (Edward James Olmos) look through a bedroom. It was originally supposed to feature a Murphy bed folded up into the wall that when pulled down revealed a replicant hiding within who busts out to start a "massive punch-up." It was axed for budgetary reasons.
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For the production design of J.F. Sebastian's apartment Ridley Scott suggested a feel similar to Miss Havisham's room in David Lean's Great Expectations (1946). Their reply to him was "Who the hell is Miss Havisham?"
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(at around 1h 45 mins) Ridley Scott points out a detail during the end sequence with Deckard hanging from the building, just as Deckard loses his grip he spits at Roy in a final act of bravado, and it's that action, that refusal to beg for his life, that leads Roy to save his life.
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Rachael's phone number is 555-7583.
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Deckard pretends to be a representative of "The Confidential Committee on Moral Abuses". By interesting coincidence, Scientologists have an Organisation called the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights, which is a similar-looking acronym meaning almost the same thing.
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In the narrative as to why did Holden needed to give Leon the VK test if the police already knew what he looked like and what his name was? In Future Noir, actor Brion James suggests that perhaps the files on which replicants had escaped to earth had not arrived at the police station by the time Holden was conducting his tests (p. 120). On their DVD commentary track, screenwriters Hampton Fancher and David Webb Peoples confirm this theory.
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(at around 20 mins) [final cut only] During Deckard's interview of Rachael there is some strange extra dialogue: After Deckard says "He likes it so much he hangs it on your bedroom wall", you can barely hear him say "bush outside your window". Then after Rachael says "I wouldn't let him", Deckard says "orange body, green legs". Then Rachael says "Why not?". You can barely hear this extra dialogue, but when you turn subtitles on, this dialogue is displayed. Something in overlapping video editing perhaps, but it is an oddity and it makes you wonder what it could have meant if this part if the interview had been fully included. In Philip K. Dick's text there was no apparent similar dialogue, and the rest of the interview sticks pretty close to what's in the movie.
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About the reason Deckard doesn't know about the Replicants' four-year lifespan. While the film never states one way or the other, it can be inferred that the four-year lifespan was a new development, specific to the Nexus-6 model. Otherwise, it would make no sense that Deckard, an experienced Blade Runner, would have to be told this fact by Bryant. Since we know that Deckard had been retired from the job for an undisclosed amount of time, he might not be familiar with the newer model Replicants and required a catch-up briefing.
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(at around 8 mins) The voice from the blimp say:
  • Workprint: A new life awaits you in the Off-World colonies. The chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure [...] A new life awaits you in the Off-World colonies. The chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure. New climate, recreational facilities, easy advancement, great pay. Plus, a loyal trouble free-companion, given to you on arrival, absolutely free. Use your new friend as a personal body servant, or a tireless field hand. [...] Let's go to the colonies. This announcement has been brought to you by the Shimago/Dominguez Corporation; helping America into the NEW world.
  • Theatrical Cut: A new life awaits you in the Off-World colonies. The chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure. New climate, recreational facilities [...] Use your new friend as a personal body servant or a tireless field hand. The custom tailored genetically engineered humanoid replicant, designed especially for your needs. So come on America, let's put our team up there.
  • Director's Cut: A new life awaits you in the Off-World colonies. The chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure. Let's go to the colonies! This announcement has been brought to you by the Shimago-Domínguez corporation, helping America into the new world. [...] Use your new friend as a personal body servant or a tireless field hand. The custom tailored genetically engineered humanoid replicant, designed especially for your needs. So come on America, let's put our team up there.
  • Final Cut: A new life awaits you in the Off-World colonies. The chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure [...] The custom-tailored, genetically engineered humanoid replicant, designed especially for your needs. So come on America, let's put our team up there.
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M. Emmet Walsh said the film required many looping sessions due to his character's dialogue with Deckard and there were some changes being made. Walsh after recording his latest session, quipped to producer Bud Yorkin that he'd likely be back again for more looping. Yorkin claimed that this was it when Walsh bet him $10 that he'd be back for more. A couple months later, a puzzled Ridley Scott called Walsh and demanded to know what was going on with he and Bud Yorkin, as the producer said Walsh couldn't do it. When Walsh came for another looping session, he found a $10 bill waiting for him. Walsh said the little bet was holding up a multimillion dollar movie.
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"Skinjob" is the racist word for Replicant.
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Ridley Scott's a "realist" and hates when a horror/sci-fi film goes too far past a believable point. "Eh, too much magic," he says.
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The Deckard/Rachael make-out session is the film's least successful scene per Ridley Scott, and he holds himself responsible. There wasn't enough dialogue to flesh out the scene, and "he was being a stern master until finally she gets it and says 'put your hands on me' which is the invitation to the waltz." He recalls both actors feeling uneasy about it, and he respects that as he thinks "love scenes are totally superfluous. They're not justified." The biggest takeaway here is that Scott refers to sex as "the waltz."
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Ridley Scott is no fan of night shoots. "Everyone gets exhausted after lunch which is one o'clock in the morning, and I think after one o'clock in the morning I don't care who it is, you get 40%. Everyone is going down."
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Leon's gun is a COP .357 Derringer. The double action COP (Compact Off-duty Police) was designed as a backup weapon for off-duty police and fired .357 magnum rounds. The version seen in the film has been altered slightly; the ratcheting striker has been modified to fire two cartridges at a time to create a bigger flash.
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The tattoos seen on Roy towards the end of the film are not tattoos. As Ridley Scott explains, that was a half-developed idea that we never really cracked. You see, I've always liked what Jean Giraud, the French artist and illustrator, does. His characters almost seem to be built up from various plastic parts, with odd divisions in their flesh. I couldn't do that to Rutger though; the daily makeup process would have been impossible. So we experimented with some tattooing that was supposed to suggest something like demarcations in an engine. The idea really was that they indicated an alignment to certain socket points. I'd thought that when Roy was in battle in outer space, he'd probably put on a war suit and attach plugs to that suit at those markings. But it kind of dropped away, the whole idea, and never really worked.
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It was Ridley Scott's choice to have the opening credits be simply text against a black screen. "I knew my opening shot would be so spectacular," he says, "that I didn't want the titles to upstage them in any form."
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The film was budgeted around $20 million, "marginally expensive" but a bargain compared to some other films made at the time that cost closer to $40m. Granted, later in the commentary Ridley Scott references the budget as $25m.
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Ridley Scott is no fan of filming on studio back-lots although he acknowledges the convenience of having access to anything you might need. "The scale never seems to be quite right," he says, "they all seem to look a little bit small, or a little bit dinky, or not tall enough." He was ultimately given an ultimatum to "do it there or don't do it at all" and credits Syd Mead's design help with making it work. The same "street" was used for multiple scenes throughout the film.
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Ridley Scott sees a fairly linear path towards artificial intelligence and sums it up thusly. "If you feed enough information into a computer then the romantic notion is at what moment does a computer start to have his own feelings? It's a bit like saying to play chess you gotta have intuition, right, now computers don't have intuition, but if you packed in all the conceivable moves the computer can make haven't you also built in inadvertently by cross-collateralization and accident intuition. If you have intuition then that means you got feelings, so that means the computer might get angry."
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(at around 5 mins) At a point of the first conversation of the movie, Holden comments that Leon's address in Los Angeles is a hotel at 1187 Hundertwasser. That address is fictional.
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The eye at the start of the movie, storyboards indicates that it belongs to Holden (Morgan Paull). According to Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner, the actual eye belongs to EEG Optical Lineup man Richard Rippel, which is why the eye is not the same color as Holden's. However, Ridley Scott has commented that the eye is not supposed to belong to any one individual; I think I was intuitively going along with the root of the Orwellian idea. That the world is more of a controlled place now. It's really the eye of Big Brother. Or Tyrell. Tyrell, in fact, had he lived, would certainly have been Big Brother. The early intent [was for the eye to be Holden's]. But I later realized that linking that eye with any specific character was far too literal a maneuver and removed the particular emotion I was trying to induce.
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About the significance of the dove Roy releases after his death. Accounts in both the book "Future Noir" and the Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner (2007) documentary on the Final Cut DVD indicate that the dove was an idea improvised by Rutger Hauer on the day of shooting. Hauer confirms it in his own autobiography "All Those Moments", saying it served as a replacement for a page-long piece of monologue they had intended for him. For Hauer, the dove flying away symbolized Batty's death, with his soul escaping and flying into freedom: There's a lot of symbolism there. And I don't mean Christian ones. The dove could represent Batty's soul, freedom, wings, a liberation from a certain lifestyle, all that. There's a lot of interesting connections to birds in mythologies and religions other than Christianity.
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The original VHS version that Warner Home Video (UK & Ireland) released was a 3:4 crop of the original (film noir voiceover) Theatrical Version. By the time of the 1990s DVD version releases, the first VHS version was removed from circulation. However, the first version may still be found on old VHS tapes, both official releases and off-air domestic broadcast recordings.
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"Anyone saying that I was forced to do voice-over [in the theatrical cut], that's rubbish, I wasn't," Ridley Scott stated, before pointing out that the inclusion of Deckard's (Harrison Ford) voice-over was something he initiated in order to clear up any confusion for viewers. Apparently Ford was equally unhappy with the voice-over, and Scott thinks it's clear in his line delivery. He's obviously pleased that it's been removed from this cut.
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People attempted to dissuade Ridley Scott from shooting at the Bradbury Building as it had become a "cliche" after being used in numerous television shows, but he was having none of that.
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Ridley Scott called Douglas Trumbull to invite him onto the project, but the effects supervisor initially declined as he was busy with his own directorial effort (Brainstorm (1983)).
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Ridley Scott scoffed at attempts to shoehorn the film into a metaphor for ideas like apartheid. "It's silly. This is science fiction. This is a futuristic fiction which could be possible."
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Ridley Scott is pretty confident that Blade Runner was the first of its kind stating that he looked at "all the other" urban-set sci-fi films and they just weren't very good. "They either suffered from a lack of budget or a lack of imagination or a lack of reality."
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The photo that Deckard scans into his computer and then explores in 3D is still in Ridley Scott's possession. He has it framed.
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"This film was honestly resurrected by the advent of MTV," Ridley Scott says. He began noticing numerous videos inspired by the film's look and "an evolution that started to happen with filmmakers and rock 'n' roll bands."
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Zhora's (Joanna Cassidy) introduction at the dance club originally featured "a very exotic mud dance, where it was going to be like mud animation, so it was really truly sinister, and would evolve into a female and then a snake entwined with a female, and it would be pretty organic, um, and then revealing that it was all one big act. We couldn't do that so instead it was meeting here around the back near the dressing rooms, but I think it works very well." Ridley Scott explained.
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"I found as I was evolving on this that actually this story was pretty purple, and was not exactly a Dracula movie, but it was as purple as a Dracula movie." Ridley Scott's stated, his way of saying the movie is theatrical without being campy. Pretty sure that's what he means anyway.
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Harrison Ford wanted Deckard to order a Tsingtao beer after killing Zhora, but Ridley Scott had never heard of the brand. He drinks it now though. Ford also suggested the bit where he takes a drink after his fight with Leon (Brion James) and blood drips back into the shot glass. This is a fun anecdote, but the best part of it is hearing Scott do a Ford impression. Finally, Ford also suggested the bit where he sits up from the couch and barely catches the liquor bottle before it spills.
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An early version of the scene where Roy (Rutger Hauer) kills Tyrell featured him crushing the man's head only to realize the gooey contents weren't human. The "real" Tyrell is in the interior of the pyramid-shaped headquarters ensconced in a gigantic sarcophagus in cryogenic stasis.
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Ridley Scott wonders if it's melodramatic to have Deckard be a replicant. "At the time it's like, you know it's okay if he is and it's okay if he isn't," he says. "I was figured in the back of my mind that the natural choice would be that he's a replicant, particularly if there was going to be a sequel, the sequel will never be."
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Ridley Scott first noticed Joe Turkel in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980) and thought the actor's face displayed "a waxen quality to his skin, almost like polished ivory." with Scott explain the barroom scene in The Shining by saying "I guess they were ghosts of a bygone era."
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Director Trademark 

Ridley Scott: [Mothers] (at around 7 mins) Leon shoots his interviewer just as he is asked a question about his mother.
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Ridley Scott: [opening scroll] The movie opens with a scroll about the replicants and the Blade Runners.
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Ridley Scott: [ceiling fan] There is a large ceiling fan in the scene with Leon and Holden.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

According to Rutger Hauer's biography, the final confrontation between Deckard and Roy Batty was to have been a fight in an old gym, using martial arts like Kung-Fu or something similar. Hauer disliked the idea, saying it was "too Bruce Lee" (he didn't know kung-fu anyway) and claims to have come up with the idea of Batty chasing Deckard.
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Director Ridley Scott and actor Harrison Ford had disagreements about the script almost from the very start. Ford hated the voiceover which were in early script versions, suggesting that it was better to show most of the things that the voiceover was explaining, in order to give Deckard some actual detective work to do. Ford also found working with Scott quite frustrating; having recently worked with Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola, Ford was used to directors giving him valuable input about his character, whereas Scott was primarily concerned with the sets and pictures (Scott maintained that Ford was a professional actor who didn't need his input). Lastly, Ford 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.
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At some point of the movie, each replicant has a red brightness in their eyes. It is most prominently seen in the Replicant owl at Tyrell's office. Leon has the red glow during his V-K test, like Rachael during her test; Rachael also has the glow in Deckard's home; Pris in Sebastian's. Zhora has the glow while in the club; Roy has the glow several times, most prominently while killing Tyrell. Deckard also has the shining in his eyes while talking to Rachael in his house. In July 2000, director Ridley Scott confirmed 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. In his autobiography, Rutger Hauer expressed some disappointment with Scott's revelation, because he felt that it reduced the final clash between Deckard and Batty from a symbolic "man vs. machine" battle to two replicants fighting.
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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. However, 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 walked away.
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Originally, Roy Batty was to have a lengthy monologue just prior to his death, as written by David Webb Peoples. Rutger Hauer felt the text was much too technical, and referred to locations the audience would be unfamiliar with. 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."
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(at around 57 mins) The scene where Zhora (Joanna Cassidy) crashes through the sheets of glass was shot near the end of production. The budget and time were running out, so the scene had to be done quite hastily. This caused some obvious continuity problems, since it clearly wasn't Cassidy doing the scene; it's actually stuntwoman Lee Pulford wearing a bad wig that someone just happened to bring to the set. For the Final Cut of the film, one day of entirely new shooting took place - which has become known as the Greenscreen Shoot. 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 from 25 years before.
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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.
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The studio wasn't happy with the original final ending where Deckard is looking at the piece of origami, and leaves his building with Rachael. The ending of the U.S. theatrical cut, with Deckard's voice-over about Rachael, uses left-over helicopter footage from the opening scene of The Shining (1980). Stanley Kubrick was contacted for this, and being a fan of Ridley Scott previous movie Alien (1979), he happily gifted it on the condition that only shots were used that had not been used in The Shining. Since there was copious footage (something Kubrick was notorious for), this wasn't a problem.
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Deckard only kills Replicant women (Pris and Zhora). Leon is killed by Rachael and Roy dies due to his inner termination date.
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Deckard does not say one word to Roy Batty during their confrontation at the end of the film.
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Due to an imminent strike among the actors near the end of photography, the shooting schedule became extremely long and rushed in order to complete the film. Two stunt doubles for Rutger Hauer had been injured while making Batty's jump during the film's climax, so Hauer asked for the gap to be tightened a bit, and then successfully performed the jump himself. When filming his death scene after a 25-hour shoot, Hauer was so exhausted that he excused himself, went back to his hotel and collapsed. When he returned to the set the next day after a decent sleep, the strike had been averted. Hauer was able to finish his scenes properly, and even came up with his famous death monologue.
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(at around 1h 40 mins) For Deckard's jump during the climax, stunt coordinator Gary Combs doubled for Harrison Ford and wore an identical coat. For continuity reasons, he had to look wet from all the rain, so director Ridley Scott told the crew to keep soaking him with water. The coat absorbed most of it, so when it was time to do the stunt, the coat had become so heavy that he was barely able to make it; he badly hurt his arm on the protruding beam, and was just able to hold on to the ledge. This was the shot that appears in the movie.
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An early script idea that survived several re-writes involved Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) killing Tyrell (Joe Turkel), and then finding out that this Tyrell is merely a mechanic android. Batty then learns that the real Tyrell had been dead for 4 years, his body being preserved in a Mayan-like sarcophagus; the corporation maintained the illusion that Tyrell was still alive in order to keep the company's stocks from devaluating. Much of the scene was storyboarded, but just before filming, it was scrapped and decided that Batty would be killing the real Tyrell instead.
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At Deckard's apartment, Rachael shows him several photos to prove she's a human being. Deckard claims that the photos are faked, and that her memories aren't hers, but of Tyrell's niece, although in the movie Tyrell never talks about his niece. It's better explained in the book, where the real niece of Eldon Rossen (Tyrell in the movie) has died some decades ago, and he creates Rachael as a physical copy of his deceased niece, down to her exact memories, making Rachael believe to be Eldon Rossen's niece.
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Hampton Fancher had written a love scene between Deckard and Rachael, which Ridley Scott and the producers thought was 'too romantic'. It was re-written and even shot as a much more erotic scene, but in the film, a more subdued version without nudity was used.
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(at around 26 mins) The scene where Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) is introduced has a close up of his face before he exits a phone booth. This was actually a re-used, mirrored shot from later in the movie where he talks to Tyrell (Joe Turkel): the hand seen on his shoulder in both the theatrical and Director's cut belongs to Turkel. In the Final Cut, the hand has been digitally erased, and the background has been changed to match with the phone booth.
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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.
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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 Rachael 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 would explore the nature of the Off-World colonies, and examine what happened 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 were negotiating for the film, television and ancillary franchise rights from producer-director Bud Yorkin. Johnson and Kosove were serving as producers to a sequel and/or prequel. The sequel, called Blade Runner 2049 (2017) was finally scheduled for a late 2017 release, with Denis Villeneuve directing and Scott staying on as one of the producers. The screenplay has been written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green.
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Although in the movie it's established that any Replicant lives just four years, none of them live until their fourth birthday.
  • Roy Batty (three years and ten months).
  • Leon Kowalski (two years and seven months).
  • Zhora (three years and five months).
  • Pris (three years and nine months).
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In the narrative of the film's ending and the film's "Happy Ending": Gaff was sent by Bryant to Deckard's apartment to kill Rachael because Deckard had disobeyed Bryant's direct order to kill Rachael. Gaff did not kill Rachael, presuming that she has a 4 year lifespan and that she would soon die (although her lifespan is not actually revealed). Deckard decided to leave Los Angeles with Rachael and decided to take her somewhere safe where they could be together and so Bryant, Gaff and other Blade Runners could not find them.
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Rutger Hauer's first day of filming was the scene where Batty murders Tyrell (Joe Turkel). The crew had created a fake head of Turkel at the cost of 20,000 dollars, but Hauer had a hard time working with it, so he asked if he could do the scene with Turkel instead. Tubes were put behind Turkel's glasses and ears from which fake blood would come as Hauer performed the scene.
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Many changes were made to Philip K. Dick's original novel:
  • Originally, the action happens in San Francisco in 1992. The movie takes place in Los Angeles in 2019.
  • In the book the action happens a few decades after a Terminal World War that depleted planet Earth, leaving the planet almost empty of population. In the movie, all references about the Terminal World War are omitted, and Los Angeles appears simply overpopulated and polluted.
  • In the book the artificial humans are simply called androids. In the movie they are named Replicants or 'skinjobs'.
  • In the original novel, the company that makes the Replicants is the Rossen Association. In the movie is the Tyrell Corporation.
  • The original owner of the company who created Replicants is Eldon Rossen. In the movie he is Eldon Tyrell.
  • In the novel is explained that almost all of mankind has emigrated to planet Mars in order to escape the toxic radiation on planet Earth. In the movie, Mars is changed to the "Off-World colonies", to give the idea that human race has colonized several planets in outer space.
  • In the book, the biggest symbol of status is to have a live animal as pet, since most of them have gone extinct. In the movie, this has been omitted, but it is implied that real animals are so scarce and expensive that replicated animals have become standard.
  • In the novel, Deckard is married to a woman called Iran and their pet is a mechanical sheep, being their dream to have a real sheep. In the movie, his civil status is divorced and all references to the sheep were left out.
  • The special police unit that prosecutes the Replicants is called Rep Detect in the book, short of "Replicants Detection". In the movie, they are simply known as Blade Runners.
  • In the book there is a subplot about a Replicants' secret organization which helps them to hide from the humans, and escape to Alaska to get away from the radiation. The organization is discovered after an encounter between Deckard and an opera singer called Luba Luft (revealed by Deckard as a Replicant). In the movie, it's explained that all Replicants are outlawed on planet Earth after a massacre in an Off-world colony. The character of Luba Luft was completely omitted.
  • In the novel the Voight-Kampff's test was recently created by the doctors Johann Voight and Lurie Kampff to measure the emotional responses of the humans to distinguish them of Replicants. In the movie, the names of the creators are omitted and it's established that the test has been part of the job for a long time.
  • In the book all people share a telepathic religion called Mercerism, created and led by Wilbur Mercer. The Mercerers use "Empathy Boxes" to connect with other members of the order to share their emotions, bringing the ability to elect that emotion they want to feel. In the movie all references to Mercerism were completely omitted.
  • At the end of the book, Deckard finally unites his mind with Wilbur Mercer, becoming only one being and causing Deckard to be the new leader of the Mercerism. In the original film ending, Deckard and Rachael flee Los Angeles to live together in the north (in later re-editions, the movie ends a scene before, when Deckard finds Rachael sleeping in his apartment and they walk into an elevator, heading into an unknown future.
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All the replicants have a visual or thematic relation to an animal: Leon - Tortoise (via Holden's question), Rachael - Owl (in Tyrell's pyramid), Zhora - Snake (as part of her act), Pris - Raccoon (her "punk" makeup), Roy - Wolf (howling during the final scenes). In keeping with this idea, Deckard's unicorn dream would have double significance, as it associates him not just with an animal but a mythical, unnatural one, making him a unique replicant.
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Ridley Scott initially wanted a more action-packed opening scene that would have set-up Deckard's ruthless character. It would have taken place in a house on the countryside where Deckard is silently sitting and waiting, while a pot of soup is boiling on a fire. Suddenly a man comes in wearing a protection suit and gas mask. He notices Deckard but ignores him, instead going to take some soup. He then addresses Deckard, but Deckard simply shoots him without saying a word, and then proceeds by removing the man's artificial lower jaw, proving that the victim is a Replicant. The idea was abandoned in later drafts, but this scene was later adapted and a version filmed as the opening scene for Blade Runner 2049 (2017).
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(at around 1h 14 mins) J.F. Sebastian says he has Methuselah syndrome, which causes him to look old/age prematurely as he says he's 25. In real life, William Sanderson who plays J.F. Sebastian, was actually 34.
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Although Replicants are supposed to be androids pretending to be human beings, Replicants' bodies are never seen from the inside, so no inner mechanisms and circuits are ever shown. The only clue about their artificiality can be seen when Batty and Kowalski meet Chew in the shop where artificial eyes for Replicants are created. Since these eyes look organic rather than mechanical, and because Replicants seem to have reddish blood, it has therefore been proposed that the Replicants consist (largely) of artificially created organic material, rather than inorganic or mechanical components, like most robots depicted in film. This would make sense in the context of the film, because if Replicants consisted of inorganic material, they could probably be identified by simple body scans rather than emotional responses. The sequel Blade Runner 2049 (2017) lends more credibility to this theory, as it is revealed that Replicant bones show no microscopic differences from human ones except from serial numbers embedded in them.
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Ridley Scott declared in an interview that Deckard is a Replicant (something disputed by Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer). If so, Deckard hunted down and retired his own kind. Interestingly enough, this has become relatively normal in the sequel Blade Runner 2049 (2017) which takes place 30 years later.
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In the follow up book to the movie "Blade Runner" (1982) stated that " Replicants who stayed away from Earth had normal human lifespan. " The Tyrell Corporation made sure when they got to their 4 year mark to have them 'retired' by bringing them towards our solar system to die.
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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.
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(at around 34 mins) Those are real tears running down Sean Young's cheeks in the scene where Deckard tells Rachael that she is a replicant.
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In the original theatrical cut Bryant says that "ONE of [the replicants got fried];" this has been changed to "two" for the Final Cut. The confusion has caused much discussion as to who the fifth replicant was. The most likely answer is Mary, a character whose scenes were written out and was supposedly cast with Stacey Nelkin (who also read for Pris) in the role. However, others have speculated that Deckard himself is the fifth replicant with his memories altered by either the police or Tyrell.
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The question of whether or not Deckard is a replicant has a curious past. In the source novel it is clear (or as clear as possible in a Philip K. Dick novel) that Deckard is human; at one point he even takes the Voight-Kampff test and passes. Dick's theme is that it takes the androids to show Deckard the meaning of empathy and being "human;" in a sense they are "more human than human." In Hampton Fancher's final full draft (dated December 1980) Deckard muses in a voice over about who "designed" him, a philosophical theme Fancher meant to be metaphorical. David Webb Peoples's draft reworded this as Deckard being a "combat" model but later claimed that this, too, was meant to be a metaphor and that he was surprised that Ridley Scott took it literally. Harrison Ford was opposed to the idea, and Fancher felt that Scott made it too obvious. Whatever Scott's intentions, the question did not come up until the director's cut was released in 1992.
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Rachael's lifespan remains a matter of debate. Deckard initially states that he did not look at it, but at the end of the Theatrical Version, he mentions that Rachael was special, and Tyrell made her without a termination date. This scene was deleted from most other versions of the film, including Ridley Scott's Final Cut of the film, leaving the matter open. As stated in the opening narration and in Bryant's explanation, a Replicant's age limit is something that is added to their creation process, and not stated to be a baseline hallmark of all Replicants. The film even implies that the four-year lifespan is a relatively new safety attribute, possibly unique to Nexus-6 models. As Rachael is described as a replica of Tyrell's niece, it is likely that he would have wanted her to live longer than four years. The canon sequel Blade Runner 2049 (2017) sheds some more light on the issue, by revealing that in the wake of Tyrell's death, his company went on to produce Nexus-7 and -8 models, some of whom have clearly lived for several decades. This opens the possibility that Rachael was one of the first Nexus-7 models, with implanted memories and possibly an open-ended lifespan, although neither film gives any closure on the subject.
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Body count: 8 (Holden, an unnamed Replicant mentioned in a conversation between Bryant and Deckard, Zhora, Leon, Tyrell, J.F. Sebastian, Pris and Batty. 9 counting Chew, although his death is unconfirmed). In the Final Cut, two Replicants are mentioned to have died in the conversation, making a body count of 9 instead 8 (10 if Chew is included).
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There is much disagreement amongst both fans and filmmakers as to exactly why Roy saves Deckard's life at the end of the film. For example, according to Ridley Scott, It was an endorsement in a way, that the character is almost more human than human, in that he can demonstrate a very human quality at a time when the roles are reversed and Deckard may have been delighted to blow his head off. But Roy takes the humane route. But also, in a way, because Roy wants a kind of death watch, where he knows he is going, dying. So in a sense, he is saving Deckard for something, to pass on the information that what the makers are doing is wrong - either the answer is not to make them at all, or deal with them as human beings. [Future Noir, 193] According to Rutger Hauer, however, there is an altogether more mundane reason behind Roy's actions; Ridley insisted that one thing Batty had to have was absolutely no sense of hesitation. He doesn't reflect, he reacts. He's faster than anybody. A characteristic of the Nexus 6. So, if you follow that thought, you reach a point where you realize that if somebody falls, Batty grabs. It has nothing to do with how he feels about Deckard, it's just a reactive moment. That's what Roy's built for. In fact, while we were shooting this moment, we had a problem with the rain machines and had to wait around for them to be fixed. And I actually asked, "Ridley, what do you think? Why does Roy save this fucker?" And Ridley looked at me and said, "It's purely a reflex. Other than that, I don't know." This response might bother some people, because so many folks have read a lot of meaning into Batty saving Deckard's life. But actions always come first. Then we think about them. Roy doesn't know why he saves Deckard or grabs a dove. He just does it. [Future Noir, 194] Of course, it is very well possible that the actual grasping and saving are two separate actions by Roy. Throughout the film, Roy has shown that he has no problem with killing. Even if Roy grasped Deckard in a reflex, if he really wanted him dead, he could just have released him and let him fall to his death. Holding on to Deckard and even hoisting him up to safety therefore feels like a deliberate act, and Roy may even be conflicted about his reasons for doing it himself. In the theatrical cut, the scene is followed by a narrative voiceover by Deckard: I don't know why he saved my life. Maybe in those last moments he loved life more than he ever had before. Not just his life--anybody's life; my life. All he'd wanted were the same answers the rest of us want. Where did I come from? Where am I going? How long have I got? All I could do was sit there and watch him die.
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Roy Batty shares a "birthday" (January 8) with two rock 'n' roll icons: Elvis Presley and David Bowie. By a sad coincidence Bowie died on January 10, 2016 - two days after Roy's incept date. Coincidentally, both Bowie & Presley are related to the sequel, Blade Runner 2049 (2017). Bowie was the original choice to play Niander Wallace before his death, and Presley is featured when K and Deckard are in the casino.
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(at around 1h 35 mins) At the end of the movie Roy Batty is making wolf howls when he chases Deckard at Bradbury's Building. Three years later Rutger Hauer starred in Ladyhawke (1985) as Navarre, a man who becomes a wolf.
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(at around 1h 45 mins) Gaff telling Deckard that Rachael won't live at the end of the movie foreshadows the plot of the sequel Blade Runner 2049 (2017) which Officer 'K' discovers a buried 30-year-old skeleton only to discover that the skeleton is a female Replicant and that the skeleton is Rachael. It's assumed Rachael died sometime after the movie's ending.
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