Blade Runner is an American science fiction film, directed by Ridley Scott. It is loosely based on the novel by Philip Kindred Dick: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.
The screenplay was written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples. It was released in 1982, did not do well at the box office in North American cinemas, but was a great success in the rest of the world.
It became a favorite of moviegoers and quickly earned the title of cult film. It has become a science fiction classic and a precursor of the cyberpunk genre. It earned two Oscar nominations for best art direction and visual effects.
In the 21st century the Tyrell Corporation developed a new type of robot called Nexus, virtually identical to man and known as a replicant. The replicants were superior in agility and strength and equal in intelligence to their designers.
Each replicant has a certain lifespan, a sort of “expiration date”. The most perfect replicants, almost human, live for 4 years.
They did not know this, but when they learn of their short lifespan, they will ask their creator to let them live longer. But this is impossible given the procedure that was carried out to design them.
The humans fear that they could reveal themselves against them, so they decide to eliminate them, but the replicants are so similar to humans, that to locate them they have to resort to specialized police, like Blade Runner.
The Nexus 6 replicants created by Tyrell Corporation have a limited life span of 4 years, after which they die.
Due to their short term of existence, in the year 2019 they return to Earth to meet their creator again and demand more life. The Los Angeles police department becomes aware of this situation and manages to contact an ex-Blade Runner to “eliminate” the five replicants on the loose in the city.
Deckar, as the Blade Runner is called, accepts the job. After seeing Leon (another replicant) end the life of a fellow Blade Runner, he decides to go to Tyrell Corporation to perform an intelligence test on Rachel, a more advanced Nexus model with no expiration date.
The test consists of a series of questions while observing the dilation and contraction of the pupil of this, that according to their behavior, you can find out if it is or not a replicant. Deckar, after many questions, realizes that she is a replicant.
Deckar, continuing the investigation, decides to go to Leon’s home and there he finds a snake scale.
This scale, leads him to Zhora, a replicant who works in a brothel. After Deckar talks to her, she escapes, but a little later she is hit by the Blade Runner’s weapon. Only three replicants are left.
Deckar, after the fight with Zhora, unexpectedly meets Leon, they have a confrontation, and after a hard fight the replicant wins, but when he is about to kill the Blade Runner, he is shot by Rachel. Rachel’s affectionate behavior towards Deckar is reciprocated.
On the other side of Los Angeles, one of the genetic designers of the Nexus 6, J.F. Sebastian, meets the replicant Priss in the doorway of his house and invites her to come upstairs, after a few hours, the replicant Roy appears.
Both ask him to extend their lives, but as this is not possible, they force him to take them to their creator.
Roy appears before his creator at the Tyrell Corporation and begs him: “I want to live longer, father”. To which the creator replies: “Life is like that”.
At this moment, the replicant shows his first emotion, (crying) and with great anger decides to kill his creator.
Then Roy kills J.F. Sebastian and goes to his house to meet with the replicant Pris, but Deckar is already there and after a fight manages to kill her.
When Roy arrives at the house, Pris is dead on the floor, he tries to revive her, showing his feelings of love for her, Roy with great anger and aware that the murderer is still in the house, decides to go for him.
When Deckar and Roy meet, they have a bloody fight that ends on the terrace, and it is there where the replicant spares the life of the Blade Runner, inevitably dying after the period of life that had been implanted by his creator has elapsed.
Finally, Deckar and Rachel flee to the outside world to start a new life away from the city.
Curiosities About Blade Runner
1) The story is based on the novel by Philip K. Dick entitled ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’ published in 1968.
2) Although due to numerous changes the final version ended up being very different book, becoming a rather flawed adaptation. The novel ended up being more of an inspiration for the movie.
3) As time went by, people began to talk about “the Blade Runner curse”. This refers to the fact that a number of companies whose logos appeared in the film ran into financial difficulties after the film’s release.
Among them were Atari, which owned approximately 70% of the console market at the time and suffered huge financial losses; Bell, which lost its monopoly in 1982; or Coca-Cola, which failed with the launch of its “new formula”.
4) It is said that Ridley Scott always carried a picture of the famous work of the painter Edward Hopper, ‘Nighthawks’, to show it during the shooting to his colleagues and to make it clear what kind of atmosphere he wanted for the film.
5) The gun Deckard uses is an Austrian Steyr/Mannlicher rifle with safety action, but without the original grip and barrel, leaving only the receiver to which a new grip was added for effect. Fans are going crazy to get their hands on a reproduction.
6) There is a “cameo” of Harrison Ford’s ship in Star Wars, the Millennium Falcon, which appears in a scene in the movie at the bottom left of the screen. This is because the model that was used for these scenes included “scrap” parts in which a model of the Millennium Falcon ended up.
7) Ridley Scott has a reputation for being a difficult person to deal with. Harrison Ford said of him that he was “too dictatorial,” and the rest of the cast was also unhappy with the director, who tried to “impose his British ways” despite the fact that this was an American production.
In fact, Scott said in an interview that he preferred to work with English people because when they were asked for something they only answered “Yes, boss”. The film’s actors responded by showing up on set wearing T-shirts that read: “Yes, Guv’nor? My ass!”, which roughly translates to “Yes, boss? My ass!”.
8) Ridley Scott’s film, released in 1982, was a total box-office flop. With a budget of $28 million, it only managed to gross $32 million. However, over time it became an icon of science fiction, one of the most respected and remembered classics of cinema.
9) Seven different versions of ‘Blade Runner’ have been projected, between preview tests and commercial screenings. The best known of these are the ‘Workprint’, the U.S. theatrical version and the international version (all 1982), ‘The Director’s Cut’ (1992) and ‘The Final Cut’ (2007).
10) In October 1989, tape restorer Michael Arick found a copy of ‘Blade Runner’ in the basement of a post-production company while searching for archival footage, and it was restored. Warners gave permission to screen the copy in a Los Angeles theater, and due to its success, the company decided to screen it in other theaters, selling it as “the director’s cut”.
However, Ridley Scott publicly repudiated that version, criticizing it harshly, and Warner had to cancel the screening in some cities and start working on an official director’s cut for a re-release in 1992 with Scott’s approval. This would end up being known as ‘The Director’s Cut’.
11) ‘The Final Cut’, the 2007 version, is actually the only version over which Ridley Scott had complete artistic control. This is the only edit that contains the original full-length version of the unicorn’s dream, which had never been in another version.
12) Harrison Ford stunned fans of the original version when he claimed that he didn’t like ‘Blade Runner’. He complained numerous times about the movie, claiming that he didn’t understand anything and that he didn’t identify with the character of Deckard at all.
13) Many names were considered for the role of Rick Deckard. In fact, Ford was chosen after dozens of actors were cast, including Robert Mitchum, Tommy Lee Jones, Christopher Walken, Gene Hackman, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Sean Connery, and even Arnold Schwarzenegger.
14) The one who came closest to getting the role was Dustin Hoffman. It was Steven Spielberg who recommended Scott to go for Ford, who at the time was cheap and with a future, probably because he came from working with him in ‘Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark’. It seems he was right.
15) Ridley Scott had imagined Deckard wearing a hat, in the style of film noir detectives. An idea that he could not carry out because Ford came from playing Indiana Jones, tremendously associated with his inseparable hat.
Scott himself said during an interview: “When I met Ford for the first time for the shooting, he drove all the way to London, and when he arrived he still hadn’t taken off the damn hat he was wearing to play Indiana Jones. When I saw him, I was like, ‘Oh, shit!'” He quickly understood that they couldn’t use the hat because it would be too reminiscent of the other character, so they decided to cut his hair. “That’s how the Rick Deckard hairstyle was born,” Scott explained.
16) Ridley Scott revealed that Deckard is a replicant years ago, although Harrison Ford continued to deny it. Although the director has spoken out on this issue, there are still fans who are not clear about it or who prefer to voluntarily only take into account the information from the first version of ‘Blade Runner’ that hit theaters.
17) Not everyone knows that the serial number of each replicant is taken from its characteristics. Thus, the film’s quintessential antagonist Roy Batty has as his serial number N6MAA10816, where N6 identifies the type of replicant (Nexus 6), M means that he is a male entity, A as a score for his physical level and A as a score for his mental level -in the United States the grades range from A, the best, to F, the worst-. The final numbers represent its creation date, in this case “10816”, i.e. January 8, 2016 according to the US date format.
18) For the scene in which Pris attacks Deckard, a gymnast was hired, but Ridley Scott had that scene rehearsed so many times that when it came time to film it, the gymnast was exhausted and couldn’t do anything else, so it was filmed with a male gymnast they had been able to hire during lunchtime.
19) According to Philip Kindred Dick, the best possible choice for the role of Rachel was actress Victoria Principal.
20) Much of Roy Batty’s famous final monologue came from the improvisation that Rutger
21) Hauer, who was very fond of poetry, performed in one of the takes. Ridley Scott liked the result so much that he decided to use it as it was in the film.
22) Blade Runner has been chosen as the best science fiction film of all time (until 2005) among the 60 most prestigious scientists in the world.
23) The screenwriters were two: Hampton Fincher, who was enthusiastic about the book and proposed the idea and wrote a first screenplay, and David W. Peoples, who was sought out by Scott to introduce narrative, aesthetic and dialogue changes. Dick only liked the script after Peoples transformed it, calling it sensational.
24) The film is dedicated to the memory of Phillip K. Dick.
25) If there is one scene that has created speculation in film history, it is the scene in which Deckard tells Rachael that he would not pursue her.
In it you can see that Deckard’s eyes glow a bit with a yellow to orange color, but the curious thing is that Deckard is positioned behind Rachael and is totally out of any spotlight that could produce a glow in his eyes. Is Deckard decidedly a replicant or not?
26) In the scene where Tyrell and Sebastian play a game of chess, the positions of the pieces correspond to a game played between Anderssen and Kieseritzky in London in 1851. This game is known as “The Immortal” and stands out for being one of the most brilliant games ever played.
27) The forests that Deckard and Rachael contemplate at the end of Blade Runner (not in the director’s version) from the ship are nothing more than discards from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.
28) While following the clues, Deckard has an artificial fish manufacturer examine the scale she has found in Leon’s bathtub. The images used as special effects are those of a female marijuana bud.
29) Pris, the prostitute replicant, has a start date (birth) on February 14, Valentine’s Day.
The film bears some similarities to Alien, the eighth passenger. For example in the take-off scene in the computer is the same used in Alien, where the escape capsule is separated from the mothership.
Other cases are the cigarettes that have the same yellowish color or the murmurs heard when Deckard enters his apartment near the end that are the same ones used by Scott in some parts of Alien. A good way to save money in some cases.
30) Did you know that before casting Harrison Ford for the role of Deckard Scott thought of Dustin Hoffman? Apparently they had several conversations about the character, but in the end Hoffman declined due to personal problems.
31) Regarding the famous eye scene at the beginning of the film, there was much speculation about its holder, but as the storyboard reveals it belongs to Holden.
32) Ridley Scott never read the original novel on which Phillip K. Dick’s film is based. The director himself confirms: “I’ve never read a Philip K. Dick book – obviously I knew he was a writer! I once started one of his books, but it seemed too complicated…. Hampton had actually made a very interesting summary of the book, which made things much easier for me.