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Wake Up, Time To Die: 5 Things You Might Not Know About 'Blade Runner'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist June 25, 2012 at 12:02PM

One of the many reasons "Prometheus" was eagerly anticipated by so many was the director's track record in the sci-fi genre. Ridley Scott had only made two science fiction pictures before this year's blockbuster, and both are considered classics (and arguably his best two films). The first was 1979's "Alien," the direct inspiration for "Prometheus." And the second? 1982's "Blade Runner," the noirish mystery, and adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep," which has been one of the most talked about and influential science fiction films of all time, particularly in terms of its grim look at Los Angeles in 2019.

Blade Runner
5. "Death. Ah, well that's a little out of my jurisdiction"
The director's cut was discovered entirely by accident.

Budget overruns and poor test-screenings meant that Scott was overruled on several key decisions on the film as it came close to completion, most famously the ending (partially achieved with unused footage from "The Shining") and the narration. For many years, it was thought that Scott's original version hadn't survived, but in 1989, Warner Bros sound preservationist Michael Arick stumbled across a rare 70mm print in the archives while looking for footage from "Gypsy." Arick didn't watch it, but it was sent to the Fairfax on Beverly Boulevard in L.A. the following year when they were holding a special festival of 70mm films. They were as surprised as anyone to find that they were screening a never-before-seen version of the film, and word of mouth soon led to sell-outs at additional screenings, which led Warners to plan a release. It was labelled as the "Director's Cut," but against the objections of Ridley Scott, who wanted to make further changes, but wasn't given the time or budget to do so. It was only with the 2006 Final Cut that he was able to do those last alterations. It wasn't just the film that took some time to see the light properly; Vangelis' score only got a proper release after the Director's Cut in 1992, although bootlegs circulated throughout the 1980s. 

This article is related to: 5 Things You Might Not Know About..., Blade Runner, On This Day In Movie History, Ridley Scott, Features, Harrison Ford, Hampton Fancher

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