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

by Oliver Lyttelton
June 25, 2012 12:02 PM
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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. 

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  • Tyler Foster | June 25, 2012 6:53 PMReply

    The last page is missing a stage of progression: the print they discovered (which also played in Seattle, I believe...I thought it was "discovered" here, but I could be wrong) was the "Workprint" included on Disc 5 of the DVD and Blu-Ray box sets. When they put the movie on DVD, Ridley was busy shooting a film, but the studio used his notes to reconstruct the film in a rough approximation of a "Director's Cut," which was the version available on DVD until the Final Cut was finally being put together with Ridley's direct involvement.

  • Nathaniel Poe | June 25, 2012 4:12 PMReply

    Joe Pantoliano was in the running for Sylvester? Who's Sylvester? Did you mean J.F. Sebastian, the part that eventually went to character actor William Sanderson?

  • Brian Boyle | June 25, 2012 2:44 PMReply

    The replicants are neither "life-like robots" nor androids, nor are they cyborgs. They are human beings; genetically-engineered human beings. Better, stronger, faster, but with a built-in failsafe...four-year lifespans. Both Hannibal Chew and JF Sebastian say as much in their dialogue.
    CHEW: "I do eyes. Just, just eyes. Just genetic design. Just eyes. You Nexus, huh? I design your eyes."
    SEBASTIAN: "Ah, I knew it. 'Cause I do genetic design work for the Tyrell Corporation. There's some of me in you."

  • Leigh Richert | June 25, 2012 12:52 PMReply

    6. Ridley Scott actually RESHOT a couple of things for his official re-release of the DVD, including re-doing the scene where Ford shoots the stripper replicant through the glass. I believe this was done around the year 1999.

  • Tyler Foster | June 25, 2012 6:50 PM

    No, the reshoots were done for the Final Cut. The filming of these reshoots is included in the documentary on the Blu-Ray and DVD.

  • Jarrett | June 25, 2012 12:27 PMReply

    Your synopsis of Blade Runner is wrong. Deckard doesn't fall for any of the replicants he's hunting, rather a completely different character, who also is a replicant.

  • Jim | June 25, 2012 3:52 PM

    Well, that's true at the outset, but he is told to kill her later in the film.

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