Blade Runner is a 1982 American neo-noir science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. Let’s see some amazing facts and trivia about it!
1.The film depicts a dystopian Los Angeles in which genetically engineered replicants, which are visually indistinguishable from adult humans, are manufactured by the powerful Tyrell Corporation. The use of replicants on Earth is banned and they are exclusively utilized for dangerous or menial work on off-world colonies. Replicants who defy the ban and return to Earth are hunted down and killed (“retired”) by special police operatives known as “Blade Runners”. The plot focuses on a group of recently escaped replicants hiding in L.A. and the burnt-out expert Blade Runner, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who reluctantly agrees to take on one more assignment to hunt them down.
2. Although Blade Runner is ostensibly an action film, it operates on multiple dramatic and narrative levels. It is indebted to film noir conventions: the femme fatale; protagonist-narration (removed in later versions); dark and shadowy cinematography; and the questionable moral outlook of the hero – in this case, extended to include reflections upon the nature of his own humanity.
3. It is a literate science fiction film, thematically enfolding the philosophy of religion and moral implications of human mastery of genetic engineering in the context of classical Greek drama and hubris.
4. It also draws on Biblical images, such as Noah’s flood, and literary sources, such as Frankenstein.
5. Linguistically, the theme of mortality is subtly reiterated in the chess game between Roy and Tyrell, based on the famous Immortal Game of 1851, though Scott has said that was coincidental.
6. Blade Runner delves into the implications of technology on the environment and on society by reaching to the past, using literature, religious symbolism, classical dramatic themes, and film noir. This tension between past, present, and future is mirrored in the retrofitted future of Blade Runner, which is high-tech and gleaming in places but decayed and old elsewhere. Ridley Scott described the film as: “extremely dark, both literally and metaphorically, with an oddly masochistic feel”, in an interview by Lynn Barber for the British Sunday newspaper The Observer in 2002.
7. An aura of paranoia suffuses the film: corporate power looms large; the police seem omnipresent; vehicle and warning lights probe into buildings; and the consequences of huge biomedical power over the individual are explored – especially the consequences for replicants of their implanted memories.
8. Control over the environment is depicted as taking place on a vast scale, hand in hand with the absence of any natural life, with artificial animals substituting for their extinct predecessors. This oppressive backdrop explains the frequently referenced migration of humans to extraterrestrial (“off-world”) colonies.
9. The dystopian themes explored in Blade Runner are an early example of cyberpunk concepts expanding into film. Eyes are a recurring motif, as are manipulated images, calling into question reality and our ability to accurately perceive and remember it.
10. These thematic elements provide an atmosphere of uncertainty for Blade Runner’s central theme of examining humanity. In order to discover replicants, an empathy test is used, with a number of its questions focused on the treatment of animals – seemingly an essential indicator of someone’s “humanity”.
11. The replicants appear to show compassion and concern for one another and are juxtaposed against human characters who lack empathy while the mass of humanity on the streets is cold and impersonal. The film goes so far as to put in doubt whether Deckard is human, and forces the audience to re-evaluate what it means to be human.
12. The question of whether Deckard is intended to be a human or a replicant has been an ongoing controversy since the film’s release. Both Michael Deeley and Harrison Ford wanted Deckard to be human while Hampton Fancher preferred ambiguity. Ridley Scott has confirmed that in his vision Deckard is a replicant.
13. Casting the film proved troublesome, particularly for the lead role of Deckard. Screenwriter Hampton Fancher envisioned Robert Mitchum as Deckard and wrote the character’s dialogue with Mitchum in mind.
14. Director Ridley Scott and the film’s producers spent months meeting and discussing the role with Dustin Hoffman, who eventually departed over differences in vision.
15. Harrison Ford was ultimately chosen for several reasons, including his performance in the Star Wars films, Ford’s interest in the Blade Runner story, and discussions with Steven Spielberg who was finishing Raiders of the Lost Ark at the time and strongly praised Ford’s work in the film.
16. Following his success in films like Star Wars (1977) and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Ford was looking for a role with dramatic depth.
17. According to production documents, several actors were considered for the role, including Gene Hackman, Sean Connery, Jack Nicholson, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Al Pacino, and Burt Reynolds.
18. One role that was not difficult to cast was Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty, the violent yet thoughtful leader of the replicants. Scott cast Hauer without having met him, based solely on Hauer’s performances in Paul Verhoeven’s movies Scott had seen (Katie Tippel, Soldier of Orange and Turkish Delight).
19.Blade Runner used a number of then-lesser-known actors: Sean Young portrays Rachael, an experimental replicant implanted with the memories of Tyrell’s niece, causing her to believe she is human;Nina Axelrod auditioned for the role. Daryl Hannah portrays Pris, a “basic pleasure model” replicant; Stacey Nelkin auditioned for the role, but was given another part in the film, which was ultimately cut before filming. Casting Pris and Rachael was challenging, requiring several screen tests, with Morgan Paull playing the role of Deckard. Paull was cast as Deckard’s fellow bounty hunter Holden based on his performances in the tests. Brion James portrays Leon Kowalski, a combat replicant, and Joanna Cassidy portrays Zhora, an assassin replicant.
20. Edward James Olmos portrays Gaff. Olmos used his diverse ethnic background, and personal research, to help create the fictional “Cityspeak” language his character uses in the film.
21. Interest in adapting Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? developed shortly after its 1968 publication. Director Martin Scorsese was interested in filming the novel, but never optioned it.
22. Producer Herb Jaffe optioned it in the early 1970s, but Dick was unimpressed with the screenplay written by Herb’s son Robert.
23. . Fancher found a cinema treatment by William S. Burroughs for Alan E. Nourse’s novel The Bladerunner (1974), titled Blade Runner (a movie). Scott liked the name, so Deeley obtained the rights to the titles. Eventually he hired David Peoples to rewrite the script and Fancher left the job over the issue on December 21, 1980, although he later returned to contribute additional rewrites.
24. Having invested over $2.5 million in pre-production, as the date of commencement of principal photography neared, Filmways withdrew financial backing. In 10 days Deeley had secured $21.5 million in financing through a three-way deal between The Ladd Company (through Warner Bros.), the Hong Kong-based producer Sir Run Run Shaw and Tandem Productions
25. Philip K. Dick became concerned that no one had informed him about the film’s production, which added to his distrust of Hollywood.
26. After Dick criticized an early version of Hampton Fancher’s script in an article written for the Los Angeles Select TV Guide, the studio sent Dick the David Peoples’ rewrite.
27. Although Dick died shortly before the film’s release, he was pleased with the rewritten script and with a 20-minute special effects test reel that was screened for him when he was invited to the studio. Despite his well known skepticism of Hollywood in principle, Dick enthused to Ridley Scott that the world created for the film looked exactly as he had imagined it.57]
28. In 1992, Ford revealed, “Blade Runner is not one of my favorite films. I tangled with Ridley.”
29. Blade Runner has numerous deep similarities to Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, including a built-up urban environment, in which the wealthy literally live above the workers, dominated by a huge building – the Stadtkrone Tower in Metropolis and the Tyrell Building in Blade Runner. Special effects supervisor David Dryer used stills from Metropolis when lining up Blade Runner’s miniature building shots.
30. The extended end scene in the original theatrical release shows Rachael and Deckard traveling into daylight with pastoral aerial shots filmed by director Stanley Kubrick.
31. Ridley Scott contacted Kubrick about using some of his surplus helicopter aerial photography from The Shining.
32. “Spinner” is the generic term for the fictional flying cars used in the film. A spinner can be driven as a ground-based vehicle, and take off vertically, hover, and cruise using jet propulsion much like vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. They are used extensively by the police to patrol and survey the population, and it is clear that despite restrictions wealthy people can acquire spinner licenses.
33. The vehicle was conceived and designed by Syd Mead who described the spinner as an “aerodyne”—a vehicle which directs air downward to create lift, though press kits for the film stated that the spinner was propelled by three engines: “conventional internal combustion, jet, and anti-gravity”.
34. Mead’s conceptual drawings were transformed into 25 working vehicles by automobile customizer Gene Winfield. A spinner is on permanent exhibit at the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle, Washington.
35. The Blade Runner soundtrack by Vangelis is a dark melodic combination of classic composition and futuristic synthesizers which mirrors the film-noir retro-future envisioned by Ridley Scott. Vangelis, fresh from his Academy Award-winning score for Chariots of Fire, composed and performed the music on his synthesizers.
36. He also made use of various chimes and the vocals of collaborator Demis Roussos. Another memorable sound is the haunting tenor sax solo “Love Theme” by British saxophonist Dick Morrissey, who performed on many of Vangelis’s albums.
37. Ridley Scott also used “Memories of Green” from the Vangelis album See You Later, an orchestral version of which Scott would later use in his film Someone To Watch Over Me.
38. Along with Vangelis’ compositions and ambient textures, the film’s soundscape also features a track by the Japanese ensemble Nipponia – “Ogi No Mato” or “The Folding Fan as a Target” from the Nonesuch Records release Traditional Vocal and Instrumental Music – and a track by harpist Gail Laughton from “Harps of the Ancient Temples” on Laurel Records.
39. Despite being well received by fans and critically acclaimed and nominated in 1983 for a BAFTA and Golden Globe as best original score, and the promise of a soundtrack album from Polydor Records in the end titles of the film, the release of the official soundtrack recording was delayed for over a decade. T=
40. The film’s special effects are generally recognized to be among the best of all time, using the available (non-digital) technology to the fullest. In addition to matte paintings and models, the techniques employed included multipass exposures.
41. In some scenes, the set was lit, shot, the film rewound, and then rerecorded over with different lighting. In some cases this was done 16 times in all. The cameras were frequently motion controlled using computers.
42. Many effects utilised techniques which had been developed during the production of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
43. Blade Runner was released in 1,290 theaters on June 25, 1982. That date was chosen by producer Alan Ladd, Jr. because his previous highest-grossing films (Star Wars and Alien) had a similar opening date (May 25) in 1977 and 1979, making the date his “lucky day”.
44. Blade Runner grossed reasonably good ticket sales according to contemporary reports; earning $6.1 million during its first weekend in theaters.
45. Blade Runner 2049 is an upcoming 2017 American neo-noir science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green. It is the sequel to Blade Runner and sees Harrison Ford reprise his role as Rick Deckard. It is set for release on October 6, 2017 in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D. Ryan Gosling plays the film’s lead, while Ford himself, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri, Lennie James, Dave Bautista, and Jared Leto play supporting roles.