Blade Runner: The Final Cut – and a Sequel?

blade_runner

It’s no surprise that many fans of the Star Wars movies have also come to admire another seminal film in the science fiction-fantasy genre: Blade Runner. After all, both feature Harrison Ford as a lead character, include dazzling special effects, and are considered important and influential works of cinema. What’s more, both have aged amazingly well.

Like Star Wars, Blade Runner is celebrating an anniversary of its own this year – its 25th – and Warner Bros. Home Video is marking the occasion with an unprecedented DVD release that will include no less than five versions of Blade Runner as it’s evolved through the years, including director Ridley Scott’s definitive “Final Cut”.

Director Scott shared the stage of Hall H Friday with several people from Blade Runner’s cast and crew to discuss this monumental DVD release (on December 18) and theatrical re-release (LA, NY October 5), along with some factoids dropped by DVD producer Charles de Lauzirika. Scott also hinted at the possibility of a Blade Runner sequel – read on for some edited highlights…

The DVD Release

DVD Producer Charles de Lauzirika (CdL): This has been a long time coming. We actually started working on the DVD in the year 2000. It’s been a long meticulous process to get this thing ship-shape and top-notch. It started with a really full-blown restoration process for the film itself allowing Ridley to create this final cut of Blade Runner. As you know, there are multiple versions of the film, and Ridley wanted to give it a final polish and make it the film he always wanted it to be.

In addition to that, we’ve put together an amazing DVD box set of five discs with five versions of the movie [including the actual workprint], a three-and-a-half hour documentary called “Dangerous Days”, and 47 minutes of deleted and alternate scenes – things you’ve never seen before.

For “Dangerous Days”, we interviewed about 80 people for this one film. I went through about 977 boxes of 35mm and 70mm film cans and basically saw every printed take. What you’ll see in the documentary is, rather than cuts and clips from the film, we cut these alternate takes and different angles of scenes [together to produce] a really different experience than what you’re used to seeing in a regular documentary.

There’s going to be three different versions [of the DVD set] available simultaneously on standard-def and also on High-Definition and Blu-ray with the same content. There will be a two disc set which is the final cut on one disc and then “Dangerous Days” on the second disc. The four-disc set has everything but the workprint. Then the big Deckard briefcase which is five discs including the workprint has all kinds of goodies. There’s a really sweet little Spinner replica that has opening doors and everything – it’s really nice. Warner Bros. really just did a hell of a job on this project and really pulled out all the stops.

What’s New?

CdL: We did a tiny re-shoot for a scene in which Zhora, Joanna Cassidy’s character, runs through panes of glass — which was a dangerous stunt so she wasn’t allowed to do it — and we went in to kind of tweak a couple shots that were clearly a stunt double. So after a lot of discussion, and I know Joanna really wanted to do it, she actually came back [to re-shoot head-replacement shots]. (Editor’s note: These shots were shown to the audience, and they are absolutely flawless).

Revisiting Blade Runner

Director Ridley Scott (RS): When you make a movie and you finally put it to bed, from a director’s point of view, you rarely [get the chance] to visit it again. I kept looking at Blade Runner on my shelf thinking, should I take a look? I did this for almost 15 years until the idea of doing it like this, with the possibility of a [theatrical] re-release as well as a digital release became a reality. I said the first thing I want to do is see the movie. So Warner Bros. ran the film for me and I went in there with a pad and a microphone to make a lot of comments during the screening. At the end of the screening, there was no writing on the page. So I was surprised, and kind of really pleased.

Blade Runner Sequel?

RS: I think there could be a sequel to [Blade Runner]. There is clearly a story in the sequel. It probably keys off with Edward James Olmos’ line when he says ‘It’s a pity she won’t live. But then who does.’ And of course I think they’re both [Deckard and Rachael] replicants, so that’s a pretty good starting block for us. I’m not going to tell you anything else, otherwise you might steal it [laughs].

Check out a trailer for the Final Cut DVD release here.

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8 Responses to Blade Runner: The Final Cut – and a Sequel?

  1. Bookman says:

    REALLY? A sequel? I can’t imagine it actually happening. It’s like a dream . . . of . . . electric . . . sheep . . .

  2. Megatrends says:

    Wow, that trailer looks great. I own 2 dvds of this and cannot wait for this to be released. The workprint included is something intrigueing as well.

    Having the theatrical version on dvd will alos be great. i am glad this finally happening.

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  6. […] Runner Comes Out of Retirement As reported in our Comic-Con coverage here, the incredible 5-disc Blade Runner DVD set is now available for pre-order for release on December […]

  7. oscarbait says:

    BLADE RUNNER fans, write WB if you want it to be released in more markets than just LA NY. So far it is only going to LA, NYC. If you don’t live near LA, NYC, only you can let them know you want to see it on the big digital screen with hot digital sound. This will be your only chance. It’s on DVD in December.

    Write:

    Jeff Goldstein
    WB Theatrical Distribution
    4000 Warner Bl
    Burbank< CA 91522

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