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Blade Runner (1982) Poster

(1982)

Trivia

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Ridley Scott and Jordan Cronenweth achieved the famous 'shining eyes' effect by using a technique invented by 'Fritz Lang' known as the 'Schüfftan Process'; light is bounced into the actors' eyes off a piece of half mirrored glass mounted at a forty five degree angle to the camera.
After Pris (Daryl Hannah) first meets Sebastian (William Sanderson), she runs away from him, skidding into his car and smashing the window with her elbow. This was a genuine mistake caused by Hannah slipping on the wet ground. The glass wasn't breakaway glass, it was real glass, and Hannah chipped her elbow in eight places. She still has the scar from the accident, as can be seen in Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner (2007), the feature-length making-of documentary of the film.
It has always been rumored that Harrison Ford intentionally performed the voice-over poorly, in the hope it would not be used, but in a 2002 interview with Playboy magazine, Ford clarified this mistaken assumption; "I delivered it to the best of my ability, given that I had no input. I never thought they'd use it. But I didn't try and sandbag it. It was simply bad narration."
According to Rutger Hauer's biography, the final confrontation between Deckard and Roy Batty was to have been a fight in an old gym, using martial arts like Kung-Fu or something similar. Hauer disliked the idea saying it was "too Bruce Lee" and claims to have come up with the idea of Batty chasing Deckard.
Ridley Scott cast Rutger Hauer in the role of Roy Batty without actually meeting the actor. He had watched his performances in Turkish Delight (1973), Katie Tippel (1975) and Soldier of Orange (1977) and was so impressed, he cast him immediately. However, for their first meeting, Hauer decided to play a joke on Scott and he turned up wearing huge green sunglasses, pink satin pants and a white sweater with an image of a fox on the front. According to production executive Katherine Haber, when Scott saw Hauer, he literally turned white.
When Deckard stops Rachael from leaving his apartment, he pushes her away from him. The expression of pain and shock on her face was real. Sean Young said that Harrison Ford had difficulties playing the scene with her, and had pushed her too hard. However, when he saw how angry she was with him, he affectionately 'mooned' her to break the ice.
Ridley Scott regards Blade Runner (1982) as probably his most personal and complete film.
Ridley Scott's first cut ran four hours. Most the crew, including the writers and director, admitted that while it looked beautifully, it was mostly incomprehensible, necessitating additional editing and an explanatory voice-over.
The Voight-Kampff Test comes from Cambridge Mathematician Alan Turing's 1951 paper in which he proposed a test called "The Imitation Game" that might finally settle the issue of machine intelligence.
Rutger Hauer came up with many inventive ideas for his characterization, like the moment where he grabs and fondles a dove. He also improvised the now-iconic line "All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain". He later chose "All those moments" as the title of his autobiography.
Joanna Cassidy (Zhora) was at ease with the snake around her neck because it was her pet, a Burmese python named Darling.
The 'snake scale' seen under the electron microscope was actually a marijuana bud.
To ensure that he didn't have to wear a hat in the film (having just come off Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)), Harrison Ford went out and got a contemporary haircut which Ridley Scott didn't care for but was essentially stuck with.
Philip K. Dick first came up with the idea for his novel 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' in 1962, when researching 'The Man in the High Castle' which deals with the Nazis conquering the planet in the 1940s. Dick had been granted access to archived World War II Gestapo documents in the University of California at Berkley, and had come across diaries written by S.S. men stationed in Poland, which he found almost unreadable in their casual cruelty and lack of human empathy. One sentence in particular troubled him: "We are kept awake at night by the cries of starving children." Dick was so horrified by this sentence that he reasoned there was obviously something wrong with the man who wrote it. This led him to hypothesize that Nazism in general was a defective group mind, a mind so emotionally flawed that the word human could not be applied to them; their lack of empathy was so pronounced that Dick reasoned they couldn't be referred to as human beings, even though their outward appearance seemed to indicate that they were human. The novel sprang from this. And, interestingly enough, it is now thought that some people are "Occupational Psychopaths" due to low-functioning amygdala, the fear centres of the brain's limbic system.
The term replicants is used nowhere in Philip K. Dick's writing. The creatures in the source novel are called Androids or Andies. The movie abandoned these terms, fearing they would sound comical spoken on screen. Replicants came from David Webb Peoples' daughter, Risa, who was studying microbiology and biochemistry. She introduced her father to the theory of replication - the process whereby cells are duplicated for cloning purposes.
The ending title sequence in the theatrical cut of the film contains unused footage from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980). These were extra shots of the main title sequence, although none of the shots contain the road that was seen in The Shining.
Although Philip K. Dick saw only the opening 20 minutes of footage prior to his death on March 2, 1982, he was extremely impressed, and has been quoted by Paul Sammon as saying, "It was my own interior world. They caught it perfectly." However neither Ridley Scott nor screenwriter David Webb Peoples actually read Dick's novel.
Deckard's apartment, drawn by set designer Charles William Breen and built on stage at Warner Bros., was inspired by the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Ennis-Brown House in Los Angeles. Breen actually had plaster casts taken from the textile blocks of the Wright-designed house and used them for the walls in the stage set.
This is Rutger Hauer's favorite of his own films.
Although for many years Harrison Ford refused to talk about the film, he did contribute to the 2007 DVD documentary Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner (2007), claiming he has reconciled with Ridley Scott and made his peace with the film. In fact, Ford says the thing he remembers most is not the grueling shoot or the arguments with his director, but being forced to record the voiceover which executive producers Jerry Perenchio and Bud Yorkin insisted be in the film. Ford doesn't actually mention any names, but in discussing the voiceover which was used in the theatrical cut, he says it was written by "clowns". In actual fact, Darryl Ponicsan was initially hired to write it, but his version was tossed out. Then Roland Kibbee was hired and his version is the one that was used. According to David Peoples and Hampton Fancher, who had become close friends, when they first saw the film, they each thought the other had written it, and despite the fact that they both hated it, they told one another they loved it for fear of insulting the other's feelings.
For the first aerial shot of the city, all kinds of materials were used to simulate buildings in the city landscape, such as miniature spaceships from other science fiction movies. When the Asian billboard is showing for the first time, a kitchen sink can be seen masquerading as a building in the far background of the shot. Because some of the miniatures were so high, there was often not enough room to move the camera over them. The special effects crew solved this by tilting the sets at an angle.
Ridley Scott and Michael Deeley were briefly fired from the production shortly after principal photography wrapped. Because the film had gone over budget, executive producers Jerry Perenchio and Bud Yorkin of Tandem Productions had stepped in, firing Scott and Deeley and taking over the editing of the project themselves. And although they did rehire Scott and Deeley (mainly due to the intervention of Alan Ladd Jr.), they retained artistic control. After two disastrous preview screenings of the workprint, which the audience claimed was difficult to understand, Yorkin and Perenchio decided to record an explanatory voiceover and add a happy ending. Ridley Scott had also acknowledged the movie's problems, and was not averse to the idea of a voiceover (as is often claimed), but he had wanted a voiceover with Deckard musing more philosophically on the implications of his actions. Yorkin and Perenchio however wanted a voiceover where Deckard literally explains aspects of the film to the audience.
According to Paul Sammon, who toured the set in 1981, the level of detail on everything (what Ridley Scott refers to as 'layering') was amazing, even though much of it would never be seen on screen. For example, written on the door of a bus was "Driver is Armed; Carries No Cash", whilst written in tiny print on the parking meters was "WARNING - DANGER! You Can Be Killed By Internal Electrical System If This Meter Is Tampered With". Also written on the parking meters was the rate - 1 minute parking cost $3. On a magazine rack were to be found magazines with mocked up twentieth-first covers; these magazines included Krotch, Zord, Bash, Creative Emotion and Droid. A skin magazine called Horn had headlines reading "The Cosmic Orgasm", "Hot Lust in Space", "Tit Job Review", "Scratch and Sniff Centrespread." Crime magazine Kill had covers reading "Multiple Murders - Readers' Own Photos", "98 Dead in Spinner Dive", "Death Penalty Snuffs 12 Jurors in Freak Accident." Another magazine, Moni, had headlines "Earthlings: Pay Big $ to See Future" by M. Deeley, "Higher Tech" by L.G. Paull and "Illegal Aliens" by R. Scott.
Ridley Scott was dismayed to discover that American crews operated very differently from British ones (this was Scott's first American film). In his native UK, Scott was primarily a camera operator and would always step behind the camera to see through the viewfinder himself. This wasn't common practice in America and led to much tension between director and crew. Scott also kept making changes to sets and the story. Screenwriter David Webb Peoples had to re-write the screenplay throughout the shoot, and often found that his re-writes were already obsolete by the time he handed them in.
Some computer displays within the vehicles, were used on the Nostromo and the lifeboat in Alien (1979). Some sounds from that film also can be heard too.
The Hades landscape in the opening shot was filmed using forced perspective. The miniature itself was only 13 feet deep and 18 feet wide. Smoke was used extensively to create a sense of depth. To keep the level of smoke consistent during shooting, a smoke detector was connected to a smoke generator, and would signal it when it had to produce more smoke. Almost seven miles of fiber optics and over 2000 lights were needed to illuminate the landscape. In order to film the entire the sequence, the same piece of film was exposed multiple times, each time filming a different element in the shot (such as structures, light, fire and vehicles). In order for all takes to match up, the exact camera movement had to be repeated with a motion-controlled camera up to 17 times. This put so much stress on the film that the special effects film would often find that the camera had ripped the film to shreds.
Syd Mead was originally hired to design vehicles and props. However, in his sketches, he would include backgrounds for contextualization (such as streets and Deckard's apartment). Ridley Scott was so impressed with Mead's work that he asked him to work on designing the environment of the film, as well as painting some of the mattes. Mead, who was originally supposed to be hired for only a few days, stayed on the production for several weeks, which was one of the factors that caused the film to go over budget.
Outside of the eye scientist's lab, on the left hand side of the door is some graffiti in Japanese/Chinese characters that reads: "Chinese good, Americans bad."
In Philip K. Dick's original novel, animals were virtually extinct, something that the film only addresses in very subtle ways. The most obvious reference is when Deckard asks Zhora if her snake is real and she replies "Do you think I'd be working in a place like this if I could afford one?" There is also a sequence when Deckard first visits Tyrell, where he asks Rachael if their owl is replicated; she responds with "Of course it is". In Dick's novel, the owls were the first creatures to die out.
At first, Ridley Scott's original cut, without the voice-over, among other things, was thought to be non-existent. It was in 1989 that Michael Arick, a sound preservationist and director of assent management at Warner Bros., stumbled upon a 70mm print of the film while looking for footage from Gypsy (1962). Several months later, the Cineplex Odeon Fairfax theater was having a classic-film festival featuring 70mm prints. The print discovered by Arick was set to be screened in May. However, no one had actually watched the print and everyone thought it was the International Cut, leading to a great deal of surprise when people discovered it was another version entirely. More screenings of this version resulted in sell outs, and Warner proposed releasing it as a Director's Cut. Ridley Scott however said it was not a Director's Cut, and said that a number of changes would need to be made for him to approve it. Ultimately, Scott and Arick were not given enough time to complete the project to Scott's satisfaction, and the resulting Director's Cut was still not Scott's preferred version of the film. In 2007, Scott was finally able to release what he considered to be the definitive cut of the film, which is labeled The Final Cut.
The final scene was shot literally hours before the producers were due to take creative control away from Ridley Scott.
Roy Batty's odd meld of "father" and "fucker" after he says to Tyrell, "I want more life" is deliberate. Rutger Hauer was instructed to pronounce it in such a way that it could be both; "fucker" was to be used in the theatrical cut, "father" in all versions of the film for TV.
When author William Gibson went to see Blade Runner, he was preparing to begin his first novel, "Neuromancer." However, twenty minutes into Blade Runner he got up and walked out of the cinema, because he was so shocked by the similarities between the film and his as yet unwritten novel.
Director of photography Jordan Cronenweth was just starting to really suffer from the Parkinson's disease that would ultimately kill him, and was often quite weak during the long days and nights of filming. By the end of the production, he was in a wheelchair, but according to director Ridley Scott, Cronenweth was a real trooper who did his work throughout the difficult shoot until the end.
Blade Runner was made on a very tense set. Due to American union rules, director Ridley Scott could not bring his own British crew, and felt hampered by strict codes that forbade him to operate a camera himself. He was also constantly frustrated by crew members and producers who kept questioning him about his artistic choices. Conversely, the majority of the American crew didn't enjoy working on the film, or working with Scott, who they considered to be cold and distant, and whose perfectionism caused shooting days that often lasted around 13 hours. According to insiders on the set, crew members were leaving or being fired all the time, and the call-sheets were the only sure way to see who was still working on the production. Towards the end of principal photography an incident occurred which has become known as the T-shirt war. In an article in the British press, Scott had casually commented that he preferred working with English crews because when he asked for something they would say, "Yes gov'nor" and go get it, but things weren't that simple with American crews. Makeup supervisor Marvin G. Westmore saw the article and was disgusted. In retaliation, he had t-shirts printed with "Yes gov'nor my ass!" on the front, and either "Will Rogers never met Ridley Scott" or "You soar with eagles when you fly with turkeys" on the back. To defuse the situation, Scott and several of his closer collaborators had t-shirts made with "Xenophobia sucks" on them, and Scott would wear a cap that said "Guv". Scott later said it was meant as a joke, and that it was never his intention to start a war; he simply hoped that people would be confused by the word "xenophobia" and had to ask what it meant. Apparently, the strategy worked, and it broke the ice for a while.
Among the folklore that has built up around the film over the years is the infamous 'Blade Runner Curse', which is the belief that the film was a curse to the companies whose logos were displayed prominently as product placements. While they were market leaders at the time, many of them experienced disastrous setbacks over the next decade and hardly exist anymore. RCA, for example which at one time was the leading consumer electronics and communications conglomerate, was bought out by one time parent GE in 1985, and dismantled. Atari, which dominated the home video game market when the film came out, never recovered from the next year's downturn in the industry, and by the 1990s had ceased to exist as anything more than a brand. The Atari of today is an entirely different firm, using the former company's name. Cuisinart similarly went bankrupt in 1989, though it lives on under new ownership. The Bell System monopoly was broken up that same year, and all of the resulting Regional Bell operating companies have since changed their names and merged back with each other and other companies to form the new AT&T. Pan Am suffered the terrorist bombing/destruction of Pan Am Flight 103 and went bankrupt in 1991, after a decade of mounting losses. The Coca-Cola Company, although still tremendously popular, suffered losses during its failed introduction of New Coke in 1985. The KOSS Corporation - whose logo is repeatedly seen in the opening scenes where Deckard is waiting to eat - survived a serious setback. The family owned, pioneer hifi headphone company suffered a major loss when it was discovered in 2010 that an employee, the CFO, had embezzled $34 million.
There are only 90 special effects shots in the entire film in every version. Most were done with elaborate miniatures, or matte paintings. The latter technique involved the used of detailed paintings that were carefully composited into already filmed live-action shots, in order to add buildings or cityscapes. The combined shot would then have to be filmed again to get the desired effect, but during the exposure of the film, the colors would often change a bit. The matte painters therefore had the difficult task of taking this color shift into account while making the paintings.
The inception dates of the different Replicants are:

-Roy Batty (January 8, 2016).

-Leon Kowalski (April 10, 2017).

-Zhora (June 12, 2016).

-Pris (February 14, 2016).
Conflicts on set arose almost immediately upon commencement of filming. The first scenes to be shot where those which take place in Eldon Tyrell's (Joe Turkel) office. Despite careful pre-production, director Ridley Scott was very dismayed to find that the columns of the office had been built upside down; rearranging them took several hours. After two weeks of shooting, he decided he didn't like the lighting for the scenes, and ordered everything to be reshot from scratch. This not only put the film two weeks behind schedule only two weeks into the shoot, but also created a major conflict between Scott and the camera crew, headed by director of photography Jordan Cronenweth. Scott's perfectionism throughout production would often cause delays when sets or lighting had to be changed on the spot, and many unused takes were printed at considerable costs, causing the budget to inflate rather quickly. This also put a strain on his relation with the film's producers, but Scott stood his ground, and maintained that his background in commercials and keen eye for detail was exactly the reason they had hired them.
One of David Webb Peoples's early screenplays opened the movie on an Off-World Termination Dump, where three dead replicants were to be disposed of. Peoples reused this idea of discarding dead servants on an off-world colony dump in his screenplay for Soldier (1998), which he considered a 'side-quel' to Blade Runner (1982) (i.e. an unrelated movie taking place in the same fictional universe).
As Gaff takes Deckard to see Bryant in his flying police car, a brief shot of a monitor appears which displays an 'Environmental CTR Purge' screen. The exact same screen is used in Alien (1979) as Ripley starts up and launches the shuttle (the :Narcissus"). The graphic also has a line art animation of the Narcissus being lowered immediately before launching.
Ridley Scott had decided to cast Frank McRae as Leon until he saw Brion James's audition. After the audition, Scott's secretary told him that James frightened her, and upon hearing that, Scott offered James the role.
In an infamous incident, author Philip K. Dick publicly denounced the film after reading an early Hampton Fancher script. In the February 15, 1981 edition of 'Select TV Guide', Dick mocked the script (calling it "Phillip Marlowe meets The Stepford Wives (1975)") and Ridley Scott's previous film, Alien (1979). He then mailed a copy of the article to the 'Blade Runner' production offices. Ultimately, Dick would change his opinion about the project, largely due to the involvement of Jeffrey Walker, a publicist for the Ladd Company, who convinced Warner Bros. that Dick needed to be involved in the project (the original production company, Filmways Inc, had basically ignored Dick and kept him out of the loop). Walker kept Dick abreast of all major developments behind the scenes, and Dick eventually became a supporter of the film, even though Ridley Scott and he did not meet until after principal photography had wrapped.
Titles considered for the film include 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?', 'Android', 'Mechanismo', 'Dangerous Days', and finally 'Blade Runner'. After the film had changed its name from 'Dangerous Days' to 'Blade Runner', Ridley Scott decided he didn't like the new name, and tried to call the film 'Gotham City', but Bob Kane (comic book creator of Batman) wouldn't sell the rights to the name, so it returned to being called 'Blade Runner'. Conversely, director Christopher Nolan admitted that 'Blade Runner' was a huge influence on his Batman Begins (2005). The title 'Dangerous Days' would later be used in Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner (2007), the feature-length making-of documentary of the film.
Daryl Hannah's make up was inspired by the titular character in Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979).
While the film is loosely based on Philip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", the title comes from a book by Alan Nourse called "The Bladerunner". William S. Burroughs wrote a screenplay based on the Nourse book and a novella entitled "Blade Runner: A Movie." Ridley Scott bought the rights to the title but not the screenplay or the book. The Burroughs composition defines a blade runner as "a person who sells illegal surgical instruments".
Harrison Ford cites Blade Runner as one of the most frustrating films he's ever made, partly because the shoot was so grueling, and the changes in post-production that were meant to help the film's chances at the box-office didn't.
Ridley Scott initially toyed with the idea of setting the film in the fictional city of San Angeles; as if San Francisco and Los Angeles had become one massive population center. This idea was used in Demolition Man (1993).
William Sanderson researched his character by looking into real-life cases of progeria, the advanced aging disease that J.F. Sebastian suffers from.
Cityspeak was Edward James Olmos's idea. He has since been amazed at how prescient it was vis-a-vis the increasing multicultural influence Los Angeles has experienced in the intervening years.
Tyrell's bedchamber was modeled on that of the Pope's in Rome.
Philip K. Dick personally approved of Rutger Hauer, describing him as, "the perfect Batty-cold, Aryan, flawless".
In 1969, Martin Scorsese and Jay Cocks met Philip K. Dick to discuss the possibility of adapting the novel into a film, but they never optioned the novel, and the project fell through.
Rutger Hauer bought a yacht with part of the salary he made on the film. He christened his ship "The Bladerunner".
The novel hints at the "Is Deckard a Replicant?" problem by having Deckard casually mention that one indicator of an android is a lack of sympathy for other androids. His interlocutor then points out that, given his job, this means that Deckard could be one too.
The film suffered at the box office, because it opened at the same time as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). The movie The Thing (1982) suffered a similar fate due to the same reason. Although there was praise for the visual style, word of mouth about the film's slow pace and bleak themes quickly caused a decrease in attendance ratings. Both movies would later reach cult status and receive critical praise.
Ridley Scott and Jane Feinberg disagreed over the casting of Sean Young as Rachel. Scott preferred Young while Feinberg and actor Morgan Paull who screen tested with the auditioning actresses, preferred Nina Axelrod, fearing that Young, a more inexperienced performer, would not be up to the role as she had deviated from direction in screen tests. Scott insisted on Young, who he saw as a Vivien Leigh type.
The trash seen throughout J.F. Sebastian's apartment building is referred to in Philip K. Dick's novel as "kipple" - defined as a massing of small, useless, discarded items such as gum wrappers and matchbooks. In the novel, Sebastian gives Pris a prolonged lecture on the nature of kipple and how it seems to self-multiply, and how he can't rid his world of it.
Due to an imminent strike among the crew near the end of photography, the shooting schedule became extremely long and rushed. Rutger Hauer became so exhausted that he excused himself from his final scene, went back to his hotel and collapsed. When he returned to the set the next day, the strike had been averted and he was able to finish his scenes properly.
The story of the spider being eaten alive by an army of baby spiders was a memory of Barbara Hershey, who told it to Hampton Fancher whilst he was composing the script.
The Bradbury Building, J.F Sebastian's home and location of the final chase sequence, is a Los Angeles landmark used in many Hollywood movies including: D.O.A. (1950), M (1951), I, the Jury (1953), Indestructible Man (1956), Good Neighbor Sam (1964), Marlowe (1969), The Night Strangler (1973), Chinatown (1974), Avenging Angel (1985), Murphy's Law (1986), Wolf (1994), Disclosure (1994), Lethal Weapon 4 (1998), Pay It Forward (2000), (500) Days of Summer (2009), and most recently in The Artist (2011). The Bradbury has also been used in countless television series. By the time that Blade Runner was filmed, it was actually in relatively poor condition, which was just right for production. The crew was allowed to shoot there as long as they left the building in the state that they found it in. To simulate the dusty interior, the crew spread ground cork over the floor which looked exactly right on camera. It also had the advantage that it absorbed all the water that was used to simulate leakage; at the end of shooting, they only had to mop up the soaked cork to clean up.
Just prior to the film's release, Philip K. Dick turned down a $400,000 offer to write the novelization of the movie. Instead, 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep' was re-released under the name 'Blade Runner' and with the movie poster as the cover.
Although Philip K. Dick died before the film's release, he had read David Webb Peoples's rewrite of the screenplay and thoroughly approved of it.
This was one of the first major films to be reissued years later in a "director's edition" in which the director was allowed to restore edited footage or otherwise make changes more closely reflecting their original vision. Today, such later "revision" of films is commonplace. The first director's version of this film was released in 1992 on the 10th anniversary of the film's original release. The 2nd release was in 2007, on the film's 25th anniversary.
It is often claimed by fans that the moves Roy plays to checkmate Tyrell are from a famous game played in 1851 between Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritzky, known as "The Immortal Game". In the real game, Anderssen did actually sacrifice his Queen in order to force checkmate in very next move. However, Ridley Scott has stated that any similarities to the real game in the movie game were purely coincidental. In any case, the position of the pieces on Sebastian's board do not correspond with the positions on Tyrell's board.
Rick Deckard is only called by his surname. He is not called by his first name throughout the film.
For the scene in the bathroom where Deckard finds the snake scale, Deckard is played by Harrison Ford's double Vic Armstrong as the scene was shot in England as a pickup, and Ford was unavailable at the time. At the time, Armstrong bore such a resemblance to Ford that he later doubled for Ford in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984).
A lot of the hats that the passers-by wear in the streets were actually baskets purchased from Pier One.
After Philip K. Dick saw Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard in the filming set, Dick declared: "He has been more Deckard than I had imagined. It has been incredible. Deckard exists!".
As Batty and Tyrell talk about how to prolong replicant lifespans, Batty suggests a process involving "EMS". Tyrell responds by saying that "Ethyl methanesulfonate" was tried unsuccessfully. Ethyl methanesulfonate is an actual organic compound with mutagenic and teratogenic qualities, used in genetics.
One of the Spinners from the film (the levitating car) is on permanent exhibit at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, Washington.
Harrison Ford became a spokesman for Japanese electronics throughout the 1980s following his role in this film.
Originally, the novel (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) was set in 1992, although later editions brought the date forward to 2021. The film makers initially identified the date as 2020, but settled on 2019 because 2020 sounded too much like the common term for perfect vision, 20:20.
It took 3 hours to glue all the sequins onto Joanna Cassidy.
Batty paraphrases William Blake's poem "America - a Prophecy" when he appears in Chew's laboratory. The original phrasing from the poem is "Fiery the Angels rose, and as they rose deep thunder roll'd around their shores: indignant burning with the fires of Orc."
In the strange Japanese advertisement shown on the side of a blimp, in which a Geisha-like woman is swallowing a pill, the loud speakers play a line from a Japanese Noh play, saying "Iri Hi Katamuku," literally "the setting sun sinks down." According to special photographics effects supervisor David Dryer the pills being swallowed are birth control pills.
Ridley Scott actually turned down directorial duties on the project as he was about to begin work on another science fiction adaptation, Dune (1984) and was also prepping a version of 'Tristan & Isolde'. Michael Apted, Bruce Beresford and Adrian Lyne also turned down the script. Eventually, Robert Mulligan was hired to direct the picture, and he and Hampton Fancher set about rewriting the screenplay. However, they disagreed about the direction of the project, and Mulligan left after three months. When Scott was presented with a revised version of the script, after he had left Dune (1984) due to a lack of progress, he decided to make it to take his mind off his brother Frank's recent death.It is generally believed that Scott's feelings about his brother's passing have strongly influenced the movie's dark atmosphere.
In an essay titled "Notes on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?", written the same year the novel was published (1968), Philip K. Dick speculated about a possible film adaptation of the novel. His casting choices were Gregory Peck for Deckard, Dean Stockwell as Isidore (Sebastian), and Grace Slick as Rachael. Dick suggested that the novel's subplot about Deckard being brought to a phony police station run by androids could be eliminated, and proposed a new scene which would show Deckard making love to Rachael inter-cut with Isidore trying to do the same with Pris and comically failing. He further suggested that Deckard's estrangement from Rachael following their lovemaking could be shown to aid him in his mission to kill Pris (who, in the novel, looks identical to Rachael).
The scene with Chew was shot in a freezer and was ice cold, so the cast really were shivering.
As well as using Edward Hopper's painting 'Nighthawks' for visual inspiration during the making of the film, director Ridley Scott also used the French comic strip 'Métal hurlant', especially the artwork of Moebius in the story, 'The Long Tomorrow'. In fact, Moebius was asked if he would like to work on the film, but he turned down the opportunity to work instead on Les maîtres du temps (1982), a decision he always regretted.
According to Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner (2007), an actors' strike gave the art department plenty of extra time to develop the design of the film. Pre-production lasted nine and a half months. More than 400 carpenters, painters, and plasterers worked on the sets, for 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, for five and a half months.
This is Ridley Scott's favorite movie of his own.
Ridley Scott initially wanted a more action-packed opening scene that would have set-up Deckard's ruthless character. It would have taken place in a house on the countryside where Deckard is silently sitting and waiting, while a pot of soup is boiling on a fire. Suddenly a man comes in wearing a protection suit and gas mask. He notices Deckard but ignores him, instead going to take some soup. He then addresses Deckard, but Deckard simply shoots him without saying a word, and then proceeds by removing the man's artificial lower jaw, proving that the victim is a Replicant. The idea was abandoned in later drafts.
The Director's Cut (released in 1991) is actually a bit of a misnomer as Ridley Scott didn't personally work on it. He was too busy working on 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992) at the time, so the team working on it attempted to get it as close to Scott's vision as possible. However, time constraints prevented them from including all of Scott's wishes. It wasn't until the Final Cut (released in 2007) that Scott supervised a new version that he could genuinely call his 'Director's cut'.
Translation of entire noodle-bar scene: Upon a seat becoming free at the counter, the Sushi Master (Bob Okazaki) shouts to Deckard (Harrison Ford), "Akimashita, akimashita! Irasshai, irasshai". In Japanese, "Akimashita" is the past tense of "aku", which means 'to become free'; "Irasshai" means "Welcome". So the Sushi Master is pointing at the seat and saying "It's free, it's free. Welcome, welcome". When Deckard approaches the bar, the Master says "Sa dozo", meaning "Come, please", followed by "Nan ni shimasho ka?", meaning, "What'll it be?" When Deckard asks for four, the master replies, "Futatsu de jubun desu yo", meaning "Two is enough" (he repeats this twice). When Gaff (Edward James Olmos) and a uniformed policeman approach Deckard, at first the policeman says, "Hey, idi-wa", Korean for: "Hey, come here". Gaff then says "Monsieur, azonnal kövessen engem bitte". "Monsieur" is French for Sir; "azonnal" is Hungarian for "immediately"; "kövessen" is the Hungarian imperative "to follow"; "engem" means "me"; "bitte" is German for "please". So a translation is "Sir, follow me immediately please". When Deckard tells Gaff that he's got the wrong person, Gaff says "Lófaszt, nehogy már. Te vagy a Blade ... Blade Runner". In Hungarian, "Lófaszt" is a rude expression. "Lo" means "horse" and "fasz" means "prick" or "dick". (The "t" is added at the end because of the rules of Hungarian grammar.) This expression is basically the equivalent of saying "Bullshit" in English. "Nehogy már" means "no way" in English. "Te vagy" means "you are", and "a" means "the". As such, a close literal translation is "Bullshit, no way, you're the Blade...Blade Runner". Gaff then says, "Captain Bryant toka. Me ni omae yo". This is based on Japanese, but is not strictly Japanese in structure. "Captain Bryant toka" is probably a version of "Captain Bryanto ga", meaning, "Captain Bryant is the subject of this sentence". "Me ni mae" means "to meet someone"; "omae" is the informal way of saying "you", and "yo" is simply an exclamation. As such, the translation would be "Captain Bryant. He wants to see you!"
When we first see Deckard driving his sedan, it's raining but the windscreen wipers are not switched on. This was because the wipers on the stage prop were not working.
Ridley Scott has always maintained that the film is a piece of entertainment, nothing more. In fact, when he met Philip K. Dick during the post production process, he specifically told Dick that he was uninterested in "making an esoteric film."
Ridley Scott told NPR's All Things Considered that he originally wanted Deckard to wear a 1940s-style hat throughout the film, considering that Deckard was to be a hard-boiled detective type not unlike many 1940s' film noirs. However, Scott decided against that once he saw Harrison Ford's Indiana Jones costume (including the brown fedora) for Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), which was shot directly before Blade Runner (1982).
Model maker Mark Stetson built the Voight-Kampff machine seen in the film over a single weekend.
This film is dedicated in memory of Ridley Scott's brother Frank Scott, who died in 1980 before this film was made.
In 1997, a video game was produced as a "sidequel" to this film (that is, a story set during the time frame of this film which crosses over with the main action), reuniting actors Sean Young, James Hong, William Sanderson, Joe Turkel and Brion James, all of whom reprised their roles. The game also makes mention of Dekard, Holden, Gaff, and Bryant.
Dustin Hoffman was the original choice to play Deckard, although he wondered why he was asked to play a "macho character". According to Ridley Scott, Hoffman was interested, but wanted to make it a whole different kind of character. According to Paul Sammon, apart from Hoffman, other actors considered for the role included Tommy Lee Jones, Gene Hackman, Sean Connery, Jack Nicholson, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Al Pacino, Burt Reynolds, William Devane, Raul Julia, Scott Glenn, Frederic Forrest, Robert Duvall, Judd Hirsch, Cliff Gorman, Peter Falk, Nick Nolte and Christopher Walken. Martin Sheen was offered the role, but he turned it down, as he was exhausted, having come off Apocalypse Now (1979).
At one point in the film, Deckard buys a bottle of Tsingtao from a street vendor. Tsingtao is a real Chinese beer, created in 1903 and still being produced. It is one of China's most successful beers and has also appeared in other films such as Gran Torino (2008) and The Crow (1994).
Rutger Hauer was chosen for the role of Roy Batty because of his Teutonic, non-identifiable American looks.
The release of the official soundtrack recording was delayed for over a decade. There are two official releases of the music from the film. In light of the lack of a release of an album, the New American Orchestra recorded an orchestral adaptation in 1982 which bore little resemblance to the original. Some of the film tracks would, in 1989, surface on the compilation Vangelis: Themes, but not until the 1992 release of the Director's Cut version would a substantial amount of the film's score see commercial release.
Moebius was offered the opportunity to assist in the pre-production, but he declined so that he could work on Les maîtres du temps (1982) - a decision that he later regretted.
The model of Tyrell's pyramid was 9 feet square at the base and 2½ feet high, a ratio of 1:750. It was made out of Plexiglas and then painted black. The paint was scratched out where there were supposed to be windows. A powerful light was placed inside to show those windows being lit. Because the light was very hot and filming the model took a lot of time, it ultimately caught fire and melted. Fortunately, this happened near the end of the shoot when the necessary shots had been completed. Parts of the model are on exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, New York City.
The famous skyscrapers, which shoot flames from their summits in the opening shot of the movie, are found in oil refineries. Called "flare stacks", they are used to burn excess gases typically during process upsets. The large pulses of flame are unusual and would indicate a significant problem in the process.
Only days away from the beginning of principal photography, production company Filmways Inc., who had promised to provide $15 million for the production, withdrew from the project, investing the money in Brian De Palma's Blow Out (1981) instead. In only a matter of days, producer Michael Deeley was able to broker a $22 million three-way deal with Tandem Pictures, the Ladd Company (through Warner Bros.) and Hong Kong producer Sir Run Run Shaw (20th Century Fox, United Artists and Universal all turned the project down). The Ladd Company provided $7½ million and took domestic distribution rights. Sir Run Run Shaw also provided $7½ million and took international distribution rights. Tandem Pictures provided $7 million and took ancillary distribution rights (TV, home video etc). Tandem also provided the completion guarantee on the proviso that if the film went over its $22 million budget by 10% or more, they would pay for it but they could assume complete artistic control of the project. Ultimately, the film cost $28 million, and executive producers Jerry Perenchio and Bud Yorkin did indeed take over the project.
The Blade Runner Definitive Cut project (which ultimately became the Final Cut) was initially announced in 2000, with producer Charles de Lauzirika placed in-charge in 2001 working towards a late 2002 release of a special edition DVD. Lauzirika worked on the project for seven months, assembling a rough cut of what became the Final Cut. However, rights issues between Warner and The Blade Runner Partnership (which owns the film) became a problem, and the proposed DVD was scrapped. Lauzirika continued to compile and develop supplemental content for the project on his own in the interim. However, in May 2006, all outstanding legal issues were resolved, and Lauzirika once more began work on a new cut of the film, which was released theatrically in October, 2007 and on a special edition DVD in December, 2007.
In 2000, Moviemail voted Blade Runner (1982) the 4th best film of all time. Also in 2000, BBC viewers voted it the 2nd best film ever made. In 2001, Empire magazine voted it the 16th best film of all time. In 2002, it was voted the 8th best film of all time in Channel 4's 100 Greatest Films poll. The same year, the Online Film Critics Society voted it the 2nd best science fiction film ever, whilst also in 2002, Wired magazine voted it the best science fiction movie of all time. Also in 2002, Sight & Sound voted it the 7th best film of the last 25 years. In 2004, in a poll amongst 60 prominent scientists, The Guardian also voted it the best science fiction film ever. In 2007, the American Film Institute (which is notoriously reticent to allow science fiction films into their top 100) listed it as the 97th greatest film of all time, and Empire magazine voted it the Best Science Fiction Film Ever Made in 2007. Also in 2007, it was named the 2nd most visually influential film of all time by the Visual Effects Society. In 2008, it was voted the 6th best science fiction film ever made as part of the AFI's 10 Top 10 lists. Also in 2008, New Scientist readers voted it the best science fiction film ever made. It is currently ranked the 3rd best film of all time by The Screen Directory and the best science fiction film of all time at Futurist Movies.
Exasperated crews often referred to the film as "Blood Runner".
Ridley Scott got the inspiration for the opening futurescape shots of LA from the industrial landscape of Teeside, UK, while driving to his hometown of Stockton-on-Tees. The two skylines look very similar.
Debbie Harry was reportedly the original choice to play Pris.
The film takes place in November 2019.
Daryl Hannah still has the blonde wig she wore playing Pris.
Ridley Scott has recently said that the film shares a universe with the "Alien" Franchise, which is alluded to in the Weyland Files TED talk with Peter Weyland from the "Prometheus" movie. There are now plans for two sequels to Prometheus to connect the film more closely with Alien, the first of which being Alien: Covenant. Beyond that, in the unofficial canon the "Alien" and "Predator" Franchises share a universe as shown in the "Alien vs Predator" movies. And finally, the Firefly series alludes to the Weyland-Yutani company of the Alien franchise in the first episode (both Firefly and Alien: Resurrection being projects involving Joss Whedon). In total this means that 5 different movie franchises (Blade Runner (1 Film & 1 planned sequel), Alien (5 Films & 3 planned sequels), Predator (3 Films, 1 planned sequel), Alien vs Predator (2 Films) & Firefly (1 Television Series, 1 film) could share a universe.
The hero blaster being used by Harrison Ford was believed to have been lost after production wrap. However, it was displayed at a convention celebrating the 25th anniversary of the film. For 25 years it was kept in the dark by a private collector, Jeff Walker. Later it was sold to another private collector for USD$270,000 in 2009.
Deckard's gun was based upon a real-life gun, but not a pistol. It was, rather, a double-trigger bolt-action rifle smithed by the Austrian company Steyr-Mannlicher. The propmakers cut the barrel and the stock off the gun, added a curved pistol grip and some LED's, and a legend was born. The only problem, of course, was that the gun weighed so much, nearly twice what a normal pistol weighed, and that it was chambered for 5.56mm ammunition, which required the use of special blanks when it was fired on the set.
A Spinner is on permanent exhibit at the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle, Washington.
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Philip K. Dick's ideal choice for Rachel was Victoria Principal. Although almost one hundred actresses auditioned for the role, only three were seriously considered: Sean Young, Nina Axelrod and Barbara Hershey. For the auditions, the role of Deckard was played by Morgan Paull, who ultimately went on to play Holden in the film.
The first screenplay based on 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' was not written by Hampton Fancher as is often claimed, but by Robert Jaffe, whose company, Herb Jaffe Associates, had purchased the rights to the novel. According to author Philip K. Dick, Jaffe turned the novel into a comedy spoof, which Dick absolutely detested. Herb Jaffe Associates' option ran out in 1977, which is when Fancher became involved. Fancher had wanted to do an adaptation of William S. Burroughs' 'Naked Lunch', but the deal fell through, and he turned to 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep'.
The iconic blue eye seen at the beginning of the movie, where Los Angeles is reflected, belongs Morgan Paull, who plays Holden.
Make-up designer Michael Westmore credits Sean Young with having the most perfect lips.
According to Hampton Fancher he originally wrote the role of Deckard for Robert Mitchum and the role of Tyrell with Sterling Hayden in mind. Mitchum was a logical choice due to his many detective roles in film noirs, of which Blade Runner was supposed to be a modern update.
Pete Townshend was at one point asked to compose the music for the film. He declined due to his experiences on Tommy (1975)
Joanna Cassidy felt very self-conscious about basically parading around naked for most of her scenes.
Ridley Scott initially considered shooting in Hong Kong.
Those are real tears running down Sean Young's cheeks in the scene where Deckard tells Rachel that she is a replicant.
Originally, Tandem Productions didn't want to have a written credit sequence at the start of the movie; they wanted rain effects on a black screen, with the credits narrated by Harrison Ford.
Ralph Bakshi was asked to direct (possibly making an animated adaptation of the book), but he declined.
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Ridley Scott, a big fan of Strange Behavior (1981), insisted on giving Sean Young a hairdo similar to the one Fiona Lewis sports in that film.
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Hampton Fancher may have written as much as 10 different drafts of his screenplay while he was trying to include many of the ideas of director Ridley Scott. Although Scott and the producers loved Fancher's writing, there were concerns that his screenplay was too 'cerebral' and would not translate well to the screen. David Webb Peoples was brought in, and although he thought Fancher's screenplay was already perfect, he was asked to ground it more into reality, and add 'movement' to the story. Although Fancher was initially upset about the re-write, he later praised Peoples' changes.
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There were much more ideas for the depiction of future Los Angeles. Concept art by Syd Mead also included enormous freeways and more monumental buildings. However, budgetary constraints prevented these from being realized. INstead, existing buildings on the studio's backlot were modified to give them a bleak futuristic appearance. Since much of the enhancements were made from cheap materials that could be easily discerned on camera, director Ridley Scott employed copious use of darkness, rain and smoke to successfully sell the illusion.
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When the movie was green-lit, the screenplay was still being re-written, and due to ideas being added to it, more money was necessary. Several parties were hastily approached, and different agreements regarding distribution rights and creative control had to be made to secure the budget on time, as the date of principle photography was approaching. This complicated rights issue is one of the reasons why there are several different versions of the movie, and why it took decades before Ridley Scott was able to make his 'Final Cut'.
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Christopher Nolan sites this as one of his major influences as a filmmaker. Other great admirers of the film include Guillermo del Toro, Frank Darabont and Tony Scott. Although del Toro preferred the theatrical cut for its effective use of voice-overs, Darabont stated he hates them, and prefers the later cuts without them.
Hy Pyke filmed his scene in a single take, something almost unheard-of with Ridley Scott whose drive for perfection resulted at times in double-digit takes.
In the Spanish release, the prologue at the beginning where the history about the Replicants is explained was narrated by Constantino Romero, who also played the dubbed voice over Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer). It establishes the concept that Roy Batty tales the origin about himself and the Replicants.
The set that was used during the climax of the film was later used in the music video for the song Tonight, Tonight, Tonight by Genesis in 1986.
The police offices constructed in Union Station, Los Angeles for the filming still stand till today, in use as station offices. The crew was able to get a little bit of a discount if Union Station officials agreed to keep the set for practical use after filming was over.
The brand of cigarettes smoked by the characters Rachael, Holden, and Pris are Boyard, French cigarettes.
Some of the Lord of Darkness' palace interiors from Legend (1985) (most notably, the huge, spiraling columns) were featured in this film.
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The rooftop chase climax was a combination of live-action shots of Harrison Ford combined with a matte painting.
Joe Pantoliano was considered for the role of J.F. Sebastian.
Deckard's whiskey glasses and bottle, trenchcoat and even the tiles in his apartment have been made into real (albeit insanely expensive) products. Even the neon light umbrellas are available from Thinkgeek
About two/thirds of the neon signs seen in the streets were re-purposed from One from the Heart (1981), most noticeably the kicking cowgirl sign.
For the role of Pris, Ridley Scott had initially wanted to cast Dutch actress Monique van de Ven after being impressed with her performance in Turkish Delight (1973) (in which she formed a couple with Rutger Hauer, who was cast as Roy Batty). However, according to the book 'Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner', Scott wanted her for the part of Rachael instead.
Syd Mead's conceptual drawings for the spinner were transformed into 25 working vehicles by automobile customizer Gene Winfield.
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Deckard's red Spinner (flying cop car) is on permanent display at the American Police Hall of Fame Museum in Titusville, Florida.
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There are a total of three origami creatures made by Gaff. The first is a chicken, which he makes from plain paper while Deckard is trying to "chicken out", The second is a man, which he makes of a used and discarded paper match (a burning man, as it were) while Deckard is searching Leon's apartment. The third is a silver unicorn, which he makes outside Deckard's apartment while deciding whether to kill Rachael. Later, when arriving on the rooftop after Roy dies, Gaff says to Deckard that it is over, inferring that all five replicants (including Rachael) were dead. Instead of killing her, Gaff decides to let Deckard pursue his dream, symbolized by the third origami creation - a unicorn made not from paper but from silver foil.

The dream is both allegorical and real, as Deckard actually does dream of a unicorn. An unanswered question in the film is that of whether Deckard is human or otherwise. (Rachel asks him if he'd ever taken the Voight-Kampff test and his lack of response might be taken as a no.) It should also be noted that at one point Deckard describes two dreams that were taken from Tyrell's niece and that in Deckard's own dream there was a unicorn, which poses the question: Was Gaff's choice of a unicorn simply symbolic of a quest for something both beautiful and impossible, or was it taken from Deckard's own dream, which would then point to Deckard himself being a replicant. The humanity of Deckard was left up to the audience to decide.
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Ridley Scott also used "Memories of Green" from the Vangelis album See You Later in the film. He would later use an orchestral version in Someone to Watch Over Me (1987).
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The outtakes link between this movie and The Shining (1980) was not the only element that connected the two. Actor Joe Turkel who plays Dr. Eldon Tyrell, also played Lloyd (the bartender who serves Jack) in The Shining (1980). Outtakes aside, Turkel is the only other common cast/crew link between both films.
Over the course of a year, producer Michael Deeley turned down the project 8 times before finally agreeing to get involved.
The miniature from Dark Star (1974) can be seen in the background near the police station.
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The movie was released in 1982, fourteen years later of the first publication of the original novel (1968).
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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On the right side of the door to the eye specialist is the sign, "l a Eyeworks" which is a reference to a trendy eyeglass store in LA. The type-style is the same as the store.
Joe Turkel played a World War 1 soldier put on trial for cowardice in Paths of Glory (1957). In that film, the prosecuting attorney asked him how many meters he'd advanced before retreating. When Turkel equivocated, the prosecuting attorney forcefully replied, "HOW, many meters?"

In "Blade Runner", Joe Turkel played Mr. Tyrell. When he asked Harrison Ford's character how many questions it usually took to spot a replicant, and Ford equivocated, Turkel responded with, "HOW, many questions?" in the same tone of voice that the prosecuting attorney used on him in "Paths of Glory".
Achieved cult film status upon its re-release in 1992.
During Rachel's voight-kampf test, there's a close up of her eyes there green. In reality Sean Young who plays Rachel has brown eyes.
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Sebastian's Robots say "Home again, home again, jiggety-jig" which is from "To Market" by "Old Mother Goose".
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The point of Harrison Ford's narration in the film, was because it was a futuristic film-noir and Ford's narration was there to explain the world of the film and about the characters and it was being told from Deckard's point of view.
When David Webb Peoples was hired to rewrite Hampton Fancher's script, Fancher quit the production. He would later return to do some rewrites, and predicted that he would not go along with Peoples, but the two men unexpectedly became friends.
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The incept (birth) date of Pris (Daryl Hannah), a "basic pleasure model," is Valentine's Day, 14 February 2016.
One of Sebastian's friends in his apartment, the teddy bear in a Napoleonic uniform was used on a Michael Whelan cover for the collection Hoka! by Gordon R. Dickson and Poul Anderson, from their short story, The Napoleon Crime.
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Deckard police badge's as Blade Runner is 26354, and the number of his apartment is 9732.
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Grace Jones was considered to play Rachel.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger was considered to play Rick Deckard which went to Harrison Ford. Two years later, Arnold starred in The Terminator (1984) by James Cameron who wrote and directed Aliens (1986), the sequel to Alien (1979) which was directed by Ridley Scott. Arnold later worked with Ford on The Expendables 3 (2014).
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According to 'The Guardian' newspaper (Tuesday, 22 June 2010), Blade Runner (1982) was the 11th highest grossing film in the UK for the previous week. This was because of an independent screening in London, of 8 showings over 6 days. "The premium-priced, experience-oriented presentation of Blade Runner sold 7,000 tickets, generating gross revenues of around £136,000, according to organisers".
The phone call Deckard makes to Rachael in the Taffy Lewis' night club has a length of 28 seconds and a charge of 1.25 $. This implies that the cost of a single phone call is approximately of 0.04 $ per second (2.40 $ per minute and 144 $ per hour).
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Music video for the 1997 song Forest Ranger by the rock band Plexi uses imagery inspired by the movie.
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Even though Roger Ebert gave the film a mixed-to-negative review on its initial release, he later included it on his "Great Movies" list.
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The title actually came from Alan E. Nourse, The Bladerunner (novel). They were traffickers of surgical tools. (For example scalpel). That's why it's so oddly related with the film.
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Roy Batty's first spoken line, as his hand is cramping up, is "Time enough," a line said by Hamm, a character in Samuel Beckett's play, 'Endgame'.
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Hampton Fancher's screenplay was optioned in 1977.
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A poster of the film can seen in Superman III (1983) in the scene which Evil Superman fights Clark Kent in the junkyard.
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Brion James would later play a cyborg again in Nemesis (1992).
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Ranked #9 in Entertainment Weekly's "Top 50 Cult Films of All-Time."
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The traffic lights say "prosiga" in spanish then they say walk.
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M. Emmet Walsh later plays a character named Willard Tyrell Bass in A Time to Kill (1996).
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Rachael's phone number is 555-7583.
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The photo analysis technology allows Deckard to see around corners, as if the photo had multiple layers of images from multiple angles. This presages the "bullet time" multiple still camera technique developed by the Wachowskis for the Matrix series that enable them to seemingly dolly the camera while the image is frozen in time.

It should be noted that a recent development in photography is for a camera (ranging from an iPhone 6 Plus to a specialty camera such as the Lytro Illum) to take multiple photos simultaneously with a range of focus settings. The advantage is that after the image is captured, the editor can select various regions of the image and dial in the focus and depth of field as desired. This is simulated in the way that Deckard can choose a camera angle and focus from a seemingly 2-D photograph.
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Rachael's initial hairstyle is reminiscent of that from the 1935 film 'Anna Karenina".
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Rachael's lifespan is not stated in the film. Deckard states that he did not look at it. As stated in the narration, the age limit is something that is added to the replicant process and not stated to be a baseline attribute of the replication process. As Rachael is described as a replica of Tyrell's niece, it is likely that he would have wanted her to live longer than four years.
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Director Trademark 

Ridley Scott: [Mothers] Leon shoots his interviewer just as he is asked a question about his mother.
Ridley Scott: [opening scroll] The movie opens with a scroll about the replicants and the Blade Runners.
Ridley Scott: [ceiling fan] There is a large ceiling fan in the scene with Leon and Holden.

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Director Ridley Scott and actor Harrison Ford had disagreements about the script almost from the very start. Ford hated the voiceover which Scott was proposing, suggesting that it was better to show most of the things that the voice over was telling, in order to give Deckard some actual detective work to do. Ford also found working with Scott quite frustrating; having recently worked with Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola, Ford was used to directors giving him valuable input about his character, whereas Scott was primarily concerned with the sets and pictures (Scott maintained that Ford was a professional actor who didn't need his input). Lastly, Ford was against the idea that Deckard may be a replicant, feeling it undercut the human story of Deckard discovering his lost humanity (Rutger Hauer agreed completely with Ford on this point). According to Ford, Ridley Scott and he agreed prior to shooting that Deckard was not a replicant, but then Scott went and shot it to imply he could be, which disappointed both Ford and Hauer.
Originally, Roy Batty was to have a lengthy monologue just prior to his death, as written by David Webb Peoples. Rutger Hauer felt the text was much too technical, and used way too much location the audience could not relate to. This didn't help in creating any dramatic impact in the scene, so he removed much, keeping the pieces he liked, and then added the last two lines, "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die."
The idea for Roy to release a dove after he dies was Rutger Hauer's. The dove was supposed to release itself and fly away just after Batty's death. However, while filming the scene, the large amount of water used for the rain soaked the dove, rendering it unable to fly. Instead it simply hopped out of Batty's hand and walked away.
At some point of the movie, each replicant has a red brightness in their eyes. It is most prominently seen in the Replicant owl at Tyrell's office. Leon has the red glow during his V-K test, like Rachael during her test; Rachael also has the glow in Deckard's home; Pris in Sebastian's. Zhora has the glow while in the club; Roy has the glow several times, most prominently while killing Tyrell. Deckard also has the shining in his eyes while talking to Rachael in his house. In July 2000, director Ridley Scott confirmed that Deckard is, in fact, a replicant. Harrison Ford takes issue with this, however. "We had agreed that he definitely was not a replicant," Ford said. In his autobiography, Rutger Hauer expressed some disappointment with Scott's revelation, because he felt that it reduced the final clash between Deckard and Batty from a symbolic "man vs. machine" battle to two replicants fighting.
The scene where Zhora (Joanna Cassidy) crashes through the sheets of glass was shot near the end of production. The budget and time were running out, so the scene had to be done quite hastily. This caused some obvious continuity problems, since it clearly wasn't Cassidy doing the scene; it's actually stuntwoman Lee Pulford wearing a bad wig that someone just happened to bring to the set. For the Final Cut of the film, one day of entirely new shooting took place - which has become known as the Greenscreen Shoot. New footage of Cassidy was shot and face replacement technology was used to digitally replace Pulford's face with Cassidy's. Not only was Cassidy thrilled that Zhora's costume still fit her, but the crew working on the shot were amazed at how easily Cassidy was able to exactly mimic her actions from 25 years before.
A female gymnast was hired as a stunt double for Daryl Hannah in the scene where Pris attacks Deckard, but director Ridley Scott rehearsed the scene so many times that when they were ready to shoot the scene she was too exhausted to do anything. The scene was filmed with a male gymnast that they had been able to track down during the lunch break.
Deckard does not say one word to Roy Batty during their confrontation at the end of the film.
Ridley Scott has considered directing a sequel to this film at various times. Some sequel scripts were published as novels. While working on the Final Cut DVD in 2007, Scott again considered a follow-up detailing the lives of Rachel and Deckard after the events of the first film. Actress Sean Young expressed great interest in reprising her character. At the 2007 Comic-Con, Scott again announced that he is considering a sequel to the film, and by September 2008, Travis Wright was writing the screenplay, working in conjunction with John Glenn. According to Glenn, the script would explore the nature of the Off-World colonies, and examine what happened to the Tyrell Corporation in the wake of its founder's death. As of March 2011, Broderick Johnson and Andrew A. Kosove of Alcon Entertainment were negotiating for the film, television and ancillary franchise rights from producer-director Bud Yorkin. Johnson and Kosove were serving as producers to a sequel and/or prequel. The sequel, called Blade Runner 2049 (2017) was finally scheduled for a late 2017 release, with Denis Villeneuve directing and Scott staying on as one of the producers. The screenplay has been written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green.
Deckard only kills Replicant women (Pris and Zhora). Leon is killed by Rachael and Roy dies due to his inner termination date.
The dialog in all releases of the movie prior to the Final Cut alludes to another replicant who dies before Deckard's final battles with Pris and Batty. The conflicting dialog occurs in the first conversation between Deckard and Bryant. Bryant initially tells Deckard there are four "skin jobs" on the loose, but minutes later says six escaped, and one was killed by the "electronic gate", which should leave five. The explanation is that the script originally contained an additional replicant named "Mary", but time and budgetary constraints resulted in her being written out. The role was removed at such a late stage, that it had already been cast. Mary was to be played by Stacey Nelkin. Nelkin had auditioned for the role of Pris, but after her audition, she was offered Mary instead. M. Emmet Walsh who plays Bryant, reports that new dialog was recorded to change the number of replicants in this scene, but Scott inexplicably only used half of the new dialog, resulting in the inconsistency. This inconsistency is corrected in the Final Cut version of the film, although interestingly, in the Workprint, Byrant does indeed say "two" replicants were killed. There are lengthy debates among the movie's fandom on whether Deckard is a replicant himself, the sixth replicant is believed by some to be Deckard.
At Deckard's apartment, Rachael shows him several photos to prove she's a human being. Deckard claims that the photos are faked, and that her memories aren't hers, but of Tyrell's niece, although in the movie Tyrell never talks about his niece. It's better explained in the book, where the real niece of Eldon Rossen (Tyrell in the movie) has died some decades ago, and he creates Rachael as a physical copy of his deceased niece, down to her exact memories, making Rachael believe to be Eldon Rossen's niece.
J.F. Sebastian says he has Methuselah syndrome which causes him to look old/age prematurely as he says he's 25 in real life William Sanderson who plays J.F. Sebastian was actually 34.
Rutger Hauer's first day of filming was the scene where Batty murders Tyrell.
Although in the movie it's established that any Replicant lives just four years, none of them live until their fourth birthday.

-Roy Batty (three years and ten months).

-Leon Kowalski (two years and seven months).

-Zhora (three years and five months).

-Pris (three years and nine months).
Many changes were made to Philip K. Dick's original novel:

-Originally, the action happens in San Francisco in 1992. The movie takes place in Los Angeles in 2019.

-In the book the action happens a few decades after a Terminal World War that depleted planet Earth, leaving the planet almost empty of population. In the movie, all references about the Terminal World War are omitted, and Los Angeles appears simply overpopulated and polluted.

-In the book the artificial humans are simply called androids. In the movie they are named Replicants or 'skinjobs'.

-In the original novel, the company that makes the Replicants is the Rossen Association. In the movie is the Tyrell Corporation.

-The original owner of the company who created Replicants is Eldon Rossen. In the movie he is Eldon Tyrell.

-In the novel is explained that almost all of mankind has emigrated to planet Mars in order to escape the toxic radiation on planet Earth. In the movie, Mars is changed to the "Off-World colonies", to give the idea that human race has colonized several planets in outer space.

-In the book, the biggest symbol of status is to have a live animal as pet, since most of them have gone extinct. In the movie, this has been omitted, but it is implied that real animals are so scarce and expensive that replicated animals have become standard.

-In the novel, Deckard is married to a woman called Iran and their pet is a mechanical sheep, being their dream to have a real sheep. In the movie, his civil status is divorced and all references to the sheep were left out.

-The special police unit that prosecutes the Replicants is called Rep Detect in the book, short of "Replicants Detection". In the movie, they are simply known as Blade Runners.

-In the book there is a subplot about a Replicants' secret organization which helps them to hide from the humans, and escape to Alaska to get away from the radiation. The organization is discovered after an encounter between Deckard and an opera singer called Luba Luft (revealed by Deckard as a Replicant). In the movie, it's explained that all Replicants are outlawed on planet Earth after a massacre in an Off-world colony. The character of Luba Luft was completely omitted.

-In the novel the Voight-Kampff's test was recently created by the doctors Johann Voight and Lurie Kampff to measure the emotional responses of the humans to distinguish them of Replicants. In the movie, the names of the creators are omitted and it's established that the test has been part of the job for a long time.

-In the book all people share a telepathic religion called Mercerism, created and led by Wilbur Mercer. The Mercerers use "Empathy Boxes" to connect with other members of the order to share their emotions, bringing the ability to elect that emotion they want to feel. In the movie all references to Mercerism were completely omitted.

-At the end of the book, Deckard finally unites his mind with Wilbur Mercer, becoming only one being and causing Deckard to be the new leader of the Mercerism. In the original film ending, Deckard and Rachael flee Los Angeles to live together in the north (in later re-editions, the movie ends a scene before, when Deckard finds Rachael sleeping in his apartment and they walk into an elevator, heading into an unknown future.
Body count: 8 (Holden, an unnamed Replicant mentioned in a conversation between Bryant and Deckard, Zhora, Leon, Tyrell, J.F. Sebastian, Pris and Batty. 9 counting Chew, although his death is unconfirmed). In the Final Cut, two Replicants are mentioned to have died in the conversation, making a body count of 9 instead 8 (10 if Chew is included).
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Hampton Fancher had written a love scene between Deckard and Rachael, which Ridley Scott and the producers thought was 'too romantic'. It was re-written and even shot as a much more erotic scene, but in the film, a more subdued version without nudity was used.
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The first draft of the script which became Blade Runner was written by Hampton Fancher in 1978 under the same title as the novel. In this initial script, the story focused less on human issues than it did on environmental issues and larger questions of God and mortality. It refers to replicants as "androids" and makes it clear that Deckard is human. The Voight-Kampff test can spot androids after five or six questions (not the thirty questions required in later drafts); Rachael is detected after thirteen questions, not a hundred. The sixth android, Mary, is present in this draft. Instead of finding Tyrell at the Tyrell building, Batty goes to Tyrell's mansion, and he kills Tyrell, along with his bodyguard, a maid, and his entire family; he later kills Sebastian. The androids in this script have no obvious reason to be on earth; there is nothing about them wanting to live longer, they are simply on earth killing people for no apparent reason. At the end of the script, Rachael kills herself, as she knows if she doesn't do it, Deckard will have to. The script ends with Deckard wandering into the desert with the intention of dying, but upon seeing a tortoise struggling to turn itself over, he decides to live on. Fancher produced his second major draft on 24 July 1980. A number of scenes in this script made it into the final film - the opening scene is almost identical, as is the briefing scene with Bryant, Deckard searching Leon's hotel room, and Deckard using the Voight-Kampff machine on Rachael under the supervision of Tyrell. Differences included a smaller role for Gaff, and a larger role for the Esper, which is a talking computer. The script ends with Deckard bringing Rachael out to the countryside so she can see snow for the first time, and shooting her. The last scene sees him driving back to the city musing about how the ability to choose is what makes us human. This version of the script also included Mary as the sixth replicant (still called androids at this stage). The third major draft of the script was written by David Webb Peoples, dated December 15, 1980. The film opens in an 'Off-world Termination Dump', a dumping ground for dead androids (by now called replicants). Two work men are shoveling bodies into a pit, when one of the bodies comes to life (Roy Batty). He pulls Mary and Leon from the pile and they kill the workmen. This version introduced the snake scale storyline, but does not have the chess game featured in the final film. Other differences include: a new replicant called Roger, who attacks Deckard in Leon's hotel room; a scene where Chew's frozen body is discovered and knocked over; in this draft, Tyrell turns out to be another replicant, after Roy kills him, Roy demands that Sebastian take him to the real Tyrell, and Sebastian reveals that Tyrell had an unnamed disease and was placed into a hibernation unit to await a cure. Roy demands that Sebastian wake Tyrell up, but Sebastian reveals that Tyrell died a year ago during a power outage at which point Roy kills Sebastian. After Tyrell's death, the entire replicant line is put on hold. There is also a scene where Deckard forces Gaff to take the Voight-Kampff test and subsequently kills him. This draft also ended with Deckard killing Rachael, but the scene now takes place on a beach. The final scene sees Deckard waiting in his apartment for the police raid due to his murder of Gaff.
The scene where Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) is introduced has a close up of his face before he exits a phone booth. This was actually a re-used, mirrored shot from later in the movie where he talks to Tyrell (Joe Turkel): the hand seen on his shoulder in both the theatrical and Director's cut belongs to Turkel. In the Final Cut, the hand has been digitally erased, and the background has been changed to match with the phone booth.
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Although Replicants are supposed to be robots pretending to be human beings, Replicants' bodies are never seen from the inside, so no inner mechanisms and circuits are ever shown. The only clue about their artificiality can be seen when Batty and Kowalski meet Chew in the shop where artificial eyes for Replicants are created. Since these eyes look organic rather than mechanical, and because Replicants seem to have reddish blood, it has therefore been proposed that the Replicants consist (largely) of artificially created organic material, rather than inorganic or mechanical components, like most robots depicted in film.
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In the narrative of the film's ending and the film's "Happy Ending": Gaff was sent by Bryant to Deckard's apartment to kill Rachel because Deckard had disobeyed Bryant's direct order to kill Rachel. Gaff did not kill Rachel, presuming that she has a 4 year lifespan and that she would soon die (although her lifespan is not actually revealed). Deckard decided to leave Los Angeles with Rachel and decided to take her somewhere safe where they could be together and so Bryant, Gaff and other Blade Runners could not find them.
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Ridley Scott confirmed in an interview that Deckard is indeed a replicant. If so, Deckard hunted down and retired his own kind and he is the very machine that he hunted down and eliminated as a Blade Runner.
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The studio wasn't happy with the original final ending where Deckard is looking at the piece of origami, and leaves his building with Rachel. The ending of the U.S. theatrical cut, with Deckard's voice-over about Rachael, uses left-over helicopter footage from the opening scene of The Shining (1980). Stanley Kubrick was contacted for this, and being a fan of Ridley Scott previous movie Alien (1979), he happily gifted it on the condition that only shot were used that had not been used in The Shining. Since there was copious footage (something Kubrick was notorious for), this wasn't a problem.
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When Deckard sees the origami that Gaff made in the final scene with Rachel and he running to the elevator, it is of a unicorn , predicting/foreshadowing Rachel as being the last of her kind.
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At the end of the movie Roy Batty is making wolf howls when he chases Deckard at Bradbury's Building. Three years later Rutger Hauer starred in Ladyhawke (1985) as Navarre, a man who becomes a wolf.
In the follow up book to the movie "Blade Runner" (1982) stated that " Replicants who stayed away from Earth had normal human lifespan. " The Tyrell Corporation made sure when they got to their 4 year mark to have them 'retired' by bringing them towards our solar system to die.
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