Trivia / Blade Runner

  • Accidentally Accurate: When Batty and Tyrell are arguing about how to prolong a Replicant's lifespan, Batty mentions something called "EMS". Tyrell says they already tried "Ethyl methanesulfonate" unsuccessfully. Ethyl methanesulfonate is an actual organic compound with mutagenic qualities, used in genetics. The scriptwriter later admitted he did no research for the conversation and the mention of a real compound in the Techno Babble was coincidental.
  • AFI's 100 Years... Series:
  • Celebrity Voice Actor: In the 1997 video game, several characters are voiced by the actors who played them in the film.
  • Completely Different Title:
    • Exterminator (Croatia)
    • Calls Himself RNR (Bulgaria)
    • The Relentless Hunter (Venezuela)
    • Imminent Danger (Portugal)
    • Bounty Hunter (Romania)
    • The Winged Bounty Hunter (Hungary)
    • Silver Winged Bounty Hunter (China)
  • Creator Backlash: Harrison Ford refused to talk about the film for years due to the miserable experience he had making it.
  • Creator-Preferred Adaptation: Philip K. Dick felt that the film (at least, the director's cut, not the butchered theatrical version) was superior to its source material, his novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep??, and was amazed at how the book was "escalated into such stunning dimensions."
  • Defictionalization:
    • 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 (albeit the Thinkgeek versions are. more practical LED/fiber-optic rather then neon tubes).
    • 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.
    • Some cities, particularly Shanghai, look more and more like Blade Runner every year.
  • Enforced Method Acting: The scene with Chew was shot in a freezer and was ice cold, so the cast really were shivering.
  • Executive Meddling: The ending in the original movie was changed by higher-ups due to its ambiguity, and narration was added to help dispel the ambiguity evident in most of the movie itself. The original ending has been restored and the narration deleted in the Director's Cut.
  • Flip-Flop of God:
    • Is Deckard a replicant? Director Ridley Scott and lead actor Harrison Ford, as well as Rutger Hauer, screenwriters Hampton Fancher and David Peoples have all had contrasting views on the subject. Scott says yes; Ford, Hauer and the screenwriters say no. The novel on which the films based, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, has several strong hints that he is in fact human.
    • More solidified now in that it's generally agreed upon that the evidence suggests Deckard is human in the Theatrical cut and possibly a replicant in the Director's/Final cuts.
    • According to Mark Kermode the idea of Deckard being a replicant at all first arose from a misunderstanding between the screenwriters: One had written into the script a line about Deckard wondering about his own creator, which was intended as him comparing himself to replicants and the creator being God. The other writer thought this line meant Deckard was a replicant, and led to both thinking the other one put forth the idea first.
  • The Production Curse: Blade Runner provides something of a variation on the theme: it suffered a similar curse, but instead of cast and crew members, it was the sponsors that got hit.
  • Prop Recycling:
    • The spinners' dashboard displays are taken from Alien. Ridley Scott directed both films, so this may actually be a Shout-Out.
    • The very top of the roof of the police headquarters building was originally the ceiling of the Mothership interior from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The building itself is rather similar to the Tower of Babel as depicted in Metropolis
    • One of the buildings next door to the police station is a model of the Millennium Falcon tilted vertically and covered with Christmas lights.
    • The Dark Star miniature can be seen in the background near the police station as well.
    • Additionally, later sci-fi films would sometimes recycle props and set pieces from this one. Be on the lookout for a spinner in the junkyard in Soldier, and check out Craig Bierko's apartment in The Thirteenth Floor.
    • Some of the Lord of Darkness' palace interiors from Legend (1985) (most notably, the huge, spiraling columns) were featured in this film.
  • Science Marches On: Tyrell's explanation to Roy for why the DNA of a mature replicant can't be altered effectively doesn't stand up to modern understanding of genetics. Then again, this might be intentional, as the script hints that Tyrell may be lying about there being no possibility of lifting the lifespan limitation.
  • Throw It In:
    • There are a few ad-libbed lines, most notably in the Final Words of both Leon and Roy Batty.
    • Daryl Hannah really slipped and smashed her elbow throough a car window, chipping it in eight places.
      • In Dangerous Days, she shows us the scars.
  • Troubled Production: For a film now considered a sci-fi classic, its creation was a difficult process:
    • The original screenwriter, Hampton Fancher, was eventually distanced from his script for being too protective, and David Peoples created the script that eventually was filmed.
    • A critical financier went bankrupt at the eleventh hour, leading to some desperate deals shortly before production began.
    • Harrison Ford often went between impatient and bored during production.
    • Sean Young was cast by Scott for her Ava Gardner-esque looks, although many preferred another actress, Nina Axelrod. Young was unknown and also inexperienced, which seemed at times to annoy Ford.
    • Scott made comments during the shoot that he preferred working with UK crews (as he did with Alien) which annoyed the mostly American crew.
    • Scott, coming from advertising and by his own admittance very controlling over visuals, made Art Director David Snyder's position practically moot.
    • The Director of Photography, Jordan Cronenwith, suffered from Parkinson's disease and during the shoot was very weak and worked in a great deal of pain; By the final month of shooting, he was working from a wheelchair.
    • Scott took multiple takes for seemingly innocuous scenes, leading one to wonder if he was really looking for the right look, or just infuriating his producers.
    • Test screenings were sharply divided over the tone of the film. The producers themselves called the voiceovers 'dull', and Ford himself was not a fan of them. Ford cops later to trying to make them dull in the hopes they were removed. In the initial theatrical release, they stayed in (but were removed in the Director's and Final Cuts of the film.)
  • Wag the Director: Harrison Ford frequently argued with Ridley Scott over whether or not Deckard is a replicant.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • In the early 1970s, a relatively unknown young director named Martin Scorsese was in line to direct the film.
    • This was offered to Ralph Bakshi. He passed on it, but recommended Ridley Scott for the director's chair. And the rest is history...
    • Dustin Hoffman was originally cast as Deckard. Scott intended to subvert the typical image of the burly Hardboiled Detective, and Hoffman would fit that well. This period of the film's pre-production got so far that even some of the early storyboards featured Hoffman's likeness on images of Deckard.
    • 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 were all considered for Deckard. Martin Sheen was offered the role, but he turned it down, as he was exhausted, having come off Apocalypse Now.
    • Pete Townshend was at one point asked to compose the music for the film. He declined due to his experiences on Tommy.
    • An earlier draft of the script, called "Dangerous Days" would have been a far more action-packed affair, including a famous unused introduction of Deckard, where he shot a seemingly innocuous man, then took his skull apart to reveal mechanical components.
    • Robert Mitchum was reportedly considered for the role of Deckard at one point as a shout out to his own background in film noir thrillers, but declined the role - which is just as well as he would have been too old for the part anyway.
    • Ridley Scott himself wanted Debbie Harry to play Pris, but she passed up on it, and later expressed regret over it.
    • Joe Pantoliano was considered for J.F. Sebastian.
    • Moebius was offered the opportunity to assist in the pre-production, but he declined so that he could work on Time Masters - a decision that he later regretted.
    • Grace Jones was considered for Rachel.
    • 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.
    • The second draft has 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 draft 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.
  • Word of Saint Paul: Harrison Ford has stated that he believed Deckard to not be a replicant, as being one would undercut the theme of his character rediscovering his own humanity, and turns the man vs. machine climactic battle into a robot vs. robot fight. Ridley Scott on the other hand, claims that Deckard was always meant to be a replicant. After the Director's Cut, Scott insists that Ford changed his stance and now says Deckard is a Replicant, but he has yet to say it himself.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/BladeRunner