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Trivia / Blade Runner

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The Trivia page for Blade Runner 2049 can be found here.

  • Accidentally Correct Writing: 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.
  • Actor-Inspired Element:
    • Rutger Hauer came up with many inventive ideas for his characterization, like the moment where he grabs and fondles a dove. It is a well-known fact that most of the "Tears in Rain" speech was improvised by Hauer, who found Roy Batty's dying words in the original screenplay to be too unwieldy.
    • 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.
    • Gaff can be seen wearing blue contact lenses in a few shots. These were a suggestion by Hauer. Olmos paid for them himself.
  • AFI's 100 Years... Series:
  • Approval of God: Although the film was produced without his involvement and was very loosely based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick was impressed with the production design after viewing a special effects test reel, telling Ridley Scott that it was exactly how he had imagined the setting in his original novel. Dick did not live to see the completed film, so we don't know whether he would have approved of the finished product.
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  • 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)
  • The Cast Showoff: Daryl Hannah was a skilled gymnast and put some of her skills to use.
  • Creator Backlash: For a long time, Harrison Ford refused to talk about the film for years due to the miserable experience he had making it and generally expressed dislike about the film and working with Scott, and he also disliked the whole "replicant" debate. He became more positive about in The Oughties and The New '10s and agreed to star in the sequel. He states that part of the reason he's mellowed is how Blade Runner has gone on to inspire many young directors and he's happy to be part of a classic. Ford also likes the 2007 Final Cut version best of all versions of the film, as does Ridley Scott.
  • Creator's Favorite:
    • Rutger Hauer considered this the best film he was ever involved with.
    • When Daryl Hannah was asked in a 2010 interview with The Guardian what her “career high point” was, she had this to say:
      Blade Runner. It was like The Wizard of Oz: we all went into another reality."
  • Creator-Preferred Adaptation: Philip K. Dick died less than four months before the film premiered. During production he was critical of the screenplays and the multiple changes from the source material and the renaming of characters and concepts, but during a set visit he saw an earlier version with the effects, mainly the opening scene showing the skyline of Future-LA and was blown away by it and was impressed by Scott despite the fact that he admitted to not having read the source material. He felt that visually and aesthetically, the film, despite his initial misgivings about its departure from his novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was in synch with the spirit of his ideas.
  • Dawson Casting: 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 was 40.
  • 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 than neon tubes).
    • The police offices constructed in Union Station, Los Angeles for the filming still stand 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. As Thom Andersen noted in his documentary Los Angeles Plays Itself this is because the film's production design was unintentionally reflective of avant-garde city-planning which they thought was supposed to indicate dystopia but are actually quite positive and effective. Also, Shanghai and Beijing have become far, far more polluted than Los Angeles ever was, making them atmospheric dead ringers for Blade Runner.
  • Doing It for the Art: Gaff only speaks a few lines of Cityspeak in the film, but Eddie Olmos came up with an entire grammar and vocabulary for what it would actually sound like so he could sound like it was his actual native tongue.
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • The scene with Chew was shot in a freezer and was ice cold, so the cast really were shivering.
    • When Deckard stops Rachael from leaving his apartment, he pushes her away from him. The expression of pain and shock on Sean Young's face was real, as Harrison Ford had difficulties playing the scene with her, and had pushed her too hard.
  • Executive Meddling: One of the most infamous cases in film history. 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, along with the Final 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? states that the Deckard-character is human.
    • 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. Albeit the hints were stronger in the 1992 version (via an extra line by Gaff that Scott removed for the Final Cut). According to Mark Kermode the idea of Deckard being a replicant at all first arose from a misunderstanding between the two screenwriters (who had little contact with each other beyond shipping script revisions back and forth): 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, and eventually Scott embraced it during production much to the confusion of his crew who all thought it was clear that Deckard was a human.
  • Hostility on the Set: Harrison Ford and Sean Young didn't get on.
  • In Memoriam: The film was dedicated in memory of Philip K. Dick, who passed away before the film's premiere.
  • Inspiration for the Work: According to Word of God the aesthetic sources for the film's futuristic setting of brilliant night lights and factories belching fire burning off waste gas, was the Port Talbot steelworks, the director having spent part of his childhood in Wales.
  • Life Imitates Art: In an incredibly eerie coincidence, Rutger Hauer passed away in 2019 - the same year as his character.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Blade Runner has been re-released many times. There's a Director's Cut, a Special Edition, a "Five-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition" (that comes in the same kind of metal briefcase as the Voight-Kampff machines), and a 3-Disc 30th Anniversary Edition.note  The 5 versions included in the two newest releases include: The 1982 Workprint, The US Theatrical Cut, The International theatrical cut, The 1992 Director's cut and the 2007 Final Cut. According to The Other Wiki there are two other versions that exist but aren't included in the current set (A TV broadcast version and a sneak preview version which uses deleted scenes).
  • Orphaned Reference: The tortoise story is the last remnant of an environmental theme present in both the source novel and Hampton Fancher's early drafts of the screenplay. The novel features an epigram of a (real) wire service story about the death of a 200-year-old sea turtle revered as an honorary chief by the people of Tonga, and the extinction of animals is a recurring theme. In an early draft by Fancher a distraught Deckard walks through the desert and finds a dying turtle on its back and saves it by turning it over, with the twist of the turtle being mechanical, tying into the film's overall theme of the blurred line between humans and Replicants.
  • The Production Curse: The film 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:
    • Atari would fall victim to The Great Video Game Crash of 1983 and never truly recover after market oversaturation and little in the way of quality control, not helped by an ill-advised video game adaptation of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial;
    • Bell would be broken up as a monopoly;
    • Cuisinart would go bankrupt in 1989 and be acquired by Conair Corporation;
    • Pan American Airlines was already undergoing problems since the Oil Embargo of '73. Then the Tragedy of Flight 103 happened, and everything went to hell in three years, the final straw being the price hikes caused by the Persian Gulf War;
    • Coca-Cola would go on to create the infamous New Coke, which, though it wasn't enough to bring down the company (which is still going strong today), helped its chief rival Pepsi take the lead in the Cola Wars.
  • 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. Roy originally had a lengthier, wordy final monologue which Rutger Hauer disliked for being "operatic" and not suited to the film, so he cut it down to two lines and wrote the "tears in rain" line himself.
    • Daryl Hannah really slipped and smashed her elbow through a car window, chipping it in eight places.
      • In Dangerous Days, she shows us the scars.
    • The pidgin Gaff speaks was largely put together by Edward James Olmos from languages he had some familiarity with.
  • 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.)
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The synth-heavy soundtrack, treasure trove of Product Placement for defunct or dethroned companies, analog monitors, primitive computer displays, and heavy use of Miniature Effects all date this film to the early 80's. The soundtrack in particular is representative of synthesizer-driven music in a pre-Synth-Pop era; even though the latter genre emerged around 1977 and became the dominant form of music by the time of the film's release, Vangelis' much more ambient-oriented score is very much tethered to an era in which synths were utilized in a more experimental and/or musically progressive context.
  • Wag the Director: Harrison Ford frequently argued with Ridley Scott over whether or not Deckard is a replicant. He was backed by the film's screenwriters and others in the crew, since it was Scott and Scott alone who came up with that interpretation.
  • 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...
    • Ridley Scott was originally attached to direct the latest incarnation of Dune until his brother, Frank Scott, died in 1980. Stricken with grief and eager to work while Dune stagnated, Ridley Scott left the project to direct Blade Runner, which was all set to begin production.
    • 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. Sean Connery, Clint Eastwood, Peter Falk, Scott Glenn, Cliff Gorman, Gene Hackman, Judd Hirsch, Raúl Juliá, Tommy Lee Jones, Paul Newman, Nick Nolte, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Burt Reynolds, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Christopher Walken were also considered. 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.
    • Mœbius 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.
    • 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. A slightly modified version of this scene would be used as the opening for the sequel.
    • Zorah's snake dance was originally supposed to be in the film. The scene was storyboarded as an elaborate show that would even contain clay animation, but it was ultimately scrapped due to time and budget constraints.
  • The Wiki Rule: Off-World.
  • 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. His word is backed by the film's screenwriters and by co-star Rutger Hauer. Ridley Scott on the other hand, claims that Deckard was always meant to be a replicant. Production documents support Ford and Co. on this. None of the screenwriters agreed with it, and this was a concept Scott devised mid-production, and as such in no ways was it planned from the start.
  • Working Title: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Android, Mechanismo and Dangerous Days.
  • Written by Cast Member: The famous "tears in rain" monologue was partly written by Rutger Hauer himself, especially the final line, "All these moments will be lost... in time... like tears in rain". Hauer added it the night before filming the scene (he noted that the original line was too jargon-heavy).


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