Q&A: Ridley Scott on Blade Runner


Attention Blade Runner junkies: The offline Wired interview with Ridley Scott, which I mentioned in this weekend’s linkfest, is now online.

As we noted previously, the latest version of Blade Runner is in theaters in October, with a 5 DVD disc set to follow next year.

Here’s the Ubiq-cerpt:™

“It’s a classic tale of failure and redemption, the kind of story Hollywood loves to tell.

Fresh off his second successful movie, an up-and-coming director takes a chance on a dark tale of a 21st-century cop who hunts humanlike androids. But he runs over budget, and the financiers take control, forcing him to add a ham-fisted voice-over and an absurdly cheery ending. The public doesn’t buy it. The director’s masterpiece plays to near-empty theaters, ultimately retreating to the art-house circuit as a cult oddity.

That’s where we left Ridley Scott’s future-noir epic in 1982. But a funny thing happened over the next 25 years. Blade Runner’s audience quietly multiplied. An accidental public showing of a rough-cut work print created surprise demand for a re-release, so in 1992 Scott issued his director’s cut. He silenced the narration, axed the ending, and added a twist — a dream sequence suggesting that Rick Deckard, the film’s protagonist, is an android, just like those he was hired to dispatch.

But the director didn’t stop there. As the millennium turned, he continued polishing: erasing stray f/x wires, trimming shots originally extended to accommodate the voice-over, even rebuilding a scene in which the stunt double was obvious. Now he’s ready to release Blade Runner: The Final Cut, which will hit theaters in Los Angeles and New York in October, with a DVD to follow in December.

At age 69, Ridley Scott is finally satisfied with his most challenging film. He’s still turning out movies at a furious pace — American Gangster, with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, is due in November — building on an extraordinary oeuvre that includes Alien, Thelma & LouiseGladiator, and Black Hawk Down. But he seems ready to accept Blade Runner as his crowning achievement. In his northern English accent, he describes its genesis and lasting influence. And, inevitably, he returns to the darkness that pervades his view of the future — the shadows that shield Deckard from a reality that may be too disturbing to face.”

Other goodies:  An interactive look at the Cultural Influences Before and After the Film in the Blade Runner Nexus , and a full transcript and Audio of Wired’s Interview with Ridley Scott.

Its a must read for fans — even if Ridley gets whether Deckard is a replicant or a human wrong . . .




Q&A: Ridley Scott Has Finally Created the Blade Runner He Always Imagined
By Ted Greenwald  09.26.07 | 4:00 PM

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. RW commented on Sep 27

    Just goes to show that even M-TV directors who graduate to mega-productions in the sky never really lose their penny ante history and inability to see the big picture: Making Deckard a replicant not only diminishes the tension and ambiguity between him and those he hunts but renders moot the ambiguity and tension between him and the one he loves.

    In the end we can not (apparently) escape who we are and Ridley Scott only serves to become another case in point. Too bad – the first Director’s Cut was closer to the appropriate resolution, his ‘new’ cut is actually more of a redaction, a concession to his gritty, reductionist past.

  2. Aaron commented on Sep 27

    If it hadn’t been for the voice over – no one would have gotten it. I hate the superiority crowd, what a bunch of ipods.

  3. Darrell commented on Sep 27

    I was awed by Blade Runner in its original release in vivid 70mm. The oil refinery at night, Vangelis music soaring, unforgettable. Alas, the later releases weren’t 70mm.

    I also had happened to see its sets on the Warner Bros. backlot and in downtown Los Angeles (Bradbury Building) during production.

    Look for a HD-DVD release, per HighDefDigest.

  4. DCBob commented on Sep 27

    This has been my favorite movie since the first time I saw it 25 years ago. It is to film what Little Feat is to rock!

  5. Hal Hancock commented on Sep 27

    Also saw the 70mm. This was simply one of the handful of all time best movies. It will be interesting to see a “final cut” — which might actually work even against the great film we already had.

  6. Sigmund Hofbauer commented on Sep 28

    “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.”

    Northern Rock’s last ditch bond bailout failed. No takers. Cerberus is planning to take it private and butcher the pieces to keep the mark-to-market truth concealed.
    China market up over 2.5%. Gold up 4%.

    “Time to die.”

  7. Aaron Byrnes commented on Sep 28

    Does anyone know if the Final Cut will be shown in more cities other than NYC and LA? Guess it depends on the response. I’d certainly like to see it even if it one of those one night only things.

  8. esb commented on Sep 28

    Sigmund Hofbauer …

    Yes … the most powerful scene in the film.

  9. Todd Mentch commented on Sep 28

    It’s interesting to me how the movie’s evolution has influenced the debate on the “Deckard – droid or human?” question. Given how much the film has changed, I doubt anyone can definitively answer this, and that makes this film high art, IMHO. I’ll be in NYC this October, would be very cool for this westcoaster to see this film again in Manhattan.

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