BLADE RUNNER’S HAPPY ENDING
After years of fanboy speculation and internet chatter, Blade Runner: The Final Cut will debut theatrically in New York and L.A. on October 5 and on DVD from Warner Home VideoDecember 18. The slow-burning classic will receive three separate DVD editions: a two-disk Special Edition, a four-disk Collector’s Edition, and a five-disk Ultimate Collectors Edition.
I first saw Blade Runner on its theatrical release many years ago. At the time I was underwhelmed. As a big Philip K. Dick fan, I didn’t like the noir tone that replaced the schlubby melodrama and cosmic satire of Dick’s novel. Over the years, however, the film has grown on me tremendously. Its production design and representation of a future Los Angeles have proved influential all across the film and visual arts. And, like all great films, I’ve found that its meanings have changed with me as I’ve grown older. When I first saw the film I was tricked into thinking its operative questions were the standard sci-fi ones. With regards to Rutger Hauer’s replicant character, the film was asking, I thought, “Is he human? And, if so, what are the philosophical dimensions of that question?” Years later watching that final scene with Ford and Hauer in the rain, I realized, duh, it’s not “Is he human.” It’s, “Are we human? And what are the philosophical implications of that.”
For those who this fall want to ponder all of this (and just geek out in general), here, from the press release, are the details:
RIDLEY SCOTT’S ALL-NEW “FINAL CUT” VERSION OF THE FILM
Restored and remastered with added & extended scenes, added lines, new and cleaner special effects and all new 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio. Also includes:
Commentary by Ridley Scott
Commentary by Executive Producer/ Co-Screenwriter Hampton Fancher and Co-Screenwriter David Peoples; Producer Michael Deely and production executive Katherine Haber
Commentaries by visual futurist Syd Mead; production designer Lawrence G. Paull, art director David L. Snyder and special photographic effects supervisors Douglas Trumbull, Richard Yuricich and David Dryer
DOCUMENTARY DANGEROUS DAYS: MAKING BLADE RUNNER
A feature-length authoritative documentary revealing all the elements that shaped this hugely influential cinema landmark. Cast, crew, critics and colleagues give a behind-the-scenes, in-depth look at the film — from its literary roots and inception through casting, production, visuals and special effects to its controversial legacy and place in Hollywood history.
BLADE RUNNER: COLLECTOR’S EDITION (4-DISC)
The Four-Disc Collector’s Edition includes everything from the 2-Disc Special Edition plus three additional versions of the film, as well as an “Enhancement Archive” bonus disc of enhanced content that includes 90 minutes of deleted footage and rare or never-before-seen items in featurettes and galleries that cover the film’s amazing history, production teams, special effects, impact on society, promotional trailers, TV spots, and much more.
1982 THEATRICAL VERSION
This is the version that introduced U.S. movie-going audiences to a revolutionary film with a new and excitingly provocative vision of the near-future. It contains Deckard/Harrison Ford’s character narration and has Deckard and Rachel’s (Sean Young) “happy ending” escape scene.
1982 INTERNATIONAL VERSION
Also used on U.S. home video, laserdisc and cable releases up to 1992. This version is not rated, and contains some extended action scenes in contrast to the Theatrical Version.
1992 DIRECTOR’S CUT
The Director’s Cut omits Deckard’s voiceover narration and removes the “happy ending” finale. It adds the famously-controversial “unicorn” sequence, a vision that Deckard has which suggests that he, too, may be a replicant.
BONUS DISC – “Enhancement Archive”
Featurette The Electric Dreamer: Remembering Philip K. Dick
Featurette Sacrificial Sheep: The Novel vs. The Film
Philip K. Dick: The Blade Runner Interviews (Audio)
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep Cover Gallery (Images)
The Art of Blade Runner (Image Galleries)
Featurette Signs of the Times: Graphic Design
Featurette Fashion Forward: Wardrobe & Styling
Screen Tests: Rachel & Pris
Featurette The Light That Burns: Remembering Jordan Cronenweth
Unit Photography Gallery
Deleted & Alternate Scenes
1982 Promotional Featurettes
Trailers & TV Spots
Featurette Promoting Dystopia: Rendering the Poster Art
Marketing & Merchandise Gallery (Images)
Featurette Deck-A-Rep: The True Nature of Rick Deckard
Featurette Nexus Generation: Fans & Filmmakers
BLADE RUNNER: ULTIMATE COLLECTOR’S EDITION (5-DISC)
The 5-disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition includes everything from the previously described
4-Disc Edition, plus the ultra-rare, near-legendary WORKPRINT version of the film, newly remastered. The Ultimate Collector’s Edition will be presented in a unique 5-disc digi-package with handle which is a stylish version of Rick Deckard’s own briefcase, in addition each briefcase will be individually numbered and in limited supply. Included is a lenticular motion film clip from the original feature, miniature origami unicorn figurine, miniature replica spinner car, collector’s photographs as well as a signed personal letter from Sir Ridley Scott.
This rare version of the film is considered by some to be the most radically different of all the Blade Runner cuts. It includes an altered opening scene, no Deckard narration until the final scenes, no “unicorn” sequence, no Deckard/Rachel “happy ending,” altered lines between Batty (Rutger Hauer) and his creator Tyrell (Joe Turkell), alternate music and much more.
• Commentary by Paul M. Sammon, author of Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner
• Featurette “All Our Variant Futures: From Workprint to Final Cut”