Interview with Ridley Scott, Blade Runner: The Final Cut

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Ridley Scott's final retake on Blade Runner, the influential 1982 film adaptation of the Philip K. Dick novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?", will be released to select theaters in October followed by a DVD in December. The 1992 "director's cut," was a triumph of future noir, a film that stands the test of time more than almost any other science fiction movie. In the new issue of Wired, Ted Greenwald interviews Scott about this rev, titled Blade Runner: The Final Cut. posted the interview that ran in the magazine, along with the full transcript and the audio of the original conversation. From the interview:
Wired: How did you decide to tell a 21st-century story in a 1940s style?
Scott: Well, people want a comfortable preconception about what they're seeing. It's a bit like 20 years of Westerns and, now, 45 years of cop movies. People are comfortable with the roles. Even though every nook and cranny has been explored, they'll still sit through endless variations on cops and bad guys, right? In this instance, I was doing a cop and a different bad guy. And to justify the creation of the bad guy, i.e., replication, it had to be in the future....

It's the same as trying to do a monster movie. You know, Alien is a C film elevated to an A film, honestly, by a great monster. In this instance, my special effect was the world. That's why I put together people like [industrial designer] Syd Mead who were actually serious futurists. The big test is saying, Draw me a car in 30 years' time, without it looking like bad science fiction. Or, Draw me an electric iron that will be pressing shirts in 20 years without it looking silly. I wanted the world to be futuristic and yet feel – not familiar, because it won't be – but feel authentic. One of the hardest sets to design was the kitchen. It's easy to fantasize about Tyrell's giant neo-Egyptianesque boardroom, but imagining a bathroom and kitchen in those times, that's tricky. Nevertheless, fascinating. I love the problem.


  1. His director’s cut of Legend was long overdue, and a much-needed improvement. Here we have an opportunity for near flawlessness in BR, a flick so sublime and original, it deserves tweaking until perfect.

  2. Oh Ridley, will you ever stop contradicting the truth?

    For those interested about all of the torrid details about the making of the film, I highly recommend reading “Future Noir” by Paul M. Sammon for a in depth look at everything that went on (and an official word on the whole is Deckard a replicant or not debate)

    @#1-Phasor3000, at least in this upcoming release of Blade Runner we are getting ALL versions of the film released to us and not just a revised view that tarnishes an original classic.

  3. Wired: How did you decide to tell a 21st-century story in a 1940s style?

    Instant giveaway that the interviewer did zero prep for the interview. This question is answered by multitudes of articles and definitively by the Blade Runner book. The answer is more interesting than Ridley Scott has time to soundbite in the interview, but the noir aspect was the conceit of the original screenwriter, Hampton Fancher.

    And, yes, I clicked through, and the rest of it is the same. All questions which could have been answered using Google and that book.

    Phasor3000: this is not Lucas-style revisionism, as Ridley Scott isn’t attempting to crush all previous versions of the movie (_all_ the versions of Blade Runner are included in the special edition).

  4. Something tells me that there will be re-tweaks and added footage each time a new media format comes out. Gotta keep consumers re-purchasing those classics, you know. “Final cut,” riiiiight…

  5. supposedly Dculberson, this is the final FINAL never again touch it cut. Ridley is supposedly fully happy with this one (seeing is he didn’t actually make the 92 Directors Cut I guess this one is his real DC)

  6. I remember seeing the original and remarking to a friend that Scott blew the chance to make a better movie by not making Dekard a Nexus 7. My friend said that he thought it was clear he was one of the new replicants, citing the family photos on Deckard’s piano, “…just like Rachael’s.” Neither of us credited him with the absurd ending, however, having grown up on studio endings. But we both liked the opening voice-over, making Deckard into Philip Marlowe or any standard noir private eye. I still like it, despite its being widely scorned.

  7. I am going to have to disagree with your Buddy66. Making Deckard a replicant destroys the message of the film IMO. Leaving it ambiguous is the way it should be. Deckard has to figure out for himself what is real and what isn’t.

  8. The movie isn’t about the nature of reality; it’s about the nature of humanity. So the ambiguous ending is best, AKBAR56.

  9. You will get no argument from me on the ending (I too prefer the voice over) but will stand by my feeling that Deckard needs to be human and not a replicant but question his own existence through the film. And I never said it was about the nature of reality. The real and isnt I was referring to was the replicant/human idea.

  10. I completely understand why everyone feels deckard SHOULD be this or that, but the movie speaks for itself. Or what? Didn’t anyone notice Leon punched his fist through a goddamn truck and then he beats the shit out of Deckard and all he has to show for it is a bloody jaw and not even a bruise? Come on..
    As for the message, fuck that whole redemption of humanity, batty is christ so deckard has to be a human bullshit. It’s a film noir, deckard being a replicant is an ultimate twist on so many levels.
    The things that made sense when we thought deckard was human still make sense if he’s a replicant. The whole killing zora scene is also cited because deckard starts to feel something for the replicants when he sees zora die, that’s still relevant.
    Anyway, fanboy ranting here, I prefer to watch it the way it was intended by ridley scott.

  11. The voice over was terrible, forced on Scott by the studios figuring people could not follow the movie without it. Please. It adds nothing and I never want to hear it again. Studio machinations are just dumb. Look what they did to Orson Wells. Ditto on the happy ending. She does have a limited life span. Hell we all do. I thought the fact that there is difficult piano music on the piano was a sign that he was a possible replicant? Rachel could play it because she is one. But then we never heard him play it. Can’t wait to hear the remastered Vangelis in theater.

  12. Mikelotus, I suggest you read the book that I and White Noise suggested. You might just be actually suprised about the creation of the voice over track. It existed far before the work print and your supposed “forced by the studio” falsehood.

  13. Interviews with Ridley are inevitable, but for me the most interesting story of the Final Cut of Blade Runner is the story of Charles de Lauzirika, the fan of Blade Runner who grew up to become one of the best DVD producers in the industry and who fulfilled his lifelong (well, nearly lifelong) dream of producing the Final Cut.

  14. ridley scott claims the source material ‘do androids dream of electric sheep’ is hard to get through??? What on earth is he talking about? i love the movie…it’s a classic. but the book stands even higher in my mind.

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