Following the release of Blade Runner: The Final Cut on Blu-ray, it’s revealed that director Ridley Scott almost opened the movie in a very different way. Blade Runner is a sci-fi classic, but that hasn’t saved it from years of tweaking. In fact, there are currently eight different cuts of the film — ranging from the original U.S. theatrical cut to the Final Cut in 2007 — and it wasn’t until 1992 (ten years after the theatrical release) that Scott was finally able to release his own director’s cut.
Now, according to a discussion included in the upcoming 35th anniversary Blu-ray’s special features, it turns out that there was one more significant cut that never got to see the light of day: an alternate opening.
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As reported by THR, Paul M. Sammon, author of Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner, explains that the intent of the original opening scene would have been a much more aggressive and blatant introduction to this futuristic world of rebel androids. In the cut that was ultimately released, the introduction to androids happens by way of an interrogation, but in the scrapped opening, it happens with gunfire.
Scott had a vision that opened the movie on a pot of boiling. The pot is on a stove in a farmhouse, and sitting beside the stove is Harrison Ford’s Deckard. A farmer then enters the house and proceeds to stir the soup, asking Deckard if he’d like any. After Deckard fails to respond, the farmer asks him, “Who’re you with, anyway?”
Sammon describes the rest of the scene as follows:
“Deckard gets up and says ‘I’m Deckard, Blade Runner.’ Boom! He kills this guy for no reason. Just shoots him. And then as this guy slumps against this wall, falls to the floor, Deckard reaches into his head and pulls his lower jaw out. And you see that it is an aluminum construct with an ID number stamped on it, and you realize it is not a person, it is a robot.”
It’s unclear why this version was ultimately scrapped, though it may be worth mentioning that the interrogation scene is more aligned with the novel on which Blade Runner is based — Philip K. Dick’s Do Android’s Dream of Electric Sheep?
Despite its classic status, edits and cuts to the original Blade Runner are hardly unheard of. In fact, of the eight different versions of the film, only four of them are available to the public, and only one of them is considered canon, according Blade Runner 2049’s director, Denis Villeneuve. That version is the Final Cut.
The various cuts of the film include: The Workprint version (which was shown to test audiences), the San Diego Sneak Preview version (which included three new scenes that were ultimately scrapped), the U.S. theatrical version, the International theatrical version (which includes scenes containing more graphic violence), the U.S. broadcast version, the Director’s Cut, and the Final Cut.
The upcoming Blu-ray will include the theatrical and international versions, the Director’s Cut, and the Workprint version.
Blade Runner: The Final Cut will be released on Blu-ray on September 5th.
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