In 1982, “Blade Runner” was released in theaters. Based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K Dick, the film set in a dystopian Los Angeles of 2019 is about special police forces known as “Blade Runners” that hunt down Replicants, genetically engineered life-forms, indistinguishable from adult humans and are manufactured by the Tyrell Corporation to work on off-world colonies. Harrison Ford plays Rick Deckard, a former Blade Runner who comes out of retirement to deal with four escaped Replicants that came to Earth.
The film was directed by Ridley Scott, and initially, the film did not do well in the box office however, when the film originally came out on home video, it started gathering a cult following. During this time, fans of the film discovered different versions of the film, including the Director’s Cut which removed Deckard’s explanatory voice-overs, a unicorn dream sequence, and the removal of the happy ending.
Eventually, these multiple versions would be released in a DVD/Blu-Ray box set. The box set included not only the original theatrical cut and the director’s cut, but the original work print and the 2007 Final Cut of “Blade Runner” which includes scenes from the director’s cut, plus added footage and CGI enhancements as well as a remastered soundtrack.
Now, ten years after the release of The Final Cut, the sequel “Blade Runner 2049” will be releasing on October 6, 2017. Directed by Denis Villeneuve (“Sicario,” “Arrival”), the story is about LAPD Officer K (played by Ryan Gosling), discovering a secret that could end humanity and leading him back to Rick Deckard, who disappeared thirty years ago after the events of the original “Blade Runner.”
“Blade Runner” has endured due to its masterful cinematography and themes of genetic engineering, what it is to be a human, religious and philosophical symbolism, the environment, and whether Deckard himself is a Replicant. Its influence can be felt even to this day.
By Chris Murdock