With ‘Blade Runner: 2049‘ just around the corner, and the fact that it is indeed the 35th anniversary of ‘Blade Runner’ itself, you knew the upcoming Blu-Ray release of the film would be chock full of great special features. Aside from having all 4 cuts of the film, the Blu-Ray will also have more than 7 hours of additional bonus features when it comes out on September 5th. Among the most interesting facts learned on those features is the one about the original opening to the film, which seems very cool and instantly drops you into the world of the film.
According to Paul M. Sammon, author of ‘Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner,’ the original idea Scott had was to introduce Deckard’s character in a manner that immediately clued in the audience to some of the themes of the film, chiefly that this was a world of man and machine. Sammon goes on to describe the original opening as penned by Hampton Fancher, who was the initial screenwriter (and executive producer) on ‘Blade Runner:’
“The original idea was to have Deckard be sitting in the kitchen and through the windows, you see the day is getting darker and darker … a strange vehicle pulls up. A guy in farmer’s overalls comes out, goes into the house, sees Deckard sitting there, ignores him, walks into the kitchen and starts stirring a big pot of soup. He says, ‘Do you want any soup?’ Deckard doesn’t say anything. ‘Who are you with, anyway?’ this guys says while stirring. 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. Deckard takes this, puts in into his trench coat and walks out of the farm house, across the field. A little dog shows up and is barking as Deckard [flies] off.”
Sammon does not offer any reasons why this scene was cut for the more low-key intro to Deckard where he is outside reading a newspaper in the rain while ordering food, but it is fascinating to know that the original scene even existed and to imagine what it would have been like to watch. The other big fact discovered in the special features was the fact that the famous “Tears in the rain” speech given by Roy Batty before he dies was added to by Ruter Hauer during filming. According to David Peoples, the second screenwriter who wrote the original speech:
“If I remember right, Deckard just killed Batty off the top of the thing in the fight. That speech, that over the shoulder of Orion, was me except for the fact in the first read around when I sat there, Rutger read that speech and then went on with a couple of lines about memories in the rain. And the he looked at me like a naughty little boy, like he was checking to see if the writer was going to be upset. I didn’t let on that I was upset, but at the time, I was a little upset and threatened by it. Later, seeing the movie, that was a brilliant contribution of Rutger’s, that line about tears in the rain. It is absolutely beautiful.”
Mostly like there are many other gems like these hidden in the special features that are yet to be discovered, which makes me even more excited to check out the 35th-anniversary Blu-Ray release when it comes out next week. For now, what are your thoughts on hearing how ‘Blade Runner’ could have
For now, what are your thoughts on hearing how ‘Blade Runner’ could have begun? Or about the contribution to that speech made by Rutger Hauer? Is it even more proof of Ridley Scott’s brilliance that he someone managed to weave all these elements together and craft the ‘Blade Runner’ film that has resonated with audiences for 35 years? Or proof that he got really lucky in a lot of ways? Share your opinion in the comments below!