20 Things You Didn't Know About Blade Runner
Cautionary tales from the troubled production of a sci-fi legend.
Blade Runner, Ridley Scott's sci-fi neo-noir masterpiece, is considered the quintessential portrayal of a dystopian cyberpunk future. However, since the turn of 2020, Blade Runner is now set in a dystopian cyberpunk past. Just like with Back To The Future II, we can now add murderous android slaves and Atari's lasting success to the list of things that science fiction failed to predict accurately.
Blade Runner has gained recognition as one of the greatest films ever made, and a pioneer in sci-fi, film noir and just about every subgenre that has the work punk stapled onto the end. However, its origins are much less straightforward. Production and principal photography was one of the most notoriously troubled shoots in cinema, and with tensions between the director, the cast, the crew and the studio, it's a wonder it even made it past that stage. Executive meddling after production resulted in a poor initial product and underwhelming reactions from audiences, and it wasn't until many years later that the film finally resembled the modern classic that it is today.
In the years since the production, many interesting details have surfaced about the nature of the gruelling shoot and many of the troubles the cast and crew faced. Blade Runner's difficult history is truly fascinating, so let's take a look at some of the lesser-known facts of what is arguably Scott's greatest work.
20. Martin Scorsese Considered Adapting Philip K. Dick's Novel Many Years Prior
Many years before pre-production on Blade Runner began, the film nearly had an entirely different legacy. Just a year after Philip K. Dick's original novel Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? was published, Dick met with screenwriter Jay Cocks and none other than Martin Scorsese to discuss an adaptation. The novel was never optioned, however, and the project fell through.
The novel was then optioned by producer Herb Jaffe in the early 1970s, with a screenplay written by his son Robert. Dick, unimpressed with Jaffe's screenplay, gave him two options: either that he could beat him up at the airport or beat him up back at his apartment. It wasn't until 1977 that Hampton Fancher's screenplay draft was optioned by Michael Deeley and the film's journey truly began.