1. Interest in adapting Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? developed shortly after its 1968 publication, with director Martin Scorsese originally interested in filming the novel. Eventually producer Herb Jaffe optioned it in the early 1970s, but Dick was unimpressed with the screenplay written by Herb's son Robert:
"Jaffe's screenplay was so terribly done ... Robert flew down to Santa Ana to speak with me about the project. And the first thing I said to him when he got off the plane was, 'Shall I beat you up here at the airport, or shall I beat you up back at my apartment?'"The project stalled until a screenplay by Hampton Fancher was optioned in 1977 by producer Michael Deeley. Deeley approached Ridley Scott to film it, but Scott declined the project as he was already committed to directing a screen adaptation of Dune. Frustrated by the lack of momentum, Scott decided to leave the slow production of Dune, and look for a faster-paced project to take his mind off his older brother's recent death. A timely second approach from Deeley say Scott sign on as director.
2. Hampton Fancher originally envisioned Robert Mitchum as Deckard and wrote the character's dialogue with Mitchum in mind, but director Ridley Scott favoured Dustin Hoffman and along with the film's producers spent months meeting and discussing the role with him. Eventually Hoffman departed the project over differences in vision and several other well known actors were considered for the lead role, including Gene Hackman, Sean Connery, Jack Nicholson, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Al Pacino, and Burt Reynolds.
3. Following his success in films like Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark, Harrison Ford was looking for a role with dramatic depth. Scott eventually cast him in the role of Deckard for several reasons, including his performance in the Star Wars films, Ford's interest in the Blade Runner story, and discussions with fellow director Steven Spielberg who was finishing Raiders of the Lost Ark at the time and strongly praised Ford's work in the film.
4. Scott was so impressed with Rutger Hauer's performances in Paul Verhoeven's movies, inc Katie Tippel, Soldier of Orange and Turkish Delight, that he cast Hauer as Roy Batty, the violent yet thoughtful leader of the replicants, without even having met him or Hauer reading for the role.
5. Hauer rewrote his character's "tears in rain" speech himself and presented the words to Scott on set prior to filming.
"All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain."Hauer later chose "All those moments" as the title of his autobiography.
6. Edward James Olmos used his diverse ethnic background, and personal research, to help create the fictional "Cityspeak" language his character Gaff uses in the film. His initial address to Deckard at the noodle bar is partly in Hungarian and means,
"Horse dick [bullshit]! No way. You are the Blade ... Blade Runner."
7. Ridley Scott and Michael Deeley were briefly fired from the production shortly after principal photography wrapped. Because the film had gone over budget, executive producers Jerry Perenchio and Bud Yorkin of Tandem Productions had stepped in, firing Scott and Deeley and taking over the editing of the project themselves. And although they did rehire Scott and Deeley (mainly due to the intervention of Alan Ladd Jr.), they retained artistic control. After two disastrous preview screenings of the workprint, which the audience claimed was difficult to understand, Yorkin and Perenchio decided to record an explanatory voiceover and add a happy ending. Ridley Scott was not averse to the idea of a voiceover (as is often claimed), but he had wanted a voiceover with Deckard musing philosophically on the implications of his actions. Yorkin and Perenchio however wanted a voiceover where Deckard literally explains aspects of the film to the audience.
8. Of the many films Rutger Hauer has done, Blade Runner is his favorite. As he explained in a live chat in 2001,
"Blade Runner needs no explanation. It just [is]. All of the best. There is nothing like it. To be part of a real masterpiece which changed the world's thinking. It's awesome."Not everyone involved feels the same way though, as Harrison Ford revealed in a 1992 interview,
"Blade Runner is not one of my favorite films. I tangled with Ridley."Apart from friction with the director, Ford also disliked the voiceovers.
"When we started shooting it had been tacitly agreed that the version of the film that we had agreed upon was the version without voiceover narration. It was a f**king nightmare. I thought that the film had worked without the narration. But now I was stuck re-creating that narration. And I was obliged to do the voiceovers for people that did not represent the director's interests. I went kicking and screaming to the studio to record it"9. In 2006, Ridley Scott was asked "Who's the biggest pain in the arse you've ever worked with?", he replied:
"It's got to be Harrison ... he'll forgive me because now I get on with him. Now he's become charming. But he knows a lot, that's the problem. When we worked together it was my first film up and I was the new kid on the block.That they did.
But we made a good movie."
10. Philip K. Dick died shortly before the film's release,but he had seen a 20-minute special effects test reel that was screened for him when he was invited to the studio. Despite his well known skepticism of Hollywood in principle, Dick enthused to Ridley Scott that the world created for the film looked exactly as he had imagined it. He said,
"I saw a segment of Douglas Trumbull's special effects for Blade Runner on the KNBC-TV news. I recognized it immediately. It was my own interior world. They caught it perfectly."He also approved of the film's script, saying,
"After I finished reading the screenplay, I got the novel out and looked through it. The two reinforce each other, so that someone who started with the novel would enjoy the movie and someone who started with the movie would enjoy the novel."The motion picture was dedicated to Dick.
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