On June 25th, 28 years ago, the seminal science fiction classic Blade Runner was released.
The film was derived from a loose adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s dystopian novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Though he had his initial concerns surrounding the project, Dick was surprisingly pleased with the script and overall aesthetics of the movie, saying “the film looked exactly as I had imagined it. After I finished reading the screenplay, I got the novel out and looked through it. The two reinforce each other.” Considering Dick was well known for his acute skepticism of Hollywood, his opinion came as uncommon praise.
But as many Blade Runner viewers would rightfully attest, the film is anything but common, being one of the most heavily dissected, discussed, and re-released cult classics to grace the silver screen. As a result of controversial edits undertaken by the studio and the film’s notorious popularity in the burgeoning (at the time) rental industry, seven wholly separate versions of the movie exist. The irony of which, even though they had released a “Director’s Cut” years earlier, it took until 2007 for Warners Brothers to release the only version the director Scott Ridley -actually- retained full artistic control of, The Final Cut.
Whichever version of Blade Runner might be closest to your heart I hope you do yourself a service the next time you settle in for a movie. Turn on a copy, grab your Voigt-Kampff machine, and ask yourself what it means to be a human.
Considering the world out there, Batty knows it couldn’t hurt.