Blade Runner: The Final Cut


I’m not fanboy enough to give you an exhaustive rundown of all the scenes Ridley Scott recut, reshot, rescored, and reshuffled to create this “ultimate” version of his 1982 scifi milestone. Rest assured, that list will be online within hours of the December 18 release of the much-anticipated 5-DVD set. But I can tell you that Blade Runner, the movie that defined the cyberpunk look long before William Gibson wrote the opening lines to Neuromancer, has never looked or worked better. I had the pleasure of seeing it on a big screen for the first time in hi-def digital projection at the Walter Reade Theater, and I can’t remember the last time a scene sent chills through me like Roy’s “C-Beams” speech.

Yes, the unicorn is still there, the ending is that of the 1992 director’s cut, and apparently, there’s new music by Vangelis. The sequence where Deckard takes down Zhora has been redone substantially, and the shot in which Roy lets the dove fly is definitely new. There may have been a few new CGI vehicles, too. But everything is done tastefully and subtly; nobody here shoots first who didn’t shoot first before, and those Atari billboards are still were they used to be.

The new cut confirms Blade Runner‘s status as a major achievement and the high water mark of Ridley Scott’s career. It’s also fun to see a younger Edward James Olmos as Gaff in a movie that his new show Battlestar Galactica owes so much to conceptually. The Final Cut will screen at the NYFF on September 29 and comes to the Ziegfield for one week starting October 5. Go if you can.

Blade Runner: The Final Cut. Ridley Scott, 1982/2007. *****


  1. Nothing but exciting.

    What sucks so hard is that I have a NYFF press pass and should be seeing all these films with you, but the superlative bait-and-switch my job gave me (Be the man about town regarding movies = stay chained to a desk and code in XML with no lunch break) has turned that into a sad, sad joke. I’ll whine about this in person next time I see you.

    Anyhow, few movies deserve 4 official versions — Blade Runner is one of ’em.

  2. Anyone have any idea where it is screening in LA? Want to fly down to see, but want to get an advance on where.

  3. I don’t know about LA, but here’s all the info I have, from the press release:

    At last! The Definitive Version of Sir Ridley Scott’s Sci-Fi Classic
    starring Harrison Ford
    The Film That Started It All
    Debuts on DVD December 18 with
    Exclusive New York/LA Theatrical Launch October 5

    Three Spectacular Editions of Director’s Long-Awaited New Version,
    Restored and Remastered with 5.1 Audio,
    New and Deleted Scenes, Special Effects and More
    All 4 Previous Cuts, Including the Ultra-Rare ‘Workprint’ Version, Available Along with Hours of Extra Content Including Over 45 Minutes of Deleted Scenes & “Dangerous Days,” the Comprehensive New Feature-Length Doc
    Ultimate Collector’s Edition, in Unique Limited ‘Deckard Briefcase,’
    also Available in HD DVD & Blu-Ray

    San Diego, July 26, 2007 – The one that started it all. Sir Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, starring Harrison Ford, is one of the most important science-fiction movies of the 20th Century — the film with immeasurable influence on society for its futuristic depiction of a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world, a film perhaps more powerful and relevant today than when it was made. The film, in fact, has appeared on more ‘Top Five’ sci-fi lists than any other film.
    In celebration of its 25th anniversary, director Ridley Scott (Alien, Hannibal and a three-time Oscar® nominee, Best Director, for Gladiator, Thelma & Louise and Black Hawk Down) has gone back into post production to create the long-awaited definitive new version, which Warner Home Video will unveil on DVD December 18th in the U.S. Blade Runner: The Final Cut, spectacularly restored and remastered from original elements and scanned at 4K resolution, will contain never-before-seen added/extended scenes, added lines, new and improved special effects, director and filmmaker commentary, an all-new 5.1 Dolby® Digital audio track and more.
    A showcase theatrical run is also being planned for New York and Los Angeles October 5.
    Blade Runner: The Final Cut will be included in three stunning DVD editions: a Two-Disc Special Edition (at $20.97 SRP), a Four-disc Collector’s Edition ($34.99 SRP) and the Five-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition ($78.92 SRP) in Collectible “Deckard Briefcase” packaging.
    Simultaneous HD DVD and Blu-Ray versions (each $99.98 SRP) of the “Deckard Briefcase” will also be released in numbered, limited quantities. HD DVD and Blu-Ray 5-Disc Digi Packs with collectible slipcase (each $39.99 SRP) will include all of the UCE content.
    Ford, Rutger Hauer, Edward James Olmos, Joanna Cassidy, Sean Young and Daryl Hannah are among some 80 stars, filmmakers and others who participate in the extensive bonus features. Among the bonus material highlights is Dangerous Days – a brand new, three-and-a-half-hour documentary by award-winning DVD producer Charles de Lauzirika, with an extensive look into every aspect of the film: its literary genesis, its challenging production and its controversial legacy. The definitive documentary to accompany the definitive film version.
    Additionally, two of the collections (4- & 5-Disc) will include an entire disc with hours of enhanced content containing featurettes and galleries devoted to over 45 minutes of deleted and alternate scenes recently discovered in deep storage and approved by Ridley Scott, visual effects as well as background on author Philip K. Dick, script development, abandoned sequences, conceptual design, overall impact of the film and how it lead to the birth of cyberpunk. Trailers, TV spots and promotional featurettes will also be included.

    Among some of the fascinating factoids talked about in the special features:
    • Notable actual locations were used to reflect 2019 Los Angeles, such as Union Station, 2nd Street tunnel and the Bradbury building.
    • The top of Police Headquarters is actually part of the Mothership from “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”
    • In the last scene, Rutger Hauer made the jump between buildings himself.
    • In the fight scene between Daryl Hannah and Harrison Ford, Hannah pulled Ford’s nose so hard that his nose actually bled afterwards.
    • Holding a dove, and letting it fly away, in the last scene was never in the script, but rather Rutger Hauer’s idea when filming the scene.
    • “Dangerous Days” was originally the name of the script.
    Said Sir Ridley Scott: “The Final Cut is the product of a process that began in early 2000 and continued off and on through seven years of intense research and meticulous restoration, technical challenges, amazing discoveries and new possibilities. I can now wholeheartedly say that Blade Runner: The Final Cut is my definitive director’s cut of the film.”



    Disc One
    Restored and remastered with added & extended scenes, added lines, new and cleaner special effects and all new 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio. Also includes:
    • Commentary by Director Ridley Scott
    • Commentary by Executive Producer/ Co-Screenwriter Hampton Fancher and Co-Screenwriter David Peoples; Producer Michael Deely and production executive Katherine Haber
    • Commentaries by visual futurist Syd Mead; production designer Lawrence G. Paull, art director David L. Snyder and special photographic effects supervisors Douglas Trumbull, Richard Yuricich and David Dryer

    Disc Two
    A feature-length authoritative documentary revealing all the elements that shaped this hugely influential cinema landmark. Cast, crew, critics and colleagues give a behind-the-scenes, in-depth look at the film — from its literary roots and inception through casting, production, visuals and special effects to its controversial legacy and place in Hollywood history.

    Included DVD trailers:
    • I am Legend
    • Invasion
    • Fracture
    • Superman Doomsday


    The Four-Disc Collector’s Edition includes everything from the 2-Disc Special Edition plus three additional versions of the film, as well as an “Enhancement Archive” bonus disc of enhanced content that includes 90 minutes of deleted footage and rare or never-before-seen items in featurettes and galleries that cover the film’s amazing history, production teams, special effects, impact on society, promotional trailers, TV spots, and much more.

    Disc Three
    This is the version that introduced U.S. movie-going audiences to a revolutionary film with a new and excitingly provocative vision of the near-future. It contains Deckard/Harrison Ford’s character narration and has Deckard and Rachel’s (Sean Young) “happy ending” escape scene.

    Also used on U.S. home video, laserdisc and cable releases up to 1992. This version is not rated, and contains some extended action scenes in contrast to the Theatrical Version.

    The Director’s Cut omits Deckard’s voiceover narration and removes the “happy ending” finale. It adds the famously-controversial “unicorn” sequence, a vision that Deckard has which suggests that he, too, may be a replicant.

    Disc Four
    BONUS DISC – “Enhancement Archive”
    • Featurette The Electric Dreamer: Author Philip K. Dick
    • Featurette Sacrificial Sheep: The Novel vs. The Film
    • Philip K. Dick: The Blade Runner Interviews (Audio)
    • Featurette Signs of the Times: Graphic Design
    • Featurette Fashion Forward: Wardrobe and Styling
    • Screen Tests: Rachel and Pris
    • Featurette The Light That Burns: Remembering Jordan Cronenweth
    • Deleted and Alternate Scenes
    • 1982 Promotional Featurettes
    • Trailers and TV Spot
    • Featurette Promoting Dystopia: Rendering the Poster Art
    • Featurette Deck-A-Rep: The True Nature of Rick Deckard
    • Featurette Nexus Generation: Fans & Filmmakers

    The 5-disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition includes everything from the previously described
    4-Disc Edition, plus the ultra-rare, near-legendary WORKPRINT version of the film, newly remastered. The Ultimate Collector’s Edition will be presented in a unique 5-disc digi-package with handle which is a stylish version of Rick Deckard’s own briefcase, in addition each briefcase will be individually numbered and in limited supply. Included is a lenticular motion film clip from the original feature, miniature origami unicorn figurine, miniature replica spinner car, collector’s photographs as well as a signed personal letter from Sir Ridley Scott.

    Disc Five
    This rare version of the film is considered by some to be the most radically different of all the Blade Runner cuts. It includes an altered opening scene, no Deckard narration until the final scenes, no “unicorn” sequence, no Deckard/Rachel “happy ending,” altered lines between Batty (Rutger Hauer) and his creator Tyrell (Joe Turkell), alternate music and much more.

    Also includes:
    • Introduction by Ridley Scott
    • Commentary by Paul M. Sammon, author of Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner
    • Featurette All Our Variant Futures: From Workprint to Final Cut

    About Blade Runner
    Blade Runner made its first appearance in U.S. theaters on June 25, 1982, dazzling audiences with its stylish, brooding look into the future. From its intelligent, provocative story line to its stunning camera work and state-of-the art special effects, the film opened the door to a new view of tomorrow in addition to prefiguring important concerns of the 21st century, such as globalization, urban decay, global warming, over-population and genetic engineering.

    Set in a multi-ethnic, overcrowded, high-tech city of the future, Blade Runner was also a benchmark in costume and production design and helped spawn a new genre/lifestyle — neo-noir cyberpunk which has flourished in today’s mainstream society and is reflected in all facets of entertainment, design and fashion trends. Most recognizable is the current trend of the Harajuku district in Japan, recently popularized by Gwen Stefani.

    In Blade Runner, genetically manufactured beings called “replicants” are built to do dangerous and degrading work on Earth’s “Off-World colonies.” Physically identical to adult humans, yet much more powerful, a group of replicants hides in Los Angeles after a bloody mutiny.

    Heading the all-star cast, many in career-expanding roles, is Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard, a special police “blade runner” assigned to hunt down and kill the escapees. Also starring are Sean Young as Rachel, Deckard’s replicant lover; Edward James Olmos as Gaff, a mysterious fellow policeman; Daryl Hannah as Pris and Joanna Cassidy as Zhora, two beautiful yet murderous replicants; and Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty, the replicant leader who challenges Deckard’s ideas of what it is to be human.

    Blade Runner was adapted from the novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by acclaimed science-fiction author Philip K. Dick. Hollywood has since discovered this eclectic author in full force, and some of the films adapted from Dick’s works include Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, Next, and Total Recall, among others, grossing millions of dollars worldwide. But it was Blade Runner that started it all. The film was nominated for 2 Academy Awards® — for Best Art Direction and Best Visual Effects. Oscar®- winning composer Vangelis created the musical score.

    The multiple “Top Ten” lists Blade Runner has consistently placed high on are: #1 on Wired Magazine’s list, and the English Scientists/Guardian Science List made it the #1 sci-fi film of all time based on surveys with 60 scientists. It is #3 on Entertainment Weekly’s “best sci-fi movies and TV shows of the past 25 years,” and is also #3 on SFX Magazine’s list. Blade Runner makes the top ten on the Internet Movie Database’s (IMDB) list, beating out such films as Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, Frankenstein, King Kong, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T.

    Street Date: December 18, 2007
    Rated “R” – Widescreen 16×9, Color

    $20.97 SRP
    Catalog # 114482
    Packaging: Double Amaray
    Feature Run Time: 157:30

    $34.99 SRP
    Catalog # 114483
    Packaging: 4-Disc Digi-Pak w/ Custom Slipcase
    Feature Run Time: 157:30

    Limited Numbered Edition in “Deckard Briefcase” w/Collectible Memorabilia
    $78.92 SRP
    Catalog # 114484
    Feature Run Time: 157:30

    $39.99 SRP
    HD Catalog #118573
    Packaging: Digi-Pak with Collectible Slipcase

    $39.99 SRP
    BD Catalog #118574
    Packaging: Digi-Pak with Collectible Slipcase

    And here is a message from Ridley about the FINAL CUT

    THE FINAL CUT is the product of a process that began in early 2000 and continued off-and-on through seven years of intense research and meticulous restoration, technical challenges, amazing discoveries and new possibilities.

    I have included the four previously-seen versions of the film in newly-transferred anamorphic widescreen with original, unaltered 5.1 sound taken from archival six-tracks. My goal was to give you the film in whatever form you prefer, with the best picture and sound quality possible.

    The film’s 35mm footage was scanned at 4K resolution off the original negative, while its groundbreaking visual effects were scanned at 8K resolution off pristine 65mm elements, all resulting in a stunning visual experience the likes of which have not been seen since the film’s 1982 release. And perhaps not even then. Likewise, we used existing six-track masters to re-mix the film’s immersive soundtrack with today’s state-of-the-art technology.

    And finally, I’ve assembled a collection of in-depth documentaries, multi-faceted commentaries, never-before-seen footage and rare artwork to give you a deeper appreciation of all the work that went into the making of this film.

    I can now wholeheartedly say that BLADE RUNNER: THE FINAL CUT is my definitive director’s cut of the film.


  4. Do re-releases/re-edits qualify for Academy Awards? Blade Runner got screwed in 1982 (best special effects to E.T?) and it would be nice if that were corrected.

  5. Starting October 5th, BR will be playing in Los Angeles at:

    The Landmark
    10850 W Pico Blvd
    LA CA 90064

  6. I watched BR when i was 10 in 1983 on video.At that age
    this wonderful film blew me away.i have never wanted to
    watch a film again as much as this rework of ridleys masterpiece.From an eager fan in Leeds,England i will have to wait until new year for the 5 disc DVD.But god what a great start to 2008.

  7. Excellent post, I have been an avid fan of this cult classic, I have all of the versions of it except for the Final cut which I cannot wait to get on the 18th of this month.

    You guys might want to check this out, in lieu of the Final Cuts release they have made a page where people have uploaded a TON of fan art, fashion, literature, & film and you get to vote for which ones are the best. Go to

  8. In addition to the mega dvd collection, there’s going to be a new version of the soundtrack.

    It features two CDs of previously unreleased music by Vangelis, including a full CD of tracks from the movie and another CD of new compositions by Vangelis.
    Here’s a link to the details:

    Vangelis Blade Runner soundtrack

    I don’t know about sitting through 5 dvds, but I’ll definitely listen to 3cds of this.



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