Interview with Ridley Scott about Blade Runner: The Final Cut

There’s an interview with Ridley Scott in Wired magazine about the final cut of Blade Runner that is finally coming to DVD and theaters this year. (You can read about how I’ve been waiting for this movie for nine frickin’ years over here.)

Some excerpts:

Wired: You’ve called Blade Runner your most complete and personal film. How so?

Scott: I just finished American Gangster. It’s about two real guys who are still alive, so you want to make it absolutely accurate. It’s not a documentary, but it feels awfully real. For Black Hawk Down, I went to the location and shot it. Legend was more imaginative, but it borrowed from Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast and the best of Disney. Blade Runner involved full-bore imagination. Deckard’s universe had to be expanded into credibility. That’s probably the hardest thing I’ve done, because there was nothing to borrow from.

Wired: Is it true that you didn’t read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the book on which Blade Runner was based, before making the movie?
Scott:I honestly couldn’t get into it. It’s so dense, by page 32 there’s about 17 story lines. So one of the problems is distilling it down into a three-act play that can be filmed. Fancher did that with a script he called Dangerous Days. Deeley came to see me when I was mixing Alien and said, “Do you want to do another science fiction?” I said, “I don’t really want to go down that route if I can avoid it.” But, to cut a long story short, eight months later, the script stayed with me. So I went back to Deeley saying, “You know, we can expand this into something more spectacular if we push it outside onto the street and create a futuristic urban universe.” I could never shake loose the fact that I was a designer — which I’m constantly criticized for, and I really don’t give a shit. At the end of the day, it has proved to be quite useful.

Wired: Blade Runner was prescient in many ways, anticipating globalization, genetic engineering, biometric security. How do you gauge the movie’s influence?
Scott: Enormous. One of the top architects in the world told me he used to run it in his office once a month. Architecture would have been my game if I hadn’t done movies. Frequently an architect will design a building and then walk, and not care about what’s put inside it, which is a pity. If I were an architect I’d say, you know, “You can’t have that chair.” And I think of Charles Knode’s wardrobe, which people don’t talk about often enough. Usually you get bad futuristic suits, right? Deckard’s was very well done. And Rachael’s clothes were stunning. I think there was a lot of influence from the film in that direction. And interiors, definitely. A big clothing designer sent me pictures of the interior of his place, and the factories looked like Blade Runner. Hotels in New York started to look like the movie.

Wired: What have you learned about Blade Runner — the story, the characters, the ideas — that you didn’t know when the production began?
Scott: I always knew everything! I knew all the characters. Of course, I got more experience as a filmmaker. But the more experience you get, the less you know — because the more you know, the more you know can go wrong. It can make you insecure. But I don’t worry much about that.

Also nice to see Mamoru Oshii is a fan – why am I not surprised?

(Via Boing Boing.)

Comments 2

  1. Alex wrote:

    So, do you still think Cyberpunk hasn’t been done right in game-form yet? To be honest I can’t think of a good one myself.

    Posted 28 Sep 2007 at 0:46
  2. Stitched wrote:

    I would argue that Deus Ex is a pretty good “cyberpunk” game but I guess it would depend on your definition of cyberpunk. (Syndicate? Neuromancer? Blade Runner? Hacker: Uplink?)

    I think it’s a genre that’s way past it’s prime. It would be like making a “Neuromancer” movie after “The Matrix” and “Blade Runner” are already out there.

    Posted 29 Sep 2007 at 10:25