Blade Runner box set
I didn’t make it out to the San Diego Comic Con last week, but I heard it was great. Among many other things there was a panel for the long-awaited release of the Five-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition of BLADE RUNNER (which will be available on DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-ray). Harrison Ford and Daryll Hannah were no-shows (boo!), but director Ridley Scott and cast members Joe Turkel, Joanna Cassidy, Sean Young, and James Hong (“Seinfeld, party of four!”) were there. The enthusiastic response of the audience full of fans dwarfed that given to the other big panel put on by Warner Brothers, dedicated to the home video release of this year’s blockbuster, 300.
Word is that the “Final Cut” on this DVD will correct problems seen in previous versions (mismatched redubbing of lines, etc). One of the most glaring was the visible face of the stunt double for the death of Zhora when she plows through several panes of glass while being shot in the back. Scott apparently reshot the footage with actress Joanna Cassidy strapping on her old costume again.
Along with a ton of extras, the box set will include five different versions of the film:
- The 1982 U.S. theatrical release, with the narration and the happy ending.
- The unrated European release, featuring a few more moments of gore and violence (which was previous available on VHS)
- The 1992 “Director’s Cut” that deleted the narration and the happy ending, and also inserted a shot of a unicorn (a dream in the mind of Deckard, played by Ford)
- The “Workprint,” an unfinished version put together for preview screenings that lacks the happy ending and contains only a brief snippet of narration near the end. This version has received sporadic theatrical play since 1992 because it was the most easily available (perhaps only available) 70mm print. Unfortunately, the Vangelis music score drops out during the final real, which is filled with temp music from Jerry Goldsmith’s score for Planet of the Apes.
- The “Final Cut,” which is supposed to be an amalgam of the best bits from previous versions. (The 1992 Director’s Cut was a bit of a rush job that did not allow time for restoring footage from the Workprint and/or the European cut.)
Now at long last, BLADE RUNNER fans can be satisfied.