10 fascinating facts about Blade Runner

Alex LaFreniere


Though initially met with mixed reviews, “Blade Runner” has grown into one of the most influential and enduring sci-fi films of all time. Directed by Ridley Scott, the movie follows detective Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) as he hunts down a group of dangerous artificial humans known as Replicants. The film is a classic detective noir story crossed with sci-fi that asks some deep questions about the nature of humanity. Read on to discover some interesting facts about the cult classic.

Blade Runner

10 fascinating facts about Blade Runner

1. The death of Scott’s brother inspired the film’s darkness

ridley scott blade runner
Image courtesy Warner Bros.

Director Ridley Scott didn’t know his older brother well growing up. Frank Scott had left the family at age 16 to work on a ship before living in Singapore for the next 14 years. Scott was just starting to get to know his brother when Frank received a cancer diagnosis that would eventually prove fatal. Scott made “Blade Runner” to explore the pain he felt after losing his brother, which contributed to the film’s dark themes.

2. It’s Rutger Hauer’s favorite movie

rutger hauer blade runner roy batty
Image courtesy Warner Bros.

Actor Rutger Hauer plays Roy Batty, the leader of the group of rogue replicants and the antagonist of the film. A prolific actor, Hauer has appeared in over 170 films. Despite this long list of credits, Hauer has stated that his role in Blade Runner is by far his favorite. He devoted himself to the character, even writing the iconic “tears in the rain” monologue that he delivers in the film.

3. Choosing the title wasn’t easy

harrison ford blade runner deckard
Image courtesy Warner Bros.

“Blade Runner” is based on the sci-fi novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” by famous author Philip K. Dick. The writing team decided that a different title would be needed for the movie, and went through several iterations that included “The Blade Runner” and “Bladerunner” before finally settling on “Blade Runner”

4. Harrison Ford and Ridley Scott didn’t get along

harrison ford ridley scott blade runner
Image courtesy Warner Bros.

Actor Harrison Ford was chosen for the role of Deckard based on his success in other sci-fi films like “Star Wars.” Unfortunately, Ford and director Ridley Scott didn’t get along during filming. Ford has stated that “Blade Runner” was one of his least favorite films to make, and Scott stated that working with Ford was a “pain in the arse.” The two have since reconciled their differences… even if they disagree about the film’s true ending.

5. There was a “T-shirt war” on set

ridley scott blade runner t-shirt war
Image courtesy Warner Bros.

Ridley Scott also ran into friction with his American film crew. In an interview, Scott stated that he would rather work with an English crew because they were much more responsive when given orders. The crew fired back after the perceived insult, getting T-shirts that said “Yes gov’nor, my ass.” In response, Scott wore his own T-shirt that read “Xenophobia sucks.” The tensions between Scott and the film crew continued throughout filming.

6. Spinners are real vehicles

blade runner spinner vehicle
Image courtesy Warner Bros.

The Spinner vehicles used in the film are actually full-sized cars built by Gene Winfield, a custom car creator. Winfield built 25 vehicles for the film, and also loaned them out to other productions after filming completed. Eagle-eyed viewers can spot a Spinner in the background of a shot in “Back to the Future II.”

7. There are seven different versions of the film

blade runner roy batty
Image courtesy Warner Bros.

“Blade Runner” is perhaps most well known for the ambiguity of the film’s meanings and endings. After clashes between the producers and Scott, much of the film was cut and re-edited into a theatrical version. Since then, at least several different cuts have been released, with each cut contributing to different interpretations of the film.

8. It’s the most sampled film in music

blade runner harrison ford deckard
Image courtesy Warner Bros.

As of 2004, “Blade Runner” holds the title of the most sampled film in 20th-century music. The film’s soundtrack and dialogue has reportedly been used over 738 times in various songs and other media. Dialogue and recordings from NASA’s space progams hold a close second.

9. It’s rumored to be cursed

blade runner advertiser curse
Image courtesy Warner Bros.

Several brands and companies, such as Coca-Cola, Tsingtao Beer, and Cuisinart feature prominently as in-universe advertisements in the movie. Unfortunately, many companies that had ads featured in the film have since been met with unfortunate ends. PanAm, Atari, RCA, and Bell Phones have all gone bankrupt since being featured in “Blade Runner,” leading many to speculate that the film is cursed.

10. One of the actors created a language for the film

edward james olmos cityspeak blade runner
Image courtesy Warner Bros.

At one point in the film, Deckard meets with fellow detective Gaff, who speaks to Deckard in an original language called “Cityspeak.” Actor Edward James Olmos, who plays Gaff, actually created the language himself. Olmos, who is multi-lingual, created Cityspeak by blending Japanese, German, Spanish, Hungarian, Chinese, and French.

If you want to check out this classic for yourself, head to Softonic’s Where to Watch site to see where you can stream “Blade Runner” right now, and decide for yourself what the movie’s head-scratching ending really means.

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