- The film was originally going to be set in 2020, (even while they were filming it). However they thought this would make people think of 20:20 vision, so they changed it to 2019 – one reason that Roy dies in less than four years!
- Right before working on BR, Syd Mead (“visual futurist” for BR) and Moebius both did Production Design on another SF film that, like BR, would become a major influence on moviemaking and computer animation. That movie was “Tron”.
- Returning props… The newspaper Deckard is reading in his first scene, at the White Dragon Noodle Bar, returns at two points during the movie; the piece of newspaper Deckard finds in the drawer inside Leon’s room at the Yukon; finally, it’s also the same one he is reading while he’s waiting for Zhora to show up, inside Taffey Lewis’ place.
- More returning props… The first scene with Chew has some pipes standing in a box in the foreground. These appear to be the same pipes people are smoking in Taffy Lewis’ bar (and elsewhere).
- The model of the blimp is currently in the possession of Warner Brothers and is on display in their museum in California. You can take a tour, but they don’t allow photography. It was purchased from Christie’s in 1998. You can find a detailed photo in Christie’s sale catalog 8115.
- When Deckard meets Rachael in Tyrell’s office, he asks her if the owl that is there is artificial. She tells him “Of course it is.” However, originally the owl was supposed to be real and Rachael even says so – her words were changed afterwards, to give more emphasis to the artificial.
The former version emphasized the fact that Tyrell must have been incredibly rich to be able to possess a rare specimen of an all but extinct species. (In the world of BR, real animals have becomes virtually extinct, so any surviving ones are priceless.)
However, it was changed for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the owl is shown to have these big glowing eyes, and it is used to establish the notion (towards us, the audience) that artificial beings, like the replicants, and animoids like the owl, have glowing eyes.
Also, it illustrates the level of perfection Tyrell has reached in creating these “imitations” of natural beings.
- At one point, while Deckard is V-K-ing Rachael, you can faintly hear Deckard talk about a “Bush outside your window… orange body, green legs.” This is actually a piece of the dialogue in a later scene, where Deckard tells Rachael she is a replicant.
Why? Well, it’s just the director playing with memories. With those of the characters – and ours, as well.
- Only one of the origami figures made by Gaff was actually made by actor Edward James Olmos; he made the chicken himself. The other figures were made by people from the props department.
- Leon’s line about his mother changes from the first time (“My Mother? … Let me tell you about my mother.”) to the time Deckard is listening to the recording (“… I’ll tell you about my mother!”).
Memories – you just can’t trust them.
- After Leon is retired, Deckard buys a bottle of “Tsing Tao”. Tsing Tao is actually a well-known brand of Chinese beer. However, the brewery is named after the place in Northern China where it is brewed. The name is also given to some red and white wines that are made in that region. So they could easily have a spirit made there as well – probably Vodka.
- The microscopic image of the snake scale Deckard finds is actually a close-up of the bud on top of a female marijuana plant. The serial number was added by manually retouching the photograph. The number we see doesn’t quite match the dialogue.
- Many (if not all) scenes from the original Outer Limits episode “Demon With a Glass Hand” (from a screenplay written by SF author Harlan Ellison) take place inside the Bradbury Building.
- Smoking habits in BR: Rachael, Pris and Holden all smoke French brand “Boyard” cigarettes.
- What is Deckard’s registration number?
It’s “B-two-sixty-three-fifty-four”, i.e. could be either B-260-354 or B-263-54 (there’s a subtle difference there; either way, without the final script it’s not possible to be sure).
Note: be careful if you are watching the movie with subtitling; the registration no. is often – mistakenly(?) – printed as “B26354″.
- What number does Deckard dial when he phones Rachael from Taffey’s Bar?
The number is 555-7583. (American movies and TV shows always use the 555 prefix in phone numbers – it is specifically not used in ‘real life’.) It costs Deckard $1.25 for the 30 second call.
- On what floor is Deckard’s apartment located?
It’s located on the 97th floor. (The apartment number is 9732)
- What is the address of Leon’s apartment?
1187 Hunterwasser [Street?] – The Yukon Hotel.
- About Deckard in Leon’s bathroom…
It wasn’t Harrison Ford! The shot was done after principal photography had ended, when Ford had ended his work on the film. This is why you only see his silhouette; the guy who played Deckard was a man called Vic Armstrong, who had worked as a stunt double for Ford in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”.
- About Zhora on Deckard’s “3D photograph”…
It wasn’t Joanna Cassidy! Again, this footage was shot after principal photography had ended, and a stand-in was hired. Although Joanna says she would have gladly come back to do it!
- About Roy Batty on one of Leon’s other photos…
It wasn’t Rutger Hauer! Once again, this footage was shot after principal photography had ended, and a stand-in was used.
- Zhora’s “artificial” snake is (or was?) in fact Joanna Cassidy’s own pet snake, a Burmese python named “Darling”.
- The owl’s name is/was “Aztec”; the animal was trained in England by Steve Beart who at the time was a trainer of birds of prey.
- When Batty releases the dove there are black clouds overhead. In the next shot the dove flies toward clear blue skies. This is because the dove wouldn’t fly in the rain. When released by Hauer, it actually just hopped off. The dove flying into the sky was actually filmed back in England during post-production.
- Harrison Ford was not the first choice for Rick Deckard. At one point – believe it or not – Dustin Hoffman (!) was considered for the role.
- J.F.Sebastian’s address is: Bradbury Apartments, Ninth Sector; N.F. 46751. The Bradbury, by the way, is an existing building, one of LA’s landmarks. (It looks nothing like in the movie, though.) It is located at 304 South Broadway, at the corner of 3rd Street. The lobby is open during the day, but they won’t let you go upstairs. The Million Dollar Theater is across the street, and Union Station (where the interior of the police HQ were filmed) and the tunnel that is seen in the movie, are also in the same general area. See the Locations section on the website for more details and photos: http://www.BRmovie.com/Locations
- BR’s street scenes were filmed on a set called the “Old New York Street”, part of what was known back then as the Burbank Studios (now Warner Brothers). Ironically, it was on this same movie set – “retrofitted” for the occasion – that old “film noir” detective classics like “The Maltese Falcon” and “The Big Sleep” were once filmed, the very genre that BR seems to evoke and emulate.
- Most of the scenes inside the Police HQ (all except the briefing room – AKA the “Blue Room” by the film crew) were shot at Union Station, downtown L.A.’s central train terminal. The outside (which was a model, of course) was made in a style that evoked the Art Deco look of the Chrysler building in New York.
- Ridley Scott did not want the term “android” to be used in the movie, likely because it was deemed misleading (as the replicants are much more “human” than “machine”). The term “replicant” was thought up by David Peoples after his daughter, Risa, who was involved in scientific work at the time, brought up the term “replicating”. It is a term used in biology that means: to reproduce exactly an organism, genetic material, or a cell.
The term “replicant” has, interestingly, also been included in the Encarta World English Dictionary (among others, I presume?):
REPLICANT (plural: replicants) [noun]
Half-human, half-technological being: an imaginary being, especially in science fiction, that has been constructed from organic and computerized components to look like a human being. (See also: “cyborg”)
[Source: Encarta(r) World English Dictionary (c) & (P) 1999]
It has become a recognised term in other Science Fiction films, for example being the title of “Replicant”, but much more appropriately used in the film “Impostor” which is also based on a PKD story. However, “replicant” is no longer a term used just in Science Fiction. It is one of the many influences that has filtered out of Blade Runner and now is a term that actually is used by scientists in the real world!
- The image on the screen in the spinner cockpit was exactly the same used in Scott’s previous SF movie, “Alien”. Also, the background sound heard in Deckard’s apartment at the end of the movie was also used in “Alien”, as well as in “The Empire Strikes Back” (during a quiet moment in Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber duel with Darth Vader).
- Religion in BR: apparently, religion will still be very much around in 2019: amongst the crowds of LA, we see Hare Krishnas, orthodox Jews, and nuns.
- Actor Joe Turkel, who plays Dr. Eldon Tyrell, played a character (Lloyd, the bartender) in Stanley Kubrick’s movie “The Shining” (starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall); at the end of the OV of BR, there was a “happy ending”, a scene that used unused footage from… “The Shining”!
Posted in: 1. Trivia