May 31, 2006
Blade Runner Final Cut Coming in 2007!
Warner Home Video will issue a new remastered director’s cut of the classic SF movie Blade Runner in September now that it has cleared up rights issues, followed by a theatrical release of a version promised to be truly director Ridley Scott’s final cut, Variety reported. Warner’s rights to Blade Runner lapsed a year ago, but the studio has since negotiated a long-term license.
The movie has a troubled history. When Scott ran over budget, completion bond guarantors took control of it and made substantial changes before its 1982 theatrical release, adding a voice-over and a happy ending. That version was replaced by the much better-received director’s cut in 1992, but Scott has long been unhappy with it, complaining that he was rushed and unable to give it proper attention.
Scott started working on the final cut version in 2000, but that project was shelved by Warner soon after, apparently because the studio couldn’t come to terms with Jerry Perenchio over rights issues.
The restored “director’s cut” will debut on home video in September and will remain on sale for only four months, after which time it will be placed on moratorium. Blade Runner: Final Cut will arrive in 2007 for a limited 25th-anniversary theatrical run, followed by a special-edition DVD with the three previous versions offered as alternate viewing. Besides the original theatrical version and director’s cut, the expanded international theatrical cut will be included. The set will also contain additional bonus materials.
We’ve had so many stops and starts with this that it almost seems too good to be true. I doubt I’ll be able to wait on the remastered version of the Directors’ Cut either, as the current Blade Runner DVD quality is far from good. Personally though, I’m really hoping for a nice featurette in the 2007 version detailing Blade Runner’s enormous influence on the genre.