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Nixed Blade Runner intro would've amped up the action

Contributed by
Aug 31, 2017

Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion are nothing compared to hot soup, apparently.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, the original opening of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner didn't begin with a glitchy Leon Kowalski gunning down his inquisitor after being asked about a tortoise bathing in the sun.

As told by Paul M. Sammon, author of Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner, in a featurette included in Blade Runner: The Final Cut, the upcoming 35th anniversary Blu-ray, the director early on tasked scribe Hampton Fancher with writing a vastly different prologue for his 1982 sci-fi classic — one built around the image of a boiling pot of soup that Harrison Ford's Rick Deckard encounters cooking on a stove in a farmhouse.

According to Scott's original vision, a man in farmer's overalls enters the kitchen and, ignoring Deckard, starts stirring the soup at which point the story starts with a bang.

"[The farmer] says, 'Do you want any soup?' Deckard doesn't say anything. 'Who are you with, anyway?' this guy says while stirring," recalls Sammon. "Deckard gets up and says 'I'm Deckard, Blade Runner.' Boom! He kills this guy for no reason. Just shoots him. And then as this guy slumps against this wall, falls to the floor, Deckard reaches into his head and pulls his lower jaw out. And you see that it is an aluminum construct with an ID number stamped on it, and you realize it is not a person, it is a robot. Deckard takes this, puts in into his trench coat and walks out of the farmhouse, across the field. A little dog shows up and is barking as Deckard [flies] off."

Conceived back when the Blade Runner script was still called Dangerous Days, the scene would've established the noirish tone of the movie's mutinous android world a lot faster than the interrogation scene that found its way into the finished version.

No word why Scott ultimately nixed the intro.

Of course, the filmmaker is famous for tinkering with his Replicants on the run saga, having unleashed eight — count 'em eight — versions including his 2007 final director's cut which helmer Denis Villeneuve used as canon for his sequel Blade Runner 2049, due out in October.

The 35th anniversary Blu-Ray, a 5-disc set which includes the definitive Final Cut  remastereed in 4K and over seven hours of bonus features, hits stores Sept. 5th.