- Directors: Ridley Scott
- Producers: Michael Deeley
- Writers: Novel, Philip K Dick, Screenplay, Hampton Fancher, David Peoples
- Genres: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
- Actors: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, M Emmet Walsh, Daryl Hannah
Advances in genetic technology have allowed scientists to create sophisticated biologically-engineered humanoid beings called “replicants”. Following a violent revolt that takes place “off world,” replicants are declared illegal on Earth.
In Los Angeles, November 2019, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is called out of retirement when a fellow Blade Runner, Holden (Morgan Paull) is shot administering a Voight-Kampff test to Leon (Brion James), an escaped replicant. A reluctant Deckard is brought to his old boss Bryant (M. Emmet Walsh), who informs him that the recent escape of Nexus-6 replicants is the worst yet. He orders Deckard to eliminate the four replicants, a process referred to as “retirement”. Deckard agrees to help after Bryant makes thinly-veiled threats вЂ“ if Deckard is not a cop, then he is ‘little people’.
Bryant briefs Deckard on the replicants: Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), the leader, is a “combat model”; Leon Kowalski (Brion James) is a nuclear fuel loader; Zhora (Joanna Cassidy) is an assassin built for martial arts; and Pris (Daryl Hannah) is a “basic pleasure model”. Bryant also explains that the Nexus-6 model has a four-year lifespan as a failsafe to prevent them from developing emotions and desire for independence. Deckard is then teamed with Gaff (Edward James Olmos) and sent to the Tyrell Corporation to ensure that the Voight-Kampff test works on Nexus-6 models. While there, Deckard discovers that Tyrell’s (Joe Turkel) young assistant Rachael (Sean Young) is an experimental replicant who believes she is a human; Rachael’s consciousness has been enhanced with implanted memories from Tyrell’s niece, an accomplishment with which Tyrell seems most pleased.
The producers of the film arranged for a screening of some special effects rough cuts for Philip K. Dick shortly before he died in early 1982. Despite his well known skepticism of Hollywood in principle, he became quite enthusiastic about the film. He said, “I saw a segment of Douglas Trumbull’s special effects for Blade Runner on the KNBC-TV news. I recognized it immediately. It was my own interior world. They caught it perfectly.” He also approved of the film’s script, saying, “After I finished reading the screenplay, I got the novel out and looked through it. The two reinforce each other, so that someone who started with the novel would enjoy the movie and someone who started with the movie would enjoy the novel.”