Last year, Ridley Scott polarised critics and fans by releasing two films on the opposite ends of the quality spectrum with The Last Duel and House of Gucci. While there were many who claimed that Scott has lost some of his magic as a filmmaker, his legacy will always be safe due to seminal masterpieces such as the 1982 sci-fi gem Blade Runner.
An adaptation of the vastly influential novel by Philip K. Dick, Blade Runner has often been referred to as a flawed project because it does not address many of the book’s concerns. However, the film is its own entity in many ways which has retained its status as a classic because of its magnificent ability to construct a neo-noir vision of Dick’s post-apocalyptic dystopia.
A stepping stone in the evolution of cyberpunk aesthetics, the original film asks many of the questions that Dick posed in his own literary investigation. Questioning the meaning of life and the post-human condition, Blade Runner is a sprawling exploration of the future of humanity where technology has become a biological extension.
Scott’s Blade Runner stars Harrison Ford as a “blade runner” who is ordered to track down rebelling replicants. In his pursuit of these robot refugees, he is forced to re-evaluate the definitions of what human means as well as other human concepts like friendship, love, brotherhood and fundamental rights. Even after all these years, the “tears in rain” monologue has the same emotional force behind it.
As was inevitable, Blade Runner continues to be a vital part of the discourse of popular culture. Although Denis Villeneuve disowned his sequel – Blade Runner 2049, the recent film also continues many of the investigations conducted by Dick and Scott while treating the viewer to the mesmerising cinematography of Roger Deakins.
Since then, there have been many other projects such as the anime Blade Runner: Black Lotus which received mixed reviews from critics and fans. In addition, Scott has also announced that there is a new TV series in the works which will be based in the Blade Runner universe. This news has already excited many members of the Blade Runner fan community.
Before the TV show arrives, some will also want to revisit the original film in order to understand how Blade Runner has evolved through the years. Take a look at some of the original storyboards that were made for the film before you jump into a rewatch of the 1982 masterpiece. These pictures provide brilliant insights into the artistic development of such an important cinematic masterpiece.
Check out the storyboards (via Happy Mag) for Blade Runner below.