Blade Runner

[I transcribe these posts directly from the reference books in which I find the, errors and all. This entry contains two: Hampton Fancher (not Fincher) wrote the screenplay for Blade Runner; Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is a novel, not a short story, by Philip K. Dick.)

“A bleak science fiction film (1982) directed by Ridley Scott, starring Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer, and set in Los Angeles in the year 2019. Ford plays a detective who is hunting down rogue androids or ‘replicants.’ The special police squads to which Ford belongs are called Blade Runner Units, whose job it is to ‘retire’ (i.e. execute) replicants. This is explained in the opening scrolling text, but no further explanation of the title is proffered.

‘The Blade Runner’ was originally the title of a very different science fiction story by Alan E. Nourse, where smugglers called ‘blade runners’ supply an impoverished society with medical supplies. William S. Burroughs wrote ‘Bladerunner (A Movie)’ (19790 after reading Nourse’s book, though the name is the principal similarity between the stories. Hampton Fincher, the screenwriter for Ridley Scott’s movie, found Burroughs’ book and Scott liked it enough to adopt the title for the screenplay, buying the rights for the use of the name.

The story of the film is based on a short story by Philip K. Dick (1928-82) entitle Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968), which won that year’s nebula award.”

Excerpted from: Crofton, Ian, ed. Brewer’s Curious Titles. London: Cassell, 2002.

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