The workprint of the film objectively does not have a unicorn scene. It was not taken out because it was never in.
We went over this in the other thread if you need help with the source. :)
The workprint is included on the Final Cut 5-disc collector’s edition. There’s no unicorn. I just checked.
Thank you. I was going to upload the Workprint on a torrent for Tom otherwise.
@tomchick Also the orgami “reveal” would work too much as deus ex machina, because there were hardly any firm evidence that Deckard is a replicant until then. It is not like that was a eureka moment for me, nor do I think it was intended as such.
The story already works intelligently as a sort of The Crying Game about andriod: the ultimate dehumaniser of android, a blade runner, comes around and considers an android a human, by loving her. Without Deckard being an android. (Incidentally this message is what the sequel crudely beats your head with so you can’t miss it, whereas in the original it is all show-not-tell.)
The story becomes quite a different beast if Deckard is a replicant. And a mundane one IMO. It would be about one android breaking programming, which is a routine occurrence to require a blade runner.
Now I’m not saying Ridley Scott couldn’t have done the more mundane story, and intended it as sort of a clever twist. But that would be trading cleverness over intelligence.
He has that dream in the original as he falls asleep at the piano, doesn’t he? I don’t remember any other dreams in the movie so the addition/subtraction of that single shot changes whether you are supposed to think he is a replicant or not. Olmos could still give him the unicorn at the end and it wouldn’t have any particular significance without that shot. I think that was the exact intention of that shot, to change your view on him, and it only took one shot.
The other thing they did was add/remove all the overdubbed narration. With the narration Ford is explaining the whole movie to you in a rather pedantic way, without it the movie gains so much atmosphere, like the silent scene set to Vangelis where he walks around his empty dim apartment and goes out on his balcony with a drink and looks at the city while it’s raining and dripping, one of my favorite scenes in the movie.
Well, sure. At what stage of production was the workprint? The footage wasn’t used because of changes mandated by the studio. According to multiple sources, unused unicorn footage shot during the production of Blade Runner, contrary to Granath’s comment:
Bolding mine. We don’t all know that. And I’m still waiting for a source for his comment. I’ve shown my sources. And really, how is it even relevant? It’s a stupid argument to have. Because what if guys like Andy Bates (and I presume Soma and Granath) are right and Ridley Scott is lying. Let’s say there was no studio interference and the hundreds of people involved in the production are complicit in the lie. Let’s say Ridley Scott just thought up the director’s cut years later and it’s the product of a retconning conspiracy.
So what? It doesn’t change the fact that the later director’s cut is a movie about a guy who’s a replicant.
I saw and liked this movie, and thought it was at minumum a worthy sequel to the colossus that is Blade Runner, which is an accomplishment in itself!
However, I had serious problems getting past the main conceit of the movie, that replicants can give birth. This really really bothered me. If replicants needed to reproduce, they certainly wouldn’t bother with sex, gestation, and birth to get there – it’s freaking ridiculous. I dunno, that one thing made the whole proceedings feel completely ridiculous to me. Like a damn clown nose on the whole package that I couldn’t stop seeing. 🤡
Oh one final aside that didn’t even occur to me when watching the original Blade Runner multiple times: why would you send a single human out to kill androids when androids are far more powerful than humans? Bit of a death wish, innit? It’s the first thing I thought of in 2049 and then the rest of it made sense: you wouldn’t! So if Deckard was / is a replicant in the original movie, maybe that’s why. No sane human would want to go out and hunt androids, and certainly not alone.
Well, you’ve hit on one of the main points of the original idea that Deckard was a replicant. As they say in the Fast and Furious movies, it takes a wolf to hunt a wolf! It also explains why Gaff is sort of hovering around him the whole time. Gaff is keeping an eye on him because Gaff knows he’s a replicant.
That said, the idea of a lone detective working a case fits pretty well with noir, so I don’t have any problem with that in the theatrical release where he’s human. I think the title card also sets up this idea that he’s a special type of cop known as a blade runner. You might also figure guys like him and Holden need some sort of special training to administer Voight-Kompf tests. But, yeah, he does manage to get his ass kicked well and truly. Good thing Roy Batty had learned a bit of empathy.
Or you could argue the earlier model Replicants weren’t as dangerous, and they got more powerful and dangerous as new models were released. So back then it was less crazytown to send out one lone human to chase androids?
Still, we can easily build a (very bad) robot today that could trivially pound a human into mush – brute power isn’t the problem, intelligence is.
(incidentally the above is why the Black Mirror episode “metalhead” is one of the best in that season, the tech is no more than 30 years out to do what you see there.)
We have to go deeper. Harrison Ford was never told he was playing a replicant in a movie where the character doesn’t know he’s a replicant. Only Ridley Scott knows the truth!
Anyway, I’m sympathetic to the replicant angle, but I always thought it was silly the director could just declare that. He’s not the sole owner of that. There are other stakeholders in the project that think differently.
Watching the sequel tonight!
Nor sure I understand the complaint. They’re synthetic humans. Absent expertise in bioengineering, how else are they going to reproduce? They spent the whole first movie just trying not to die. And even with that expertise, it’s not going to be the same psychologically as having children. They want personhood, and the inability to reproduce is a powerful symbol of their lack of it in human society (of course, Wallace sees it in very different terms).
And for Wallace the idea, surely, is that nature has come up with a pretty efficient way of getting things to reproduce “automatically”, so why not go for it. It’s a lot cheaper to just let your slaves go forth and multiply than it is to build them from scratch each time.
Right. But copying humans exactly, with sex (wtf), gestation, and birth is wildly inefficient and dumb. It is so blatantly a plot macguffin.
It’s not inefficient and dumb if you’re starting from a premise of “synthetic humans with organs and human-like consciousness and shit”.
Dude the replicants could simply build their own factories to mass produce themselves. Or they could reproduce by splitting like bacteria. So many ways that are simpler and more reliable than sex plus gestation plus birth (and birth that incurs death risk for the mother, wtf).
Like I said, ultra annoying plot MacGuffin with zero technical sensibility.
But they don’t want to think of themselves as mass produced. The whole point is that they’re fighting for their individual personhood.
Eh? How, exactly, could they do that? They’re not bacteria, they’re synthetic humans. They’re not engineered to do asexual reproduction.
The movie does imply how difficult manufacturing is, and how frustrated Wallace is at its lack of adequate availability. The setting’s lore has also been consistent in showing how the inventors capable of creating replicants have been almost unique geniuses who have amassed tremendous power as a result.
Exactly. Movie making is a massive collaborative effort. Sometimes having different voices challenging the director will make a movie better. The late career Ridley Scott doing Alien: Convenant sounds like a person given too much creative freedom and not being given enough constructive criticism.
Why are they synthetic humans? The creation of such complex machines for the purpose of using them to do heavy lifting or fight wars is absurd. A properly equipped army of drones not too different from the one in the film would massacre an army of replicants, they would never see what hit them. Why would anyone create supersoldiers and then give them feelings? The human body is highly inefficient in terms of productivity, which why none of the machines we now use look like humans.
The whole premise makes no sense whatsoever, it’s obviously just a plot tool.