If you’ve listened to the show much, you know that I’m a big fan of Ridley Scott’s brilliant 1982 film Blade Runner. The movie was one of the first DVDs released, and last year saw a slight update to that disc with a better transfer. But fans of the film know that this was the movie which started the whole idea of the “director’s cut” on home video, and the fact that there has only been one version available on DVD has been a real sticking point to many of us who love the medium’s ability to give us multiple versions of our favorite films. That’s all about to change.
On Dec. 18, the movie will finally get the release it deserves with Blade Runner: The Final Cut (The Digital Bits has details). Scott has long been rumored to be working on a third cut of the film, which this release will contain.
But they’re finally doing the movie right on DVD. Fans can pick from three different DVD releases: a two-disc set that just contains the “final cut” edition plus some cool looking special features; a four-disc set which includes everything from the two-disc set plus the original theatrical cut, the international theatrical cut, and the 1992 director’s cut; and a killer five-disc set that includes all of that plus the little-seen workprint cut, never commercially released, and it all comes in an awesome fake briefcase designed to look like the Voight-Kampff machine. For those living in the future, all these releases will be available on HD-DVD and Blu-Ray formats as well.
I’m a little nervous about the “final cut,” as Scott is going back and tweaking with special effects and things like that, which I’m never overly fond of. But — and pay attention, Lucas — it’s not a big deal to me, because when the post office delivers my awesome five-disc briefcase set, I’ll have nice copies of every version of the movie. In terms of packaging and cool features, this looks like it may be the neatest DVD set since the Lord of the Rings extended edition sets.
I’m even more excited than I would be normally, because I haven’t actually seen the film since the VHS days. I’ve literally been waiting to buy this set for more than seven years. When I got a DVD player in early 2000, I was going to buy the Blade Runner DVD but even then everybody knew a special edition was in the works. I have endured through years and years of rumors that we were going to get some cool set that contained the new cut of the film plus the theatrical and first director’s cuts, but I never expected something this cool.