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Some "Blade Runner" info from Alan Ladd (producer)


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#1 of 140 ONLINE   Josh Steinberg

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Posted April 06 2004 - 01:17 PM

I just attended a lecture at my college being given by producer Alan Ladd, who was one of Blade Runner's many producers. Thankfully, there was at least one person in the audience who couldn't resist asking about the film's troubled DVD release, and here's what Mr. Ladd had to say:

-Ladd insisted that Ridley Scott wanted the narration when the film was first released. Ladd said that Scott came to him when the film was in post and asked for permission to do a narration. Scott said that he wanted the film to have a noirish-old detective movie feeling. Ladd says that Ridley Scott's comments after the film's release claiming he never wanted it was just not true.

-As has been widely reported, Harrison Ford and Ridley Scott did not like each other at all. Alan Ladd said that Scott and Ford didn't even talk to each other after the first day.

-Ladd claimed the version originally released was the cut that Scott had presented to the studio as his director's cut. Ladd expressed unhappiness at the current DVD release being labeled as a director's cut because it was just an unfinished earlier workprint of the film.

-Ladd said that Scott filmed the unicorn sequence originally and it was Scott's decision to pull it from the film initially.

-Ladd says that one of the film's other producers, Jerry Perenchio, has the final say over whether or not any new versions of the film can be issued. Ladd said that Perenchio and Scott absolutely loathed each other. Perenchio is a billionaire, and has no financial need for the film to be reissued. He believes that it's in legal limbo because Perenchio hates Scott and is suppressing any new versions purely out of spite.

-Ladd says at one point people were being brought together for work on a special edition DVD, and that he was interviewed, or at least contacted about being interviewed, before legal issues brought the film to a halt. Ladd says that Scott was considering having Ford re-record a new narration before the plug was pulled on the project.

...and, of course, the question on everyone's mind:

-Ladd is not optimistic at all about the film being reissued or redone. He actually stated that he believes because of the conflict between Perenchio and Scott that it will never happen.


So I guess some of that is stuff we all know, and maybe a couple new little tidbits, or maybe not. As the film was made over twenty years ago, it is possible that some of Ladd's recollections may not have been completely accurate. However, I will say that Ladd spoke about a great many films and his knowledge and memory of the work he had done seemed pretty good. I wish I had better news to report.

#2 of 140 OFFLINE   Haggai

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Posted April 06 2004 - 02:00 PM

Bad news indeed, and not all that surprising. Thanks for the report, Josh.

The big question for me: is the current DVD even worth owning? No re-done special super-duper director's cut seems in the offing, but is it even slightly possible that the director's cut that's already out there might get a new DVD transfer at some point? I would hope that Ladd's skepticism was specifically regarding any re-visiting of the actual film, not just the DVD transfer alone.

#3 of 140 OFFLINE   CraigL

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Posted April 06 2004 - 02:43 PM

So wait a second...couldn't they remaster the "Directors Cut" and add extras to that? What legally can they do without Perenchio freaking out and suing?

#4 of 140 OFFLINE   Robert Anthony

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Posted April 06 2004 - 02:46 PM

from what I understand, nothing.

I think someone posted his mailing address somewhere on this forum.

A letter writing campaign MIGHT be the only shot. I sure as hell doubt an internet petitition is going to work. Hell, I'm pretty doubtful flooding this guys P.O. box is going to work, either, but at least that's something tangible.

Then again, so is billions of dollars. And he's already got that.

It don't look good.

maybe Charlie can shed a teensy bit of light on any possibilities? I know everyone's hands are tied by Perenchio, but is there anything consumers can do to appeal to the man? Bugging WB isn't going to do anything, obviously.

#5 of 140 OFFLINE   Matt Rexer

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Posted April 06 2004 - 03:18 PM

Jerry Perenchio is 73 this year. We probably don't have too long to wait before nature takes its course. I can wait for the deluxe HD-DVD version when that happens...
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#6 of 140 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted April 06 2004 - 03:26 PM

Quote:
Jerry Perenchio is 73 this year. We probably don't have too long to wait before nature takes its course.


Well not to speculate on anyone's death, but even if the guy lived only 2 more years, that's still quite a bit of time. And then to try to square away legal issues (His rights would surely go to someone) and then to work on the DVD. It could be 4 or 5 years before we got to see anything.

If they cant't revisit the film, couldn't they skirt around the film to give some extras. For example, couldn't the release a Ridley Scott commentary on an audio CD or produce a documentary on the film to be sold seprately?
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#7 of 140 OFFLINE   CraigL

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Posted April 06 2004 - 03:36 PM

And Ridley is 67. What are we gonna do? Start placing bets?

#8 of 140 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted April 06 2004 - 03:45 PM

Quote:
And Ridley is 67. What are we gonna do? Start placing bets?


WB should just have Ridley come in and do a commentary and interviews just in case the issues get cleared up in the future. Yeah it will cost some money, I'm sure, but it would be worth it for when that day comes.
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#9 of 140 OFFLINE   Mark_TS

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Posted April 06 2004 - 04:21 PM

Thank you Josh for the news updates.
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#10 of 140 OFFLINE   Jeannette Walsh

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Posted April 06 2004 - 04:25 PM

It seems Ridley Scott has had problems with the film since day one. Always wanting to change this and that. I don't think he'll ever be totally satisfied with it.

Then there's the problem with Mr Jerry Perenchio which looks like it might keep the film in limbo forever.

So why not kill two birds with one stone and have Ridley reshoot the movie from scratch.

#11 of 140 OFFLINE   Al (alweho)

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Posted April 06 2004 - 04:31 PM

Quote:
So why not kill two birds with one stone and have Ridley reshoot the movie from scratch.
Because it would be too expensive to erase Ford's walker from every scene? :wink:
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#12 of 140 OFFLINE   John Alderson

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Posted April 06 2004 - 05:03 PM

I think the narration thing is a little more complicated than what Ladd was saying there... it's been a few years since I read it, but in Future Noir I believe it was said that Ridley didn't hate the idea of a narration, just that he hated the narration they ended up recording (which, if you believe the book, Scott grudgingly agreed to at the time but regretted it).

They scripted (and even recorded?) several voice overs, with the final one being rather last minute. After all was said and done, Scott decided that the best course would've been to have no narration.

So from what I remember, Scott did want a narration all along, but finally decided that they couldn't get it to work.

Looks like it's time to read Future Noir again... it's probably better than any extras a DVD would have anyway (excepting, of course, alternate versions of the film itself).

If you're a Blade Runner fan, go buy Future Noir now if you haven't already. Spend your BR SE money on it Posted Image

#13 of 140 OFFLINE   Ray H

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Posted April 06 2004 - 05:20 PM

Quote:
And Ridley is 67. What are we gonna do? Start placing bets?
Really? He looks younger. All that cigar smoking he does on the Alien Quadrilogy can't be healthy for him though...Anyone know if Mr. Perenchio smokes? Posted Image
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#14 of 140 OFFLINE   Ken Groulx

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Posted April 06 2004 - 05:39 PM

Ugh. If everything Mr. Ladd said is indeed true, this is extremely disheartening news. It's hard to believe one of the greatest science fiction films is being held in limbo over petty personal issues; the two probably haven't even seen each other in more than two decades.Posted Image

Re: The director's cut DVD; it's terrible. Aside from the less-than-stellar a/v quality, that version of the film doesn't even seem like it was finished.

#15 of 140 OFFLINE   CraigL

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Posted April 06 2004 - 06:12 PM

On The Edge of Blade Runner is fetching some pretty high prices on Ebay as of late. I'm thinking demand for this SE is growing beyond our little niche Home Theater clique.

#16 of 140 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted April 06 2004 - 08:12 PM

So, can Warner not even release the cut from the 1997 DVD? At the very least they could give it a new anamorphic transfer, no? Or are they not able to legally release that cut anymore at all either?

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#17 of 140 OFFLINE   oscar_merkx

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Posted April 06 2004 - 08:13 PM

Thanks Josh for the news update.

By the way what else did he talk about ?

Cheers

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#18 of 140 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

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Posted April 06 2004 - 10:11 PM

So as long as Perenchio feels the same way, we won't even see a high-def transfer for HD-HBO, D-VHS, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, etc?

#19 of 140 OFFLINE   Gordon McMurphy

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Posted April 07 2004 - 12:16 AM

What exactly is Perenchio blocking? Is he actually blocking any future DVD edition of the film? Is it all up to him?

How can the current DVD still be in print if he is opposed to the film altogether?

And does all this apply to the international rights or just the USA?

Surely, Warner could clean-up their best print and remaster the current edition with 5.1 and repackage the film? Or do they need Perenchio's approval of anything and everything they do in regard to Blade Runner?

Very, very confusing. What a debacle. Posted Image


#20 of 140 OFFLINE   JonZ

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Posted April 07 2004 - 01:06 AM

I just want a new print of the Dir Cut from a Hi-Def master, in 5.1

PLEASE!!!!


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