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

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Josh Steinberg, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Producer
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    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. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    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. CraigL

    CraigL Screenwriter

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    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. Robert Anthony

    Robert Anthony Producer

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    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. Matt Rexer

    Matt Rexer Stunt Coordinator

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    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...
     
  6. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    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?
     
  7. CraigL

    CraigL Screenwriter

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

    WillG Producer

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    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.
     
  9. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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    Thank you Josh for the news updates.
     
  10. Jeannette Walsh

    Jeannette Walsh Stunt Coordinator

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    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. Al (alweho)

    Al (alweho) Second Unit

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    Because it would be too expensive to erase Ford's walker from every scene? :wink:
     
  12. John Alderson

    John Alderson Supporting Actor

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    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 [​IMG]
     
  13. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    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? [​IMG]
     
  14. Ken Groulx

    Ken Groulx Stunt Coordinator

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    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.[​IMG]

    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. CraigL

    CraigL Screenwriter

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    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. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    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?
     
  17. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    Thanks Josh for the news update.

    By the way what else did he talk about ?

    Cheers

    Oscar
     
  18. Michael St. Clair

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    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. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    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. [​IMG]
     
  20. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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

    PLEASE!!!!
     

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