Blade Runner Director’s Cut… The For Reals Version


From DigitalBits…

So… you remember how we said that for every piece of good DVD news this week,
there was a piece of bad news? Well… how ’bout we end the week on a REALLY
great note, sans the dark could? You may have heard the word from Daily Variety
this morning. Yes… Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is FINALLY, officially, coming
to DVD. It’s going to be coming to HD-DVD. And it’s going to be coming to
Blu-ray Disc as well. This is real… it’s happening… and it’s going to be
very, very cool.

First a bit of background on the reason for the title’s delay. Warner had been
planning a 2-disc special edition of the film early last year… but suddenly
realized that their rights to the title were about to lapse. However, the studio
ponied up the big bucks to get back what is arguably one of their primo Cadillac
catalog titles (dare you to say that three times fast). The ownership situation
now resolved, Warner has set in motion plans to really do something special with
the film. You might recall back in January when I asked them about the film at
their 2006 catalog press event, they hinted that things were looking good for a
2007 release. Privately, we were told that there were BIG things in the works,
but were also told that if we leaked too much about the project, we might end up
like Fredo Corleone (or WORSE, that the project itself could be complicated).
Needless to say, though we’ve been dying to talk about this for months now (and
we get about two e-mails a day asking about the title), we’ve kept largely
silent on the subject. Now that the project is finally out in the open, however,
we can finally say a few things. Keep in mind that the major portion of the
release is still over a year away. But here’s the basic plan…

This coming September, there will be a new limited DVD release (HD-DVD & Blu-ray
Disc are also planned) of the restored 1992 Director’s Cut (you know… the one
that isn’t really a director’s cut). This will be available for just four
months. We believe this is basically the 2-disc release that Warner had
originally planned to bow LAST year.

Then next year, just in time for the film’s 25th anniversary, Ridley Scott’s
ultimate Blade Runner: The Final Cut will hit theaters for a limited run. This
will be a REAL director’s cut, with restored scenes and more – all the stuff
that Ridley’s always wanted to do with the film but hasn’t really been given the
chance to do before. That will be followed later in the year by an Ultimate
Blade Runner DVD release. You can expect a multi-disc box set (again, likely
with a simultaneous HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc release) that will contain at least
four different versions of the film… ALL in full anamorphic widescreen, we
might add. You’ll get the film’s original U.S. theatrical cut, you’ll get the
expanded international theatrical cut, you’ll get the 1992 Director’s Cut and
you’ll get the new Final Cut as well. Now… we realize at this point, you may
have questions. Keep in mind, there’s a TON of additional material that’s going
to be included in this set that hasn’t been announced and can’t be talked about
yet – all-new material that you’ve never seen before. The set is pretty early in
the planning and production stage, so it’s way too early to talk details, but
trust us… some very cool stuff is in the works. These extras will likely be
different from the September ’06 release, so if you buy both you’ll at least be
getting your money’s worth.

Imagine that… anamorphic widescreen AND real value in a DVD release! Hey…
are we being punked?

You veteran Bits readers will also be thrilled to learn that longtime Ridley
Scott DVD producer Charles de Lauzirika and his team are involved in project,
and have already been working on the set for a while now. Lauzirika, as you may
know, was the producer responsible for Fox’s 9-disc, massively comprehensive
Alien Quadrilogy box set, as well as the multi-disc special editions of Scott’s
Gladiator (from DreamWorks), Black Hawk Down (from Sony) and Kingdom of Heaven
(recently available from Fox), among others. You should also know that Lauzirika
and his team are big fans of Blade Runner themselves. Rest assured that they
know what you guys all want to see on this release, and they’re working very
hard to make it as good as it can be. Trust us when we say that this project is
in EXACTLY the right hands.

So how’s that for a helluva great ending to a strange week? Gosh… we feel like
we should be tipping the masseuse or something. In fact, we don’t think there’s
anything else to say for it except that we’ll see you back here on Tuesday
(Monday being a work holiday here in the States) with a bunch of those new
HD-DVD reviews…

… and stay tuned!

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2 Responses

  1. Eros Welker says:

    Can’t you paraphrase, beeyatch!?!

  2. junktape says:

    I’m sorry – I shoulda just put the link and a one-sentence description.  Won’t happen again.