2017-07-18

Lower That Blast-Pistol

Okay, I saw the Blade Runner 2049 trailer. Here’s what I think (because I know you’re all dying to hear it):

Hampton Fancher is credited for both story and screenplay on this film. Hampton Fancher was the first screenwriter on the original Blade Runner, whose script was so freaking bad that Philip K. Dick originally disowned the project before shooting even started. Fancher’s original script is, in fact, a complete pile of shit. (You can find it online. Go ahead and read it; I’ll wait.)

In the end, Dick got to read the revised version of the script that David Peoples salvaged, and he liked it. He was very positive about the direction of the film (which departed even more from Fancher’s original as it was constantly retooled during shooting). But in the final interview he ever gave (Dick died five months before Blade Runner was released), this is what he said about Fancher’s script and why he hated it:

“There were good things in Fancher’s screenplay. It’s like the story of the old lady who takes a ring into a jeweler to have the stone reset. And the jeweler scrapes all of the patina of years and years and shines it up, and she says, ‘My God, that was what I loved the ring for — the patina!’ Okay, they had cleaned my book up of all of the subtleties and of the meaning. The meaning was gone. It had become a fight between androids and a bounty hunter.

“I had this vision in my mind then that I would go up there and be introduced to Ridley Scott, and be introduced to Harrison Ford, who’s the lead character, and I’d just be so dazzled I’d be like Mr. Toad seeing the motorcar for the first time. My eyes would be wide as saucers and I’d just be standing there completely mesmerized. Then I would watch a scene being shot. And Harrison Ford would say, ‘Lower that blast-pistol or you’re a dead android!’ And I would just leap across that special effects set like a veritable gazelle and seize him by the throat and start battering him against the wall. They’d have to run in and throw a blanket over me and call the security guards to bring in the Thorazine. And I'd be screaming, ‘You've destroyed my book!’ “

In the Blade Runner 2049 trailer, I’m seeing a whole lot of “Lower that blast-pistol or you’re a dead android!” That’s all I’m saying.