Last weekend in Los Angeles, Blade Runner director Ridley Scott and writer Hampton Fancher spoke at a benefit screening of the digitally-remastered film. Special effects artist and blogger Mojo was there, and gives a great recap the evening, including a brief but friendly spat between Scott and Fancher over whether Deckard is a replicant. Apparently Scott always believed Deckard had to be a replicant to enhance the paranoid feeling of the film; Fancher thinks the question has to be left unanswered. But the best part of the evening was when Scott admitted that Blade Runner's dark look was inspired by a very unlikely comic strip.
To popularize Blade Runner, I wanted to make it into a real comic strip; Hampton [Fancher] was always showing me comics, and we talked about it a lot. Little Orphan Annie is dark - Daddy Warbucks is so sinister - it's like Silence Of the Lambs! It's full of terrible things and bodies locked in cupboards… I would look at these drawings, particularly the grey comic strips - [Batman and Superman] were so well done in those days. When we were making Blade Runner, it was always in the back of my mind that we were making a comic strip. You could put Batman in rooms or scenes from the film and it would work… I think Blade Runner is a pretty sophisticated comic strip.
OK, I know Scott is hard at work on a new movie version of Brave New World, but would it be too much to ask for him to do a dark, scary, Silence of the Lambs-esque version of Little Orphan Annie? You know, post-apocalyptic orphans in a corporate future? I would way rather watch that than The Road.