The Ending of Blade Runner Was Originally Shot for The Shining

Thursday, 10 December 2015 - 4:49PM
Blade Runner
Thursday, 10 December 2015 - 4:49PM
The Ending of Blade Runner Was Originally Shot for The Shining
As fans of Blade Runner know, the ending went through a few versions, but apparently the idyllic driving scene that appears in the original theatrical cut was spliced with footage that was shot for Stanley Kubrick's The Shining.





According to Ridley Scott, the original ending for the film was the one from the director's cut, cutting to black after that classic final line from Edward James Olmos: "It's too bad she won't live, but then again, who does?" But that was a little too risky for test audiences and the movie's investors when the film was first coming out:

Opening quote
"I had finished 'Blade Runner,' and it was a disaster," Scott told THR. "My investors were giving me a really hard time, saying 'You can't end the film with picking up a piece of origami, looking at the girl, walk in the elevator, nod, and bingo that's it.' I said, 'It's called a film noir.' And they said, 'What's a film noir?' That was a big problem. And he said, 'We have to test this with an uplifting ending, where they will go off into the wilderness together.' I said, 'Well if they go off into a beautiful wilderness, why do they live in this dystopian environment?'"
Closing quote

So he went to his fellow director, Stanley Kubrick, who had shot weeks' worth of helicopter footage for the opening sequence of The Shining, in which Jack Nicholson's character is driving on a mountain road. So when you see aerial shots of Deckard driving in an idyllic pastoral environment, those are actually outtakes from The Shining.

Opening quote
"By then I had talked to Stanley [Kubrick] a few times," Scott said. "I said, 'I know you shot the hell out of 'The Shining,' I know you've got four and a half months of helicopter stuff there...can I have some of the stuff? Cause it'll suit me fine.'...So at the end of the film in 'Blade Runner,' that's Stanley Kubrick's footage."
Closing quote
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