How Ridley Scott's new Blade Runner can be awesome...

>> Friday, August 19, 2011

As you may have heard, the Internet has been awash in stories about Ridley Scott announcing his involvement in some sort of sequel/prequel/reboot/remake/something of his 1982 classic, Blade Runner. This was a news item I was sort of trying to ignore because, seriously, nobody in their right mind wants this movie and a pox upon moviegoers if they actually show up to see this thing if it really does get made. (I'm not convinced it will: while Scott's involvement increases the odds, this thing has actually been in development hell for years and years and years now.)

But then Steve Buchheit did a short blog post about not wanting this movie, either, and it occurred to me that there were, indeed, circumstances in which I'd become this movie's biggest fan and booster. Or, rather, a circumstance:

Inspector Gaff, The Movie.

Remember Inspector Gaff in Blade Runner? Probably better known to everybody as "Edward James Olmos' character in Blade Runner"--hell, I had to look his name up on IMDB, even though he's one of the most memorable characters in the thing, with his cane and cryptic grunts and origami obsession. He's the dude who seems to know more about what's going on than Deckard, Roy Batty, Rachael, or David Peoples (the guy who wrote the screenplay). He's the man, partly because Edward James Olmos is such a fucking badass--he was one of the few things that kept the last season of Battlestar Galactica from being utterly intolerable, for instance.

A good film with Edward James Olmos is a great film; a bad film with Edward James Olmos is a bad-film-except-for-Edward James Olmos-who's-awesome. He salvages unwatchable scenes, raises everybody's game in good ones. The man is just phenomenal. He is capable of generating such an aura of sheer coolness that there's no need to go in during post to do any digital color correction to turn everything blue like an old David Fincher music video from the '80s because Edward James Olmos has already blueshifted all the light waves on the set.

My understanding is that there isn't a script for the new Blade Runner strap-on or whatever it is, which means there's an opportunity: you could write the movie around Inspector Gaff from the get-go. So he's 64, and maybe can't move as fast--then again, in the first film, Gaff didn't really move all that fast, either, preferring to terrify replicants with his sheer presence by leaning on his cane and scowling at them. It's possible Blade Runner: Electric Boogaloo could maybe have more of a horror movie vibe:


ABOUT TO BE DEAD REPLICANT pushes the door open and kicks it shut behind him. He has a bag of supplies in both arms and puts it down on the empty counter. Then he looks around the room--all clear. One of those flying cars that looks really cool but is really a bad idea when you think about it WHOOSHES by past the window and shines a spotlight in the window so you get that whole venetian-blinds-moving-lines-of-light thing. ATBD Replicant looks around a little more, seems satisfied, goes back to his grocery bag and freezes--

Next to his bag is an ORIGAMI WALRUS that wasn't there before!

Is--is anybody there? Hello?

Another one of those flying cars whooshes by, or I guess there could be one of those blimps hanging around outside shining spotlights in everybody's windows for no apparent reason.

If any of you blade runner dudes are in here, I want you to
know I'm totally human, okay?

GAFF (shouting/mumbling--shmumbling?--offscreen)
You won't live! You're going to die! Soon!

Oh yeah? That's what you--

And that's when he looks down and sees the ORIGAMI PENGUIN next to the walrus.

And then the replicant pretty much shits his pants and dies, mostly from fear although probably the headshot plays some kind of role in his termination. You could even kind of work in a reversal of the climactic scenes of the first movie, where Roy Batty is chasing Rick Deckard all over the Bradbury Building: now, instead, it's the main replicant running frantically through the place alternating with shots of Edward James Olmos just standing there because he's too fucking cool to chase some stupid robot/clone/whatever-the-fuck-it's-supposed-to-be. And then, just when the replicant thinks he's gotten away, he opens a door and BOOM! there's Inspector Gaff already there waiting for him because that's how fucking cool he is.

Also, while I hate to draw attention to the less-artsy, less-savory aspects of the movie business, the commercial tie-ins are just too obvious: fast food kids' meals with origami fold-lines printed on the bags, Blade Runner: The Quickening-themed origami kits in toy stores, Abbott And Costello Meet The Son Of Blade Runner bow ties (much more interesting than t-shirts, which are played out), etc. Inspector Gaff action figures that come with a pad of origami paper that can be folded into weapons, vehicles and other accessories. A viral marketing campaign in which origami critters are scattered all over major metropolitan areas; origami critters that can be unfolded to reveal Attack Of The House Of The Phantom Blade Runner Revenge mini-posters. This stuff writes itself, people. Wait. No, it doesn't. Thinking of this stuff is hard work and you should give me a job thinking of it, Mr. Scott. You won't regret it.

There ought to be an online petition. We can make this happen. And when it happens, it will be awesome.


Dr. Phil (Physics) Friday, August 19, 2011 at 12:58:00 PM EDT  

Okay. Unlike the new Conan which I won't see -- I*'d see your Gaff movie.

Dr. Phil

Nathan Friday, August 19, 2011 at 2:31:00 PM EDT  

Admit wrote that whole thing just for a chance to say, Blade Runner strap-on.

And I salute you.

Nathan Friday, August 19, 2011 at 2:34:00 PM EDT  

BTW, I couldn't give a rat's ass, one way or the other whether or not a remake/prequel/reboot/sequel gets made. At the risk of sounding utterly un-cool, I'll admit that I still have no idea what the original was about. It was so dark I can't remember seeing a single fucking thing.

Steve Buchheit Friday, August 19, 2011 at 7:59:00 PM EDT  

Okay, I've got it better, the old rivalry heats up. Decker was a replicant, and Gaff is pulled out of retirement to retire Decker. You know, there could be a scene where Gaff does an origami frog, but then there's a real frog there, but is it a real frog or a construct? We don't know. Because the movie ends with Gaff riding out into the sunshiny country with the frog in the passenger seat and that's where it ends.

WendyB_09 Friday, August 19, 2011 at 8:21:00 PM EDT  

Hmmm...Blade Runner Strap-on...

Is Decker included???

Enquiring minds want to know.

Eric Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 10:02:00 AM EDT  

Steve, I smell a franchise here!

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