Harrison Ford Hated Blade Runner For A Good Reason

Harrison Ford hated the narration he was forced to record for the theatrical version of Blade Runner.

By Kevin C. Neece | Updated

blade runner 3 harrison ford

Harrison Ford hated Blade Runner‘s narration, which he was forced by the studio to add, and the film overall because his detective character had, in his view, no detecting to do. The theatrical cut of the science fiction classic has long been notorious for Ford’s terrible, clunky narration that ruins the mystery and surprise of the film for those who are seeing it for the first time. As TheThings reports, the Indiana Jones star had as much distaste for the unnecessary add-on as fans and the film’s own director, Ridley Scott, have had.

This is no surprise to those who are familiar with Harrison Ford’s objections to recording the Blade Runner voiceover, but it might not be as well known that Ford initially disliked the entire production. To his mind, his character wasn’t solving a mystery, and he really didn’t relate to the material as an actor. According to TheThings, much of what went on in the film, he thought at the time, was “really nuts.”

Of course, this was Harrison Ford in 1982, before Blade Runner became so well-regarded as one of the greatest sci-fi films ever made, and well before its sequel, in which Ford also starred alongside Ryan Gosling. As we’ve reported, Gosling will now be featured in a series based on the films, Blade Runner 2099. All of this further success, including recuts of the original film that remove the offending narration by Ford, who seems to have given an intentionally dull reading, has given the actor something of a change of heart about the android-hunter classic.

In promoting the sequel, Blade Runner 2049, Harrison Ford expressed much more respect for the original movie, stating that it was “ahead of its time” and lauding the interesting conversations it produces about what it means to be human. 2049 has been part of a renaissance of sorts for Ford, returning him to several of his iconic roles. Beyond Blade Runner‘s Deckard, he has also revived beloved decades-old characters such as Han Solo and Indiana Jones, and will soon once again be playing Jack Ryan.

harrison ford blade runner

Now 80 years old, Harrison Ford has more than 40 years between him and his original performance in Blade Runner, but he is still associated with the role he originally so greatly disliked, not just because of his appearance in the sequel, but because of the film’s staying power, anchored by Ridley Scott’s visionary direction. The Alien director is widely regarded as one of the greatest of his generation, and Blade Runner is still counted among his greatest achievements. Even if, like Ford, you don’t like the film, its stunning visuals, imaginative landscape, and long-running influence across science fiction are undeniable and worthy of respect.

If you’re among those who are not fans of Blade Runner, though, let Harrison Ford’s initial distaste and later turnaround give you pause to reconsider the film. It may be, as Ford acknowledges in the interview, “depressing,” but it also raises interesting questions and asks us, in the best science fiction tradition, to consider our humanity. More importantly, it asks us to consider the humanity of others, especially those who are not like us and whom we might have seen fit to cast aside.

Like Blade Runner itself, Harrison Ford would probably agree that people—especially those we might initially dislike—deserve our reconsideration as well.