Ridley Scott Needed Stephen King Movie To Finish Sci-Fi Masterpiece

By Britta DeVore | Published

blade runner

Leave it to The Hollywood Reporter’s Director Roundtable to deliver once again some juicy behind-the-scenes bits about our favorite movies. In a meeting of some of the greatest visionaries in film, Ridley Scott revealed that Stanley Kubrick was the saving grace behind Blade Runner. Passing some much-needed shots along to Scott for the final bit of the Harrison Ford-led film, Kubrick came in in a pinch and gifted his peer some extra shots from The Shining.

Ridley Scott used unused footage from The Shining to complete 1982’s Blade Runner.

According to Ridley Scott, after all was said and done on Blade Runner, the film “was a disaster.” Unhappy with the director’s work, his investors were pushing for a better ending that didn’t involve “‘picking up a piece of origami, looking at the girl, walk in the elevator, nod, and bingo that’s it.’” While Scott tried to explain that the style was “a film noir,” the folks handing him the money weren’t sold.

The investors also thought that Blade Runner’s original ending was too depressing, asking Scott to change it to a happier one. Unsure of how he would fix what was already a wrap, Scott says that he reached out to the legendary Stanley Kubrick for advice and – ultimately – some help. Scott brazenly asked Kubrick for unused footage from The Shining, and Kubrick gave it to his friend without hesitation, solidifying a piece of the Stephen King horror film in Blade Runner history.

Blade Runner was Ridley Scott’s third feature film following The Duelists and Alien. With the major success of Alien behind him, he likely knew that Blade Runner would be a make-or-break moment in his career. Luckily, fans and critics reacted kindly to the film, landing a win at the BAFTAs, and nabbing nominations at the Golden Globe and Academy Awards. 

blade runner 3 harrison ford
Harrison Ford in Blade Runner (1982)

An immediate cult classic, the story of Blade Runner would receive sequels by way of three novels penned by K.W. Jeter between 1995 and 2000.

Released in 1982, Blade Runner takes place in the future (2019) and follows Harrison Ford’s Deckard, who is strong-armed into returning to his job as a Replicant Hunter. Deckard is assigned a mission that sees him tracking down Replicants who have ventured back to Earth. Along with Ford, the film also starred M. Emmet Walsh (Blood Simple), Sean Young (Fatal Instinct), Edward James Olmos (Battlestar Galactica), and Rutger Hauer (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind).

An immediate cult classic, the story of Blade Runner would receive sequels by way of three novels penned by K.W. Jeter between 1995 and 2000. With audiences wanting even more from the franchise, their cries were finally answered in 2017 when Denis Villeneuve (Dune) sat in the director’s chair to bring the on-screen sequel, Blade Runner 2049 to life.

Blade Runner 2049

With Harrison Ford reprising his role from the original film, the cast also included performances from Ryan Gosling, Jared Leto, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista, and Mackenzie Davis. 

Although it’s fair to say that The Shining and Blade Runner have very little in common, without Stanley Kubrick’s help, Ridley Scott’s investors would likely have had more than just second thoughts about the production. Luckily for fans everywhere, Stanley Kubrick is a director who likes to ensure he has more than enough extra film for himself – something that came in very handy for Ridley Scott.