While not initially a success with North American audiences, the film was popular internationally and garnered a cult following. The film's dark style and futuristic designs have served as a benchmark and its influence can be seen in many subsequent science fiction films, anime, video games, and television programs. For example, Ronald D. Moore and David Eick, the producers of the re-imagining of Battlestar Galactica, have both cited Blade Runner as one of the major influences for the show. Blade Runner continues to reflect modern trends and concerns, and an increasing number consider it one of the greatest science fiction films of all time. It was voted the best science fiction film ever made in a poll of 60 eminent world scientists conducted in 2004. Blade Runner is also cited as an important influence to both the style and story of the Ghost in the Shell film series, which itself has been highly influential to the future-noir genre.
The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 1993 and is frequently used in university courses. In 2007 it was named the second most visually influential film of all time by the Visual Effects Society.
Blade Runner is one of the most musically sampled films of the 20th century. The 2009 album, I, Human, by Singaporean band Deus Ex Machina makes numerous references to the genetic engineering and cloning themes from the film, and even features a track titled "Replicant".
Blade Runner has influenced adventure games such as the 2012 graphical text adventure Cypher, Rise of the Dragon, Snatcher, Beneath a Steel Sky, Flashback: The Quest for Identity, Bubblegum Crisis (and its original anime films), the role-playing game Shadowrun, the first-person shooter Perfect Dark, and the Syndicate series of video games. The film is also cited as a major influence on Warren Spector, designer of the computer-game Deus Ex, which displays evidence of the film's influence in both its visual rendering and plot. The look of the film, darkness, neon lights and opacity of vision, is easier to render than complicated backdrops, making it a popular choice for game designers.
Blade Runner has also been the subject of parody, such as the comics Blade Bummer by Crazy comics, Bad Rubber by Steve Gallacci, and the Red Dwarf 2009 three-part miniseries, "Back to Earth".
Among the folklore that has developed around the film over the years has been the belief that the film was a curse to the companies whose logos were displayed prominently as product placements in some scenes. While they were market leaders at the time, Atari, Bell, Cuisinart and Pan Am experienced setbacks after the film's release. The Coca-Cola Company suffered losses during its failed introduction of New Coke in 1985, but soon afterwards regained its market share.
Media recognitions for Blade Runner include:
|2001||The Village Voice||100 Best Films of the 20th Century||94|||
|2002||Online Film Critics Society (OFCS)||Top 100 Sci-fi Films of the Past 100 Years||2|||
|Sight & Sound||Sight & Sound Top Ten Poll 2002||45|||
|50 Klassiker, Film||None|||
|2003||1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die|||
|Entertainment Weekly||The Top 50 Cult Movies||9|||
|2004||The Guardian, Scientists||Top 10 Sci-fi Films of All Time||1|||
|2005||Total Film 's Editors||100 Greatest Movies of All Time||47|||
|Time Magazine's Critics||"All-TIME" 100 Best Movies||None|||
|2008||New Scientist||All-time favorite science fiction film (readers and staff)||1|||
|Empire||The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time||20|||
|2010||IGN||Top 25 Sci-Fi Movies of All Time||1|||
|Total Film||100 Greatest Movies of All Time||None|||
|2012||Sight & Sound||Sight & Sound 2012 critics top 250 films||69|||
|Sight & Sound||Sight & Sound 2012 directors top 100 films||67|||
|2014||Empire||The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time||11|||
American Film Institute recognition
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies - Nominated
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills - #74
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains:
- Roy Batty (Villain) - Nominated
- Rick Deckard (Hero) - Nominated
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes:
- "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die." - Nominated
- AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores - Nominated
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) - #97
- AFI's 10 Top 10 - #6 Science Fiction Film
In other media
Before the film's principal photography began, Cinefantastique magazine commissioned Paul M. Sammon to write an article about Blade Runner 's production which became the book Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner. The book chronicles Blade Runner 's evolution, focusing on film-set politics, especially the British director's experiences with his first American film crew; of which producer Alan Ladd, Jr. has said, "Harrison wouldn't speak to Ridley and Ridley wouldn't speak to Harrison. By the end of the shoot Ford was 'ready to kill Ridley', said one colleague. He really would have taken him on if he hadn't been talked out of it." Future Noir has short cast biographies and quotations about their experiences, and photographs of the film's production and preliminary sketches. A second edition of Future Noir was published in 2007.
Philip K. Dick refused a $400,000 offer to write a Blade Runner novelization, saying: "[I was] told the cheapo novelization would have to appeal to the twelve-year-old audience" and "[it] would have probably been disastrous to me artistically." He added, "That insistence on my part of bringing out the original novel and not doing the novelization – they were just furious. They finally recognized that there was a legitimate reason for reissuing the novel, even though it cost them money. It was a victory not just of contractual obligations but of theoretical principles." Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was eventually reprinted as a tie-in, with the film poster as a cover and the original title in parentheses below the Blade Runner title. Archie Goodwin scripted the comic book adaptation, A Marvel Super Special: Blade Runner, published in September 1982.
There are two video games based on the film, one from 1985 for Commodore 64, Sinclair ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC by CRL Group PLC based on the music by Vangelis (due to licensing issues), and another action adventure PC game from 1997 by Westwood Studios. The 1997 video game featured new characters and branching storylines based on the Blade Runner world. Eldon Tyrell, Gaff, Leon, Rachael, Chew, and J.F. Sebastian appear, and their voice files are recorded by the original actors. The player assumes the role of McCoy, another replicant-hunter working at the same time as Deckard.
The PC game featured a non-linear plot, non-player characters that each ran in their own independent AI, and an unusual pseudo-3D engine (which eschewed polygonal solids in favor of voxel elements) that did not require the use of a 3D accelerator card to play the game.
The television film Total Recall 2070 was initially planned as a spin-off of the movie Total Recall, and would eventually be transformed into a hybrid of Total Recall and Blade Runner. The Total Recall film was also based on a Philip K. Dick story, "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale"; many similarities between Total Recall 2070 and Blade Runner were noted, as well as apparent inspiration from Isaac Asimov's The Caves of Steel and the TV series Holmes & Yo-Yo.
The film has been the subject of several documentaries. On the Edge of Blade Runner (2000, 55 minutes) was directed by Andrew Abbott and hosted/written by Mark Kermode. Interviews with production staff, including Scott, give details of the creative process and the turmoil during preproduction. Stories from Paul M. Sammon and Hampton Fancher provide insight into Philip K. Dick and the origins of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Future Shocks (2003, 27 minutes) is a documentary by TVOntario. It includes interviews with executive producer Bud Yorkin, Syd Mead, and the cast, and commentary by science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer and from film critics. Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner (2007, 213 minutes) is a documentary directed and produced by Charles de Lauzirika for The Final Cut version of the film. It was culled from over 80 interviews, including Ford, Young, and Scott. The documentary consists of eight chapters, each covering a portion of the film-making – or in the case of the final chapter, the film's controversial legacy. All Our Variant Futures: From Workprint to Final Cut (2007, 29 minutes), produced by Paul Prischman, appears on the Blade Runner Ultimate Collector's Edition and provides an overview of the film's multiple versions and their origins, as well as detailing the seven-year-long restoration, enhancement and remastering process behind The Final Cut.