In 2019, a group of six Nexus-6 replicants illegally landed on Earth in a hijacked shuttle, seeking to extend their lifespans. Four of these replicants – Leon Kowalski, Zhora, Pris, and Roy Batty – were assigned for retirement by Rick Deckard.
In late October or early November 2019, the replicants killed twenty-three people on the Dominguez colony, then hijacked a shuttle, killing its crew and passengers before traveling to Earth. Two weeks later, they attempted to break into the Tyrell Corporation headquarters in Los Angeles. One or two of them were fried by an electrical field during the attempted break-in.
Zhora – a replicant trained for an Off-world kick murder squad – managed to find employment as a dancer at a bar owned by Taffey Lewis while Leon Kowalski – a replicant that worked as an ammunition loader – was hired by the Tyrell Corporation as a waste disposal engineer and lived at the Yukon Hotel on Hunterwasser street.
Blade Runner Dave Holden was assigned to subject new Tyrell Corporation employees to the Voight-Kampff test to find the replicants. Leon was interviewed by Holden. He became violent during the test, shooting Holden.
Roy Batty – a self-sufficient combat model, the leader of the group – and Leon found Hannibal Chew, designer of replicant eyes, and learned that they could reach Eldon Tyrell, through J.F. Sebastian. Pris – a basic pleasure model – befriended Sebastian.
Deckard and Gaff traveled to the hotel room where they recovered a photo of Zhora and a snake scale, which Deckard used to track her down to Taffey Lewis' bar. He attempted to deceive her, but she grew suspicious and attacked him before fleeing. However, Deckard managed to retire her.
Batty soon joined Pris in Sebastian's apartment at the Bradbury Apartments, learning that Sebastian was playing a long-term chess game with Tyrell. Using this information, he had Sebastian take him to Tyrell.
Batty confronted Tyrell, who concluded that he could not meet the replicants' request for more life. Batty then murdered both Tyrell and Sebastian before returning to the Bradbury Building.
After being alerted to the deaths of Tyrell and Sebastian, Deckard arrived at the Bradbury Building, where he was ambushed by Pris. As she prepared to kill him, Deckard managed to retire her with two or three gunshots.
Batty then found Pris' body and briefly mourned her before confronting Deckard with a game of cat-and-mouse, eventually forcing Deckard onto the roof of the building, ultimately saving the Blade Runner's life from a fall. The replicant than calmly reflected upon his short, yet eventful life before expiring.
Behind the scenes
In the original version of Blade Runner, it is mentioned that one of the replicants got 'fried' instead of two. This meant that there was a missing fifth replicant that never appeared in the film. When Director's Cut producer Michael Arick asked director Ridley Scott if he wanted to fix this mistake, Scott said to "leave it alone."
This error was finally fixed in The Final Cut. In this version, M. Emmet Walsh was brought in to dub over his previous "five replicants" line and say six, as well as stating that two of them got fried instead of one.
The workprint had this line overdubbed to "four." The dub is clearly a studio executive. It was intended to be a place holder until they could rerecord it with M. Emmet Walsh. However, due to the creation of the voice-over and "Happy Ending" running the time to finish the film out, like many things, the line was never re-recorded. One of these five replicants is said to be Mary. Mary appeared in an early script and was even cast with Stacey Nelkin—who had screen-tested for Pris—in the role. The scenes for this character were dropped due to budget restraints. At the time the filmmakers decided to leave out the character, they had already filmed the Bryant/Deckard scene which states there were six replicants. According to the script the story goes like this:
Deckard kills Zhora and then spots Rachael looking on. He chases Rachael, only to be beaten up by Leon. After Rachael kills Leon, Deckard buys a bottle of Tsing Tao and has to warn her with a glance when Gaff approaches. Gaff takes him to Bryant, who tells him that there were "four to go" (Roy, Pris, Mary, and Rachael).
When they eliminated Mary from the script, they had a problem: Bryant should say that there are "three to go" (Roy, Pris, and Rachael). Instead of reshooting this scene, they moved it and the scene of Deckard buying Tsing Tao ahead of Leon's death, so that the "four to go" would be Roy, Pris, Leon (not Mary), and Rachael. They nearly got away with this, but a few problems remained:
- When Deckard is talking to Bryant, he shows wounds from his fight with Leon, although he hasn't had the fight yet. This has been fixed in The Final Cut.
- Since he now buys his bottle before he fights Leon, it should be there while he's chasing Rachael and fighting Leon (it's not). The bottle mysteriously reappears when he gets back to his apartment. Considered a beloved flaw by Scott.
This problem is purely the result of Bryant telling Deckard, "I've got four skin jobs walking the streets" but only accounting for one of the remaining two.
It is rumored that during dubbing, Ridley Scott initially had Bryant's line changed, but then changed his mind and left it with "...six replicants".
The other replicant, Hodge, was present in early scripts, but was cut before Mary.
- Blade Runner: A Story of the Future
- Blade Runner – all versions
- Blade Runner – U.S. theatrical version
- Blade Runner – international theatrical version
- Blade Runner – Director's Cut
- Blade Runner – workprint version
- Blade Runner – The Final Cut
- Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner – Revised & Updated Edition