As of Friday, ‘Blade Runner’ is No Longer Set in the Future
When Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner was released in 1982, its dystopian future seemed light years away. But fans of the critically-acclaimed science fiction film might have woken up this morning feeling a little funny. As its opening sequence informs us, the movie takes place in Los Angeles, November 2019. In other words, from this day forward, Blade Runner is no longer set in the future.
Blade Runner, which is loosely based on Phillip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, paints a bleak portrait of the City of Angels in 2019. Its projected vision of Los Angeles features synthetic humanoids known as “replicants”, flying cars, and extraterrestrial colonies. Harrison Ford stars as Rick Deckard, a “blade runner” whose job it is to hunt down these artificial humans who appear to be just like us. The movie, to its merit, makes some pretty accurate predictions about our modern world. Powerful corporations, climate change (it’s raining throughout the entire film), and even voice activation technology all hit close to home. But something big is missing from Blade Runner’s depicted future. iPhones. Instagram. TikTok. While the movie does get an eerie amount right, it couldn’t account for the role social media plays in our lives. Who knows how things would have panned out for Deckard if he could have looked up his targets on Facebook?
Blade Runner isn’t the only piece of media that tried to predict life in Southern California during this fateful year. My Chemical Romance (who announced their reunion tour yesterday) set their 2010 album Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys in November 2019 as well. Blade Runner 2049, the sequel to Blade Runner, came out in 2017. Mark your calendars — we have 30 years to find out if its predictions come true.
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